As marketing trends highlight the effectiveness of
direct mail marketing
campaigns, marketers everywhere are turning back to traditional postcards to
reach out to customers. But deciding to send direct mail is just the first
step. In order to have a successful campaign, your postcards must convert.
Whether that's directing customers to your storefront, calling your office,
or visiting your website, your postcards need to drive action. To do that,
getting the design right is crucial. Great postcard design is what separates
award-winning direct mail campaigns from "junk mail," and can make all the
difference in your ROI. Here are eight rules to help you design the best
possible postcard for your business.
Use Attractive Imagery
The overall effectiveness of your postcard’s design (and the success of your
marketing campaign) relies on the right imagery as the foundation of your
postcard. Humans are visual creatures, so the first thing they'll notice is
your imagery. To grab their attention, the images and graphics you use must
Use images that are pleasing to the eye, full of color, and if possible,
align with the interests or values of your customers or target demographic.
You can use shading and highlighting tools to accentuate the best elements
of your image, but remember not to use an image that’s too busy, has too
many color elements, or doesn't fit overall with your brand.
Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your products and
services can make a huge difference in image quality and keep your brand
consistent, but sometimes this isn't always feasible. If you're short on
time or money, consider using stock photos from websites like
Write in Short, Simple Copy
Years ago, marketers would crowd their direct mail designs with as much
information as possible in the hopes of convincing customers to choose their
business. Often, too, they would "shout" at customers with aggressive
headlines and excessive exclamations.
But in today's world, those tactics are no longer effective. Consumers are
overwhelmed with information and won't spend the time to read your lengthy
sales pitch. They also don't want to be yelled at.
If the goal of a postcard campaign is to quickly hook prospects and
push them to the next stage of the sales funnel, then you don't need to
crowd your design with excessive amounts of copy, distracting text or copy
in a complex typeface.
Choose a bold but clean typeface and use it only enough to communicate what
is most important and necessary, especially on the front of the card. Quick
lists of benefits are helpful and easy to read. Using words like
“Discount” or “Rewards” will also draw attention to your postcard. One
caveat: If you need space to present a longer message, the back of your
postcard can afford you a place to do so. But still try to keep paragraphs
short and sweet with only the most essential information.
Consider a Larger Postcard
Remember, postcards don’t have to adhere only to the 4” x 6” size. You want
your piece to stand out over other mailers and correspondence, so increasing
the size is one of the easiest ways to do this. 6" x 8" and 6" x 11"
postcards are extremely effective, so if you have some flexibility in your
budget, we recommend sizing up to one of these options.
Quick note: Going with a larger size may incur a higher postage cost, but
bulk or EDDM mailings can help you save money. This opens up the door to
larger postcards that are sure to stand out in the mailbox.
Don’t Forget Your Logo
You want recipients to quickly identify who you are, so don’t forget to
afford space in your design to place your company’s logo and important
contact information. If you're a local business, place your phone number
near your logo. If you operate nationally, including your website URL near
your logo can be effective. You can also include other information like
social media handles on your postcard. Overall, your customers should be
able to readily connect your smart, attractive design with your brand and be
able to contact you.
Include a Call to Action
This is a crucial step, yet it's often overlooked. Be sure to include a
strong call to action on your postcard. For financial and professional
services, something as simple as "Call Today" with your phone number works
well. If you have a physical location, tell your recipients that you want
them to visit your storefront. (Don't forget your address and simple
directions!) Or, if you want them to complete an online purchase, include a
unique promo code that you can track through your website. With any calls to
action, ask yourself: have I given them a reason to act? Have I provided
them with a special discount, benefits, or an attention-grabbing offer that
will incite them to choose my company?
Keep Design Simple Overall
If there’s one rule that’s most important, it’s the umbrella rule that all
these rules fall under: Keep designs attractive, but simple overall. It’s
all too easy to ruin a great design by including too many elements,
contrasting elements or elements that confuse or distract viewers from the
message the postcard delivers. Employ attractive design elements, but err on
the side of a simple, clean design.
Follow USPS Regulations
If you're mailing your postcards, then you must follow
USPS regulations. Remember the spaces on a postcard that are devoted to postage indicia,
return addresses, and the mail panel. Try to keep your design from
interfering with those spaces, and vice versa. Also remember how different
sizes affect postage costs and the rules you need to follow regarding
Rely on Quality Printers
You can design the most attractive postcard in the world, but if it's
printed poorly, then you've wasted your efforts. Great design deserves great
printing, which means gorgeous color, high quality paper, and expert
finishing. U.S. Press prints postcards on 130# gloss-cover cover stock with
high gloss UV coating, by expert pressmen who have have nearly 40 years
experience in full color printing. We also provide
direct mail services
to make sending postcards as easy as possible. From the intial stages of
design to printing, addressing, bundling, and delivering them to USPS, U.S.
Press is standing by, ready to bring your design to life and help you
succeed with your direct marketing campaign.