When you're mailing postcards, determining the right size can be
tricky. The most standard postcard size is 4" x 6", which meets USPS
postcard regulations and is affordable to print. However, many people
choose to mail different sizes than the 4" x 6". Here's the reasons why,
and how you can make the best decision for printing and mailing
Standard Postcard Sizes
The most common sizes for postcards are 4” x 6”, 5” x 7”, 6” x 8”, 6” x 9”, 6” x 11” and 8.5” x 11”. U.S. Press offers all
of these sizes on our postcard pricing page.
Mailable Postcard Sizes
All of the above sizes are mailable (they meet the USPS minimum size
of 3.5” x 5.5”); however, not all postcards cost the same to mail.
Aside from printing cost differences, different sizes also mail at
different postage rates:
4” x 6” postcards mail at the First Class Postcard rate
5” x 7”, 6” x 8”, 6” x 9”, and 6” x 11” postcards mail at the
Standard Letter rate or the First Class Letter rate
8.5” x 11” and larger postcards mail as Flats, which are subject to
higher postage rates
Understanding Mail Classes and Size Classifications
Mail classes determine how quickly recipients will receive your
postcard. The two primary USPS classes of direct mail that drive
different postage costs and delivery times are First Class Mail
and Standard Mail (now known as Marketing Mail):
First Class Mail offers a quicker delivery time (1-5
days), but is generally more expensive.
Standard Mail is slower (3-14 days), but is generally
The two main size classifications for direct mail postcards are
“postcard” size and “letter” size:
To qualify as the technical “postcard” size by USPS,
your piece must be at least 3.5” x 5”, but no larger than 4.25” x 6”,
and rectangular in shape.
To qualify as the “letter” size by USPS, your piece
must be larger than 4.25” by 6” but no larger than 6 ?” x 11.5”, and
rectangular in shape (So, if your postcards fall into this range, the
Postal Service classifies them as letters, not postcards. Yes, we know
this is confusing. We don’t make the rules, though.)
Quick note: USPS also has thickness requirements for postcards and
letters to prevent thin sheets of paper from getting jammed in their
machines. However, when you print with U.S. Press, all of our postcard
stocks already meet these requirements, so you don’t have to worry
about this part.
The exact postage amount for your campaign will depend on a variety
of factors, but as a simple rule, you can estimate costs based on the
size of your postcard (postcard vs. letter classification) and the
corresponding mail class it falls into.
4” x 6” Postcards: The Most Affordable Option
4” x 6” postcards fall within the parameters of the USPS
“postcard” size rule, and by default, postcards of this size
will mail as First Class pieces.
(Marketing Mail does not offer lower postage costs for
this size, so it doesn’t even make sense to consider this
mail class. Why pay more for a slower delivery, when USPS
offers a good deal on first class postage for this
As mentioned earlier, First Class mail has a huge benefit: it
arrives faster than Marketing Mail. The delivery time for First
Class Mail is 1-3 days locally, and 2-4 days nationally. As a
bonus, you can receive address forwarding and return services at
no additional charge.
Now, let’s talk about how the costs break down:
If you mail less than 500 pieces, the
First Class rate for postcards of this size is 35 cents.
However, if you mail more than 500
pieces, your campaign will qualify for the First Class presorted
postcard rate, which means the postage cost drops to an average
of 27-30 cents per piece.
Thus, the 4” x 6” is commonly known as the most standard
size for a postcard because it qualifies for the First
Class, postcard size postage rates, which means fast
delivery and low postage costs. Something else to think
about: 4” x 6” postcards are also less expensive to print
than larger postcard sizes.
The reason is then obvious why this size is so popular: it’s
the most affordable option to print and mail, and is a great way
to reach your customers without overspending on a direct
6” x 8” Postcards: A Happy Medium Between Savings and
4” x 6” is a useful standard in the world of postcards, but
often marketers will want a bigger size to stand out in the
mailbox. A good choice in this instance is a 6” x 8” postcard.
This size is larger, but still on the lower end regarding
Due to its larger size, this postcard automatically qualifies
for letter rates. If you mail less than 200 postcards, the
postage cost is 55 cents per piece. Ouch!
However, just like the 4” x 6” postcards, you can save money
on postage by mailing a bulk quantity:
If you mail more than 200 pieces, your
campaign will qualify for the Marketing Mail class, which is
approximately 30 cents for postcards of this size.
If you want to upgrade to First Class
in order to have a faster delivery speed, then you’ll need to
mail more than 500 pieces. The first class postage rate for 6” x
8” postcards is approximately 39 to 44 cents per piece.
When you’re looking to save on printing and postage but want
something larger than a 4” x 6” card, this is the size we
recommend because it’s a happy medium between savings and
impact. For this size, it makes the most sense to mail a bulk
quantity (more than 200 pieces) and choose the Marketing Mail
class (albeit slower delivery) to maximize your postage
6" x 11" Postcards: Big Impact and the Most "Bang" for
Your Postal Buck
Another common size for postcards is 6” x 11”. This is a
popular size for campaigns requiring a large postcard to
effectively convey a business’s message, but it’s a size that
remains cost-effective by staying within the letter rate
category for postage. (Anything larger than this size jumps to
flat rate postage, which can become quite expensive unless
you’re mailing EDDM cards. More on this later.) In fact, postage
is exactly the same for postcards of this size as it is for 6” x
If you mail more than 200 pieces, your
mail will qualify for the Marketing Mail class and receive
postage at approximately 30 cents per piece.
If you mail more than 500 pieces, you
have the option to upgrade to First Class for approximately 39
to 44 cents per piece.
Therefore, the only difference in costs between the 6” x 8” and
the 6” x 11” is the printing cost.
While this size incurs more printing costs than smaller cards,
the 6” x 11” offers the most impact and is nearly impossible to
miss in the mailbox. Since it’s the largest standard size
eligible for letter-rate postage, it also means you’ll get the
most “bang” out of your postage budget--and likely a higher
While these three are the most common sizes for postcards,
there is an additional class of mail that affects what size you
can choose: Every Door Direct Mail.
EDDM Sizes: 6.25" x 9", 6" x 11", 8 1/2" x 11" and 11" x
Every Door Direct Mail
(EDDM) is a USPS mailing service separate from First Class and
Marketing Mail that offers steep postage discounts
(approximately 19.1 cents per piece). Unlike First Class and
Marketing Mail, EDDM allows you to mail to customers without a
specific mailing list. Instead, you’ll select an entire carrier
route within a specific geographic area to deliver to, and mail
to every resident on that route.
Just like the other classifications of mail, EDDM has specific
size requirements: postcards must be at least 6.125” tall or
longer than 10.5” and smaller than 12” x 15”.
Because of these restrictions, there are four common EDDM
postcard sizes: 6.25" x 9", 6” x 11", 8.5” x 11”, and 11” x 14”.
While the 6".25" x 9" offers the lowest printing cost, the 11” x
14” offers the most impact. You can choose which size makes the
most sense for your company.
EDDM is a popular and cost-effective method to mail postcards
intended for geographically focused marketing campaigns.
Here’s more information on
to decide if this is the right fit for you.
Custom Postcard Sizes:
Of course, standard sizes aren’t always the best fit for
your business’s marketing campaign. U.S. Press can print
to meet the needs of your business. Simply call and speak to
one of our account reps at 800-227-7377 for details on
custom sized postcard printing.
Regardless of postcard size, there’s a way to increase savings
and reach your customers more effectively. U.S. Press is ready
to fulfill your direct mail order to help you connect with your
customers in a fast and cost-effective way.