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Impactful Postcards: 14 Design Tips


Designing postcards seems simple enough; but are you getting the results you need after it’s in the mail? Try some of these tips to make your direct mail piece more impactful and most importantly generate a response!

1. Size

Mail a non-standard size that doesn’t stack nicely. Even if you have to pay a bit more in postage or printing, this could be a sound marketing investment.

2. Color

Rather than printing on white stock, how about using neon green or hot pink? Any color will stand out from the plethora of white postcards.

3. Weight

The heavier the card stock, the more important and valuable your postcard “feels” as your reader or mail screener sorts through the mail.

4. Texture

Add a bit of luxury, mystery or even fun by using a textured card stock. If you can’t find the right textured paper, ask your printer about using a special varnish that’s more tactile.

5. Perforations

Build in a retention device with a perforated coupon, business or appointment card

6. Peel-Off

Include a peel-off reminder sticker to place on a calendar or computer monitor. Or how about a peel-off sticker that reveals a private discount?

7. Diecut

With 99.9 percent of all postcards perfect rectangles, make yours stand out by investing in a die-cut. One creative way is to write a postcard offering a free piece of pie with a “bite” cut out of it.

8. The Unexpected

How about affixing a peel-off magnet—perfect for getting your phone number on your reader’s refrigerator. Or what about a scratch-off that reveals a surprise discount for Web-only orders? Or a Post-It note with a PURL offer?

9. Picture Postcard

People love getting picture postcards from faraway places. Find an appropriate reason to send one. They look more personal—especially when you use a live postage stamp.

10. Short Copy

You’ve heard this from a copywriter: Don’t try to say too much on a postcard. Keep copy short and offer-focused.

11. Eye Flow

Use type and design to move the reader’s eye wherever you want it to go, especially your call-to-action.

12. Get Over It

Give readers a reason to turn your postcard over and read both sides. Reinforce your “get over” message with an arrow or teaser, “See back for discount.”

13. Postage

When appropriate, invest in a live stamp vs. printed indicia or metering. It’s a small detail that can make your postcard look more important and personal than others in the stack.

14. VDP

Use variable data printing (VDP) to not only personalize but also customize postcards—making them individually relevant. Consider individualizing headlines, offers, even images.

Remember, your Account Executive at Modern Litho can help with postcard design tips and provide samples that have worked for other customers. Ask them today about die cuts, scratch-offs, and even soft touch aqueous! Contact us here.

Source: Direct Marketing IQ report, “Design & Formats for Boosting Direct Mail Response.” 

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