Postcards, the best option for your business is to find a company that provides bulk mail services. Using bulk mail will greatly reduce your postage rate while ensuring fast and reliable delivery service. Postcards sent using bulk mail do not have stamps affixed to them; rather, they use an indicia — the square box on the upper right hand corner where the stamp would otherwise be placed. Most indicia follow a very standard format as stipulated by the United States Post Office; however, many companies design their own indicia to add a personal touch and congruent feel to their direct-mail postcard marketing campaigns. Keep in mind that this technique should only be employed by advanced direct-mail marketers who send multiple promotions annually; otherwise, the additional fees associated with a unique indicia make creating one cost-prohibitive.
The following are guidelines to creating a unique indicia for your postcard mailer:
It’s a good idea to consult with the U.S. Post Office before designing your unique postcard indicia to ensure that you meet all of the guidelines. Companies such as PsPrint have expert experience in bulk mailings and can offer sound advice to ensure your bulk postcard mailings — and your entire direct-mail marketing campaigns — go off without a hitch; however, these companies often use their own indicia to quickly and cost effectively execute your mailing for you. Therefore, there is a little extra work involved on your end if you create a custom indicia, though there is an alternative: Rather than designing a completely custom indicia, you could work within the postal regulations to add some spice to PsPrint’s standard indicia. In this manner, PsPrint could mail your direct-mail postcards, because you would still be using their permit number; and you would be able to add some spice to make it more interesting for your prospects.
Guidelines for unique indicia
When preparing your personalized postage, there are several specific guidelines you must follow:
The postage must indicate whether it is first-class or priority mail; list the sender’s city and state; and include the permit number that indicates permission to send bulk mail. This information must be displayed in a minimum four-point font.
The postage imprint must follow certain explicit rules for size and placement. The indicia must be placed in a clear area that is free from any other text, graphics or markings. The actual size of the indicia must be a minimum of one-half inch high by one-half inch wide. It must be placed no more than 1.5 inches below, or to the left of, the upper right hand corner of your postcard.
There must be no print copy above or to the right of the indicia, unless that space is required to display the permit information.
Any graphic, logo or other image used in the indicia must be displayed either below or to the left of the permit information, unless the graphic is used to display the permit information. The image cannot extend farther than 4.5 inches to the left of the right edge of the postcard, or more than 1.5 inches below the top edge of the card.
Any design used must not resemble or mimic any official logo, text, meter imprint, icon or symbol used or designed by the United States Post Office.
The USPS allows you to have your indicia printed on an address label that can be affixed to your postcards. Any printed label is required to be rectangular, and all accompanying text must be large enough to be legible. The indicia should be located on the upper right hand corner of the address label, and clearly separated from the actual address text.
A unique indicia adds a touch of professionalism and can personalize your postcard direct mailers. Try to be creative and include your company logo, a graphic or other design within your postcard’s indicia. While creating a unique indicia for your postcard mailer might not increase your response rate, it can speak volumes for a graphic designer’s skill and knowledge and result in additional business.