Postcard Printing 101
Whether you're seeking new customers, launching a new product or service or want to barrage your target audience for branding purposes, you can't beat postcard printing for economy and style. Postcards are the least expensive way to get the word out and can incorporate striking design and persuasive copy guaranteed to get a second look. Top those elements off with professional printing and distribution and you'll have a return on investment-enhancing promo piece sure to put dollars in your pocket.
For the uninitiated, here's your introduction to Postcard Printing 101:
Nobody wants to send out a bland or ugly postcard, so make sure your computer screen and design programs are calibrated to correctly display colors. You should also invest in a quality printed color swatch chart to ensure you know what specific CMYK values will look like on paper. Also, check with your printer for advice on how to best match your system to theirs so you won't have to change your files drastically after seeing your hardcopy proof.
Size and shape
How big of an impact will your postcard have? This is directly related to the size of your postcard, so opt for something big and bold. Most companies stick with a 4-inch by 6-inch postcard, but you're sure to grab attention by upgrading to a 6-inch by 11-inch. Before you design your postcard, see if your postcard printer has postcard templates, so you can keep your graphics and text from being cut off and your backgrounds extending all the way to the bleed edge. Some online printers such PsPrint offer pre-formatted postcard templates online complete with instructions to make the process quick and easy.
Go with a sturdy, professional grade paper like 13-point recycled matte or 16-point gloss for your postcard printing. These papers offer a great mix of stability and style — anything less and your postcard (and business) will appear flimsy, while anything more is overkill and decidedly uneconomical. Moreover, recycled matte postcards not only look great, they're also an economical way to help save the environment. You might also want to consider an aqueous coating to add a nice sheen to your postcard and help it resist the rigorous wear and team of traveling through the postal system. Remember, you want to look your best when your prospects see your postcard!
Short-run postcard printing
If you have a small client base or if you want to make a special offer to a select group of clients (such as when upselling customers who previously made a particular purchase), you can take advantage of short-run postcard printing. Some printers offer short-run postcard printing, and PsPrint will even print as few as 50 postcards for your exclusive promotions.
If you're going to be bulk mailing your postcard, consider having your printer do it for you. Many printers such as PsPrint offer bulk mailing services and you can save money by having them print your postcards and mail them, too. You'll also need to know where to place your indicia and address information so there are no design conflicts.
If your postcard includes coupons or other tear-aways, consider having your printer make perforations in your postcard. You wouldn't want your customers to rip their coupons and decide not to come in for the big purchase. Finally, make sure you order enough postcards to blanket your target market in both printing and mailing, because the more you do, the more you save. The cost to put your advertisement in the hands of qualified prospects decreases as the quantity increases, so make sure you carefully analyze what will be the most economical long-term solution for your company.
Postcards aren't just cheap — they're highly effective, because your prospects don't have to open anything to see your message. Plan your postcard printing right from the get-go, and you'll be primed to sell with professional quality postcards.