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So, you've designed the perfect postcard and had it printed, and you're proud of this sure-fire direct-mail marketing piece with an incredible offer aimed at a well-targeted mailing list. You're ready to make sales ... but the sales do not come. When you speak to your dummy list members, you find out that your postcards were torn, or scratched, or basically looked rather unappealing when they arrived. You wasted your investment – how did this happen, and how can you make postcards survive the trip to your customers?
Pick with a thick paper stock
First of all, don't blame your postal service or mail carrier. They are professionals who handle millions, maybe billions, of pieces of mail every day. And don't blame your printing company or mailing house – they would never send out postcards that looked ruined. You can blame yourself, especially if you elected to print postcards on flimsy paper in an effort to save a few – and undoubtedly minimal – bucks.
Postcards see their share of handling via the postal service, but that should not be enough to ruin them. Still, even a few minor scratches or a torn corner can be unsettling and lend a decidedly unprofessional look to your business – resulting in plenty of File 13s and zero sales. If you don't want this to happen to you, you need to print postcards that can stand up to the minor wear and tear of direct mail. Start by printing postcards on thick paper stock such as heavy-duty 16-point gloss or 13-point recycled matte. These stocks are thick enough to withstand the bending and tearing forces of mail machines.
Get a UV coating
To give your postcards an even more robust advantage over the competition, consider UV coating for your postcards. A thick, durable UV coating is made out of mineral or synthetic compounds that instantly dry under ultraviolet light; creating a hard barrier between your postcard paper and the forces around it. A UV coating on a postcard printed on 13- or 16-point cover stock practically guarantees that your postcard will arrive tear-free, bend-free and scratch-free. And durability isn't the only benefit to UV coating postcards.
A glossy UV coating actually enhances your design so you can look bright and fresh when your prospects bring the mail in. This means your postcards will arrive as though they just came off the press, they will feel smooth and strong in your customers' hands, and they will lend an impression of stability and cutting-edge concepts about your company. Such ideals brand your company and help your prospects feel comfortable doing business with you. They feel that only highly successful companies can afford such premium printing (although in reality UV coating postcards is incredibly cheap), and they believe that highly successful companies must have a great track record of highly satisfied customers. They trust that you can deliver on your promises. In short, UV coating postcards can help you land sales – they work together with your design and distribution strategy to boost your return on investment.