Guide to Designing a Postcard Mailer

person holding a postcard

Last updated on March 9th, 2023 at 10:48 am

It may seem like something you wouldn’t think you need in the digital age that we are in, but physical mailing is as prevalent as ever for your small business marketing strategy. Postcard marketing, a form of direct mail, is one of the most effective ways to bring your highly targeted audience to your website. From USPS guidelines to effective design tips, here is our guide to designing a postcard mailer that will only help your marketing efforts.

Why postcard mailings?

Postcard marketing is a tried and true strategy that will result in new leads and an increase in sales. According to the 2018 Data & Marketing Association response rate report, 50.9% of direct mail recipients say they find postcards to be useful. 

  • Easy to read: postcards can be read immediately upon receiving them. Recipients don’t have to go through the process of opening an envelope and taking the contents out, instead, they can easily flip the card over and read your message as soon as they pick the card up.
  • Cost effective: sending a postcard as opposed to a letter with an envelope can often save you a significant amount of money. The more you send, the heavier your mailing weighs, resulting in an increase in mailing costs. Cut those costs by sending postcards instead.
  • Highest response rate of all marketing channels: according to the Data & Marketing Association’s 2018 Response Rate Report, direct mail incites an average response rate of 5%, while marketing channels such as email, paid search, and social media average about 1%.
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Designing postcard mailers

There are endless possibilities when it comes to designing your postcard, but ultimately, your postcard should communicate what you want your customers to do when they read your message, your call to action, and what they will get from following your call to action. 

Consider the United States Postal Service postcard specifications

First thing’s first, if you are planning to mail your postcards, you will want to keep these USPS guidelines in mind. According to the USPS, to qualify as a postcard a piece of mail must be rectangular and meet the following dimension requirements:

  • At least 3 ½” high x 5” long x 0.007” thick
  • No more than 4 ¼” high x 6” long x 0/016” thick 

It is important to note that if your piece of mail does not meet these dimension qualifications, then the United States Postal Service will consider it a letter and letter-size postage will be charged. USPS Marketing Mail offers a bit of flexibility regarding sizing. There is no lower price for postcards, so there is no need to worry about your postcard being too big as you are paying letter prices anyways. That being said, you want to ensure your postcard is no larger than 6 ⅛” x 11 ½” x ¼” thick, or else you will have to pay large envelope postage prices.

Define your call to action

Before you even begin to think about what colors, fonts and other graphics you want to incorporate, you need to figure out what the goal of your postcard is. Whatever the goal of your postcard is, whether you want the customer to call your store or visit your website, you will need to center your design around the information that will prompt someone to give you a call or visit your website. Postcards are on the smaller side with limited space, so it is best to limit your message to a single call to action.

Use your space wisely

You may have two sides for your design on a postcard, but keep in mind that some of this space will need to be reserved for required information such as the recipient’s address, your return address and postage. Given the small size that postcards tend to be and the limited space you end up with for your design, postcards are very quick for people to read. In light of this, you should make sure you keep your message short and to the point. One or two lines of text often does the trick on postcards. A large attention getting headline with a short line of text including your well-defined call to action is more than enough.

Use high-quality images

If you are incorporating images in your design, it is important to make sure all the images you use are 300 DPI. A low resolution photo can decrease the quality of your design, and ultimately decrease the quality of your message. Printing a photo at a resolution of 300 DPI will keep the pixels close enough together that everything looks sharp.

Ready to design your postcard mailers?

Download Printivity’s postcard templates before you start designing. Rounded corners, UV coating, premium linen cardstock and a variety of other options can give your postcards a standout look and feel, helping you break away from your competitors.

Printivity also offers mailing services that include address verification, addressing and sorting and paperwork delivery. Utilizing Printivity’s mailing service not only saves you money, but saves you the hassle of preparing all of your mail as well. Contact customer service for a custom mailing quote at 1-877-649-5463.

Don’t have time for to design your postcards? Printivity has you covered! We are offer graphic design services to help you get your designs ready and printed quickly!


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