How to Send a Postcard: A Helpful Step-by-Step Guide

Postcards spread out on a flat surface

Sending postcards is a classic way to connect with loved ones, advertise business offerings, or make announcements. As a result, whether you’re a business advertising services and products or an individual who simply wants to send a heartfelt message, knowing how to send a postcard correctly ensures it reaches its destination in style. Of course, it’s also important to know where to put a stamp on a postcard so that the post office can properly deliver the message. 

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In this guide, brought to you by Printivity, a leading provider of online custom printing services, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step, tell you how to fill out a postcard to mail, and answer “How do postcards work?” But first, let’s take a closer look at postcards.

What is a Postcard? 

A postcard is a rectangular piece of cardstock or thick paper designed to send short messages through postal mail. It typically measures around 4 inches by 6 inches (10 cm by 15 cm) or 5 inches by 7 inches (13 cm by 18 cm) and features a blank space on one side for writing a message and the recipient’s address. The other side often contains a printed image or photograph and space for the sender to affix a stamp and write their return address.

Postcards are commonly used to send greetings, share travel experiences, or simply stay in touch with friends and family. They’re also affordable ways for businesses to market their offerings. This is because they offer a quick and visual way to send a message, as the sender can choose an image that represents their location, event, or sentiment. Postcards are lightweight, affordable to send, and are considered a charming and tangible form of communication in the digital age.

Hand holding an array of  colorful post cards

How Do Postcards Work?

Postcards go through a series of steps within the mail process to reach their intended recipients. Here’s a breakdown of how the mail process typically works for postcards:


Once you have written your message, addressed the postcard, and attached the necessary postage (stamp), you can drop it off at a post office or place it in a mailbox designated for outgoing mail. 


Postal workers regularly collect mail from post offices and mailboxes. During their rounds, they pick up the postcards and other outgoing mail to be processed.


After collection, the postcards are transported to a sorting facility or a central post office. Here, the mail is sorted based on various factors, including the destination address, postal codes, and other sorting criteria.


As part of the sorting process, the stamp on each postcard is canceled. This cancellation marks the stamp as used and prevents it from being reused. It also helps with the efficient processing and tracking of the mail.


Once the postcards are sorted and canceled, they are assigned to specific routes or transportation methods based on their destinations. They may be loaded onto trucks, planes, or other transportation modes for efficient delivery to the appropriate regional or local post offices.

Local Delivery

At the destination post office, the postcards are further sorted based on their final addresses. Postal workers at the local post office handle this sorting, ensuring that each postcard is prepared for delivery to the recipient.


Postal carriers or letter carriers then undertake the final step of delivering the postcards to the recipients’ addresses. They follow their designated routes and deliver the mail to the correct mailboxes or the recipients’ homes or businesses.

It’s important to note that the time it takes for a postcard to reach its destination can vary depending on various factors, such as the distance between the sender and recipient, the efficiency of the postal service, and any potential delays during transit.

A postcard held up infront of the destination that is pictured on it

How to Send a Postcard: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Choosing the Right Postcard

Before you can send a postcard, you need to select the perfect design. At Printivity, we offer a wide range of customizable postcard templates to suit any occasion. You can also upload your own design for a personalized touch.

Step 2: Writing Your Message

Once you’ve chosen your postcard, it’s time to compose your message. When thinking about how to fill out a postcard, keep in mind that postcards have limited space. You’ll need to be concise and focus on the most important details. Write your message on the backside of the postcard, leaving enough room for the recipient’s address.

Step 3: Addressing the Postcard

On the backside of the postcard, you’ll find designated spaces for the recipient’s address and your return address. Write the recipient’s address on the right side, ensuring it is legible and complete. Your return address should be written on the left side.

Step 4: Adding a Stamp

Do you need a stamp for a postcard? Yes, to ensure your postcard reaches its destination, you’ll need a stamp. But where does the stamp go on a postcard? Add a stamp to the top right corner of the backside of the postcard. It’s important to note that postcard stamps have specific dimensions, so be sure the stamp on your postcard is the correct postage amount. At Printivity, we can assist you in determining the correct postage for your postcard.

Step 5: Dropping Off Your Postcard

Once your postcard is ready, it’s time to send it on its way. Visit your nearest post office or mailbox and drop your postcard into the designated slot. 

Tips for Sending a Postcard

Here are some additional tips to enhance your postcard-sending experience:

  1. Choose a Durable Postcard

Opt for postcards made from sturdy materials to ensure they withstand the mailing process and arrive in good condition. Selecting a thicker stock or adding a protective coating can help preserve the postcard’s quality.

  1. Consider Postcard Size

Before designing or purchasing postcards, familiarize yourself with the standard postcard size regulations in your country. Adhering to these guidelines ensures that postal services will process your postcard smoothly.

  1. Personalize Your Message

Make your postcard even more special by adding a personal touch to your message. Share unique experiences, inside jokes, or memories that will resonate with the recipient and make them feel truly cherished.

  1. Include Local Culture or Landmarks

If you’re sending a postcard from a different location, consider featuring local landmarks or cultural elements on the front of the postcard. This adds visual interest and allows the recipient to experience a taste of your travels.

  1. Double-Check Addresses

Before sending out your postcard, verify that the recipient’s address is accurate and complete. Small errors can lead to delays or even misdelivery. Taking a moment to double-check ensures a smooth delivery process.

  1. Use Waterproof Ink

To protect your message from potential water damage during transit, use waterproof ink when writing on the postcard. This precaution ensures that your heartfelt words remain legible and intact upon arrival.

  1. Add Decorative Stickers or Seals

Enhance the visual appeal of your postcard by embellishing it with decorative stickers or seals. These small accents can make your postcard stand out and add a touch of creativity.

Printivity Knows Postcards

Sending a postcard is a delightful way to brighten someone’s day and a perfect opportunity to connect with new and existing customers of your business. 

By following these simple steps, you can confidently send your postcard, knowing it will reach its destination promptly. First, choose the perfect postcard that suits the recipient’s personality and preferences. You can also add a personal message to make it more special and unique.

After that, let Printivity take care of the rest! Our experts will ensure your postcard is printed with the highest quality standards. We will also help you with addressing and postage guidance, so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

In the end, you’ll receive a fully customized postcard ready to be sent to your loved ones or potential customers, and we’re here to help you every step of the way. Remember, at Printivity, we’re dedicated to making your postcard experience seamless and memorable!

Start creating your personalized postcard today, and let your words travel the world.

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