All About The Postcard

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Grabbing your audience's attention with a postcard may seem like a difficult task, but it's not. You may be afraid to get lost in the pile of mail your customers receive every day, but with careful planning and strategic thinking, your message will stand out.

Postcards are a staple of direct marketing because they’re economical, flexible and efficient. Thousands of businesses and service companies that sell everything from apples to Zambonis use postcards to advertise, invite, remind and offer discounts or coupons. If you’re one of those businesses, chances are your postcard mailings could be working a lot harder with a little more effort. Bluegrass processes more than 10,000,000 postcards annually and we’ve learned a lot about how you can improve the success of your direct marketing campaign.

The facts about size


When you print a larger size postcard, it won’t hide between the number ten envelopes and circulars. And the good news is, postage doesn’t increase when you’re mailing Pre-Sort Standard (formerly known as Bulk Mailing). Printing costs are only slightly higher and thanks to current printing technology, the cost will be incremental. Instead of the usual 3.5 inches by 5 inches or 4.25 inches by 6 inches, try an 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches (or a half-sheet) all the way up to 6.125 inches by 11.5 inches.


If your postcard has additional space, there are a multitude of ways to effectively use this as a marketing opportunity. You can:

  1. Convey more information
  2. Enlarge or use photos
  3. Create a hierarchy of information with bigger headlines
  4. Add a coupon

There are plenty of creative ways to draw attention to your piece as well. If full‐color isn’t in the budget, try black ink on colored paper or use color creatively on white for an affordable punch to your message and to drive results.

The not-so-fine print

Printing oversize postcards offers many benefits, but there are guidelines that must be followed in order to reap the benefits without blowing the budget. The paper has to be at least .009 inches thick, which in most cases means cover stock. Your printing company should have a chart issued by the United State Postal Service (USPS) spells out the details. When planning your project keep that in mind. If your vendor isn’t up to speed, give us a call.

Save the best part

Don’t print anything of importance within the bottom five-eighths inch of the card. The USPS may place a label with a bar code there in some instances. The address panel requires a minimum of 4 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep for addressing with a bar code that will ensure that you’re getting the best possible postage rate. It may be tempting in that wild rush of creativity to use fancy die cuts or shapes that will really make them look good, but if your postcard is not rectangular, it won’t pass automation guidelines. And there go the savings. If in doubt, your vendor should be able to provide a template.


Sawyier Phillips

July 10, 2014

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