Postcard Design 101

Take a look at our expert postcard design tips to make your hard-earned marketing dollars go as far as they can.


Postcard Design 101

A postcard is as powerful as what’s printed on it; with enticing design, the sky’s the limit. Before you mail out thousands of postcards, make sure your design is as compelling as it can be.  Check out some of our expert tips below to learn how to design postcards and make your hard-earned marketing dollars go as far as they can.

“The Medium is the Message”

You’ve probably heard this phrase before. First coined by researcher and theorist Marshall McLuhan in 1964, the phrase “The medium is the message” has become popular among communication and marketing scholars. Quite simply, it means that the way you communicate a message is just as important (or perhaps more so) than the message you’re communicating.

Choosing your medium is incredibly important when it comes to marketing. Think carefully about how to best use the medium of direct mail to promote your business. Direct mail postcards, enveloped letters and Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) campaigns are all excellent direct marketing options. Take a look at our stats and facts to consider whether postcards are the right direct marketing means for you.

Pick the Perfect Headline

Your headline should captivate your recipient right away. By catching your readers’ attention, a good headline can make the difference between your card ending up on the fridge or in the recycling. Make sure your headline is large, clearly readable, easy to understand, and that it directly relates to your brand, and your marketing message.

Graphics are Great!

Use photos and other visually appealing images to quickly give your audience an idea of what your postcard is about. Visuals (or the lack thereof) can make or break your postcard design. Make sure your graphic elements are on brand, attention-grabbing, and complement the message on your card. If your company cleans homes, consider adding a photo of an immaculate home interior. If you want to raise money for your animal-centered non-profit, perhaps a photo of a puppy would be in order. The possibilities can seem overwhelming sometimes, but don’t let that stop you from including graphics; they’re essential to your design.

Add an Exciting Offer

Depending on the goals of your campaign, you may want to add an offer to your postcard. A percent-off coupon or a price reduction for a specific item or service can make your mail recipients feel special. A promotional deal might get new customers on the phone or through your door. Here are some top tips for incorporating an offer into your postcard design:

  • You can use your offer as your headline, but you don’t have to.
  • Make sure you give enough information about your offer so that your audience understands it.
  • Don’t feel the need to place all your disclaimers on your postcard. Your goal is to get potential customers interested, not explain every last detail of your promotion. Perhaps a simple “terms and conditions may apply” will do the trick.

Call to Action

Your goal as a business goes beyond getting people to read and appreciate your postcard. That’s just the first step. In order to get your audience to take the next step, you need to make it clear what you want them to do. If you want them to call you, make that clear. I you want them to visit your website, make sure your web address is prominently placed on your card. If you want them to attend your event, be sure to feature the date and location. Use your postcard design to help your readers out, by showing them what their next step should be.

Use Postcards as Part of a Marketing Plan

There are many factors that contribute to the success of your campaign, including your mailing audience, the time of the year, which products or services you’re promoting, and more. It’s wise to make a marketing plan to continually remind readers of your brand. Often, just one postcard campaign isn’t enough. You might want to consider mailing two or three to the same group to build familiarity with your brand. Make sure your branding is consistent across campaigns. If you’ve got different color schemes for your website, postcards, and emails, it’s going to be harder for your audience to recognize your company or organization.

Experience is a Great Teacher

The best way to learn more about postcard marketing, is to try it. As you continue to regularly market your business, you’ll begin to develop a sense of what works and what doesn’t. With enough time, you’ll know which offers to make at which times of the year, and which postcard designs bring in the most customers.

Contact Excel Printing and Mailing today to get started! We can assist with your postcard design campaign as much or as little as you prefer. Pick and choose from custom graphic design services, offset printing, digital printing, mailing and more.

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