How to Create a Postcard For Marketing

There are many services online that will allow you to create a postcard and have it printed. They usually have very low prices because they deal with large quantities. For companies trying to save money these services can be a great option, however you get what you pay for. Generally you can’t do a lot of customization. The designs available or the custom designs provided may not be what you were expecting and there generally isn’t a lot of interaction with the designers since they are an online company.

I recommend spending just a little bit more and working with a graphic designer or marketing firm. Look for samples of magazine ads or postcards that you like and have a design or look you like. Your sample doesn’t need to be from your industry find something you like and then you can have photos of your product or showing your service. Designers have access to stock photography and can find generic photos online that range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Having a good idea of what you want will be very helpful and cut down on several rounds of revisions. Designers usually charge by the hour like many professionals. So going back and forth can some times add up. Some designers charge per project and will usually let you know how many rounds of revisions are included in that price. If they don’t, make sure to ask.

Once you’ve got your postcard or direct mail piece designed you’ll need to get it printed and have it mailed. There are several different things to consider when printing a direct mail piece. When contacting a printer you will need to tell him the following:

o What size is your direct mail piece?
o If it folds, they will want to know the “flat” size before it’s folded and the size after it’s folded.
o Do you want to use 4-colors (full color) or one color? (The one color is usually black, so it will be black copy and black and white images on the white paper.)
o How many do you need? What is the quantity? Usually printers print in increments of 500 or 1000.
o How many pages? If it’s a postcard it will have two sides and each side is counted as a page.
o What type of paper? There are hundreds of brands of paper but two main types – Text and Cover.

Text is light weight and usually used for inside pages of brochures magazines, etc. Cover, is a heavier weight and like its name implies is used for covers of brochures, magazines or even postcards. Cover “stock” (to understand paper weights go to theprintguide.com/poster-printing/faq5.html) is similar to poster board. They are also going to ask you if you want matte or glossy. Glossy already has a bit of a shine or finish to it. Similar to putting on a coat of clear nail polish or a lacquer on a piece of wood furniture.

If you don’t know of a good printer in your area, you may want to get estimates from three printers. Make sure to give them all the same info so you are comparing apples to apples. Most you can call over the phone or visit their print shop in person. If you are dealing with an online printer make sure you read all the details of what you are getting.

The printer will most likely give you a “proof” sometimes when you see a design on the computer screen it will look different when printed. And your office printer may print colors slightly different than a professional printer. So you’ll want to see a “proof” of what it will look like. Plus this gives you one last chance to check that your message is correct, the spelling is right and double check the website address and phone number. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone get one digit off on a postcard or direct mailer and then all those people are calling the wrong phone number.

There are additional costs to expect besides design and printing. They include addressing and postage. Check out our other articles for details on these.

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