14 Tips for Producing Postcards with Pizzazz

The following is an excerpt from the new Direct Marketing IQ report, “Design & Formats for Boosting Direct Mail Response.”

Recently, designer Patrick Fultz and I talked about what’s working in direct mail creative, and postcards were part of this discussion. Just this past week, I received 35 postcards in my own mail.

But I wonder how many of these actually worked in achieving their marketing goals. Here’s why: 

They all looked pretty much the same—ho-hum 8.5×5.5˝ cards printed on white stock with a standard indicia. Too many of them stacked together too nicely—some even sticking together. Oops!

While postcards are faster, easier and less costly to produce than other mail formats, they can be very expensive if they don’t produce results. 

Here are 14 tips for making sure yours stand out and generate response, whether it’s a click, call or store visit.

1) Size—Mail a non-standard size that doesn’t stack nicely. Even if you have to pay a bit more in postage or printing, this could be a sound marketing investment.

2) Color—Rather than printing on white stock, how about using neon green or hot pink? Any color will stand out from the plethora of white postcards.

3) Weight—The heavier the card stock, the more important and valuable your postcard “feels” as your reader or mail screener sorts through the mail.

4) Texture—Add a bit of luxury, mystery or even fun by using a textured card stock. If you can’t find the right textured paper, ask your printer about using a special varnish that’s more tactile.

5) Perforations—Build in a retention device with a perforated coupon, business or appointment card

6) Peel-Off—Include a peel-off reminder sticker to place on a calendar or computer monitor. Or how about a peel-off sticker that reveals a private discount?

7) Diecut—With 99.9 percent of all postcards perfect rectangles, make yours stand out by investing in a die-cut. I once wrote a postcard offering a free piece of pie with a “bite” cut out of it. 

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

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  • Brooke Kubath

    The post office doesn’t make this type of creativity easy. We just tried to do a die cut post card this week and they told us that we would have to put it in an envelope.

  • BrettR

    That’s too bad about the post office not taking the die cut cards! Sounds like textures or bigger sizes are a good, safer approach. Then again, there are fun things to do with cards where you can fold and fix the flaps down and still have them be mail-able. Best, Brett at http://www.eprintonline.com/