Whoever thought you could do so much with a simple postcard? Nowadays the options for postcard mailers have grown by leaps and bounds.
But more options means more planning on your part. If you want your postcard mailings to make a huge impression and really get noticed, you need to explore all the possibilities that are now available to you.
There are several factors to think about before you mail your postcard:
There may still be times when you’d use the old 3-1/2 x 5 and 4 x 6 postcard options. But if you’re trying to get people to notice you, you can send something much bigger.
According to USPS regulations, to pay the standard postcard postal rate, your card must be a minimum of 3-1/2 x 5, to a maximum of 4-1/4 x 6. If you want to send something larger, and you are willing to pay the extra postage, you can mail a postcard that is 11.5 x 14.
The extra cost might be worth it. The only way to know is to test and see if you get a big response … a big enough response to offset the high postage cost.
You may not be aware of it, but today you are not limited to mailing a card with squared off corners. You can mail a card of any shape. A whole new kind of postcard is cropping up that is die cut to be round, oval, butterfly-shape, anything – anything you want.
Postage on these shapes will be higher than on standard postcards because the Post Office can’t automate the sorting process on them. But they can bring a fantastic response.
You shouldn’t necessarily let a higher price limit your options. Let’s do the math.
If you mail 5,000 6 x 9 postcards, and pay 43 cents each for presorted first class postage, the total investment in postage is $2,150. If you receive a 1% return, you would yield 50 responses. If each response brings you $175, either immediately or as lifetime value, you’ll make $8,750 from the entire campaign. Subtracting postage costs that leaves you $6,600 (you’d still need to take out the cost for printing and list rental).
By contrast, if you mail 5,000 die-cut pieces that cost about 90 cents each to mail, you will spend $4,500 for postage. But die-cut pieces can also get you a 3% return, which would yield 150 responses. If each response brings you $175, you’ll make $26,250 from the campaign. Subtracting postage costs, you’ll $21,750 (the printing and list cost will need to be taking out too). That’s more than three times as much money in your pocket!
Another area where there are exciting new developments has to do with the material out of which your cards are fabricated. You’re not limited to heavy paper anymore. Your cards can be made out of plastic, or they can be metal-coated. These can really make a big impression on prospects.
And you can add attachments to cards. I receive cards from a local car dealer who attaches a car key, and invites me to come to the showroom. If my key starts the car on their lot – I get to keep the car! That’s a big attention getter, and with a high ticket item like a car, it’s worth it to spend a little more on the sales piece.
Variable Data Printing
Oversize cards and special materials may be outside the budget limits of some businesses, but just about everyone can benefit from a process called Variable Data Printing. This is a form of digital printing that allows you to personalize mailings by printing people’s names or other text on each piece, or changing out photos or graphics. This allows you to present a very targeted, individualized message even though you’re doing a mass mailing.
This doesn’t cost that much more than standard printing and it can have a powerful impact.
One word of caution: You don’t want any nasty surprises at the Post Office – especially not on the day you’re sending out your mail! Discuss your plans with your Post Office Representative from the early stages of your project and provide a mock-up of the piece BEFORE you print it. Also, find out exactly what it will cost you to mail. Get approval and get the facts.