This size has a particular advantage—it can be mailed at the card rate. This is a subclass of First Class mail and has two advantages over Standard Mail: delivery priority and address services. Delivery priority means it will be processed ahead of standard and package mail. Address services means that if the mail piece is not deliverable as addressed, the mailer will be notified of the reason for non-delivery or will be provided with an updated address (as long as there is a return address on the mail piece).
The card has one other advantage—the postage rate is lower than for Standard Mail, except saturation mailings such as Every Door Direct Mail.
When designing the postcard, consider what the viewer will see first. This is usually the side of the postcard that has the mail panel, so design this carefully. The goal is to immediately attract attention and stimulate interest—the first two steps of AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action). Include the QR code on this side, and make the design on this side as appealing as the reverse.
For any postcard, the address panel does not have to take up the entire right half of the card. For USPS specifications for the address panel, visit Postal Explorer at http://pe.usps.com.
The Importance of Repetition
The most effective direct mail marketing campaigns are repetitious. That is, they consist of more than one mailing and are spread over regular intervals such as monthly or quarterly. A mail piece generates a higher cumulative response rate when mailed three times to the same list rather than once to a larger list. This is because each subsequent mailing increases the likelihood that someone on the mailing list will be interested in your product or service or will notice the mail piece.
An interesting fact of human nature is that someone can receive the same mail piece up to seven times before they recall having seen it before. Make this fact work for your customers by using the same design for the entire campaign.
Nancy DeDiemar is the president of Printing Resources of Southern California, a quick print shop in Upland, CA, offering printing, copying, electronic prepress, and mailing services. Nancy is the co-publisher of Printips (www.printips.com), a newsletter subscription service for printers. Contact her at Nancy@printingresources.com.