Although your small business’s postcard campaign is designed for a commercial purpose (to increase engagement and sales), the project is largely artistic, and thus, more difficult to execute successfully. What makes a postcard design effective? Is it an appealing image? Interactive features like Twitter accounts and QR codes? Or what about engaging text? Read on for answers to all your questions about postcard design and printing features.
How big should my postcards be?
Designer Jeff Szuc says that a standard postcard is 4-by-6-inch cards. However, most companies choose irregular proportions to deviate from the standard, choosing instead to go for 3.75-by-5 or 4-by-5.5. Your size choice will depend largely on the design and purpose of the postcard in question, but generally speaking, you don’t want to go over 6-by-9 for a standard announcement. Make sure to choose your print size before you design to save yourself the headache of trying to make your image fit.
Can I afford color printing?
Small businesses are on a budget, so naturally, expense is a big factor when organizing your postcard campaign. Color printing is always going to be more expensive than black and white, but you can help curb expenses by choosing less busy designs or front-only color. Companies like Printing for Less offer excellent rates for small businesses, with free templates for online designing. Printing expert David Reimherr also has some helpful tips for cutting printing costs, such as printing in a cost-effective size (4-by-6, 5.5-by-8.5, 6-by-9) and using 10 pt. paper.
Is it time to go high-tech?
From social media marketing to Yelp reviews, small businesses are quickly catching on to digital trends. A study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project revealed that more than half (61 percent) of Americans own a smartphone. QR codes add convenience to your campaign and help you bring your business into the 21st century. Connect your code with a specific promotion or added incentive to encourage customer engagement. For example: “Scan this code for 15 percent off your next order!”
What about postcard design for employees?
The kind of tone you’ll want to aim for in your marketing campaign will depend largely on the product or service your business offers. But for communication within your business, you should always keep it professional. This means implementing simplified designs and readable text. However, you can customize your postcards to reflect the theme of a certain department or the nature of the announcement. For example, if your announcement is about going green in the office, your postcard can reflect this theme with a leafy border and forest green text on a cream background.
How much can I write?
Brevity is key for professional postcards. After all, your postcard may only receive a glance or two by its receiver. Avoid complicated jargon, cryptic catch phrases, or anything resembling a list. Stick with short sentences, plain language, and bullet points to make your postcard concise and clear. Remember that a picture says a thousand words, so if you ever feel like your design is too text-heavy, add in a captivating picture to get your message across visually.