Postcards: Before the design

Postcard Design

In today’s highly competitive market, businesses are looking for ideas to make their companies stand out in front of the competition and attract new customers. Like all marketing strategies getting your business noticed, you must make a bold statement using fresh and exciting concepts. This is why we are here to help you with your postcard design.
One of the most, if not THE MOST widely used direct mailers are postcards.
The most appealing and striking pieces are least likely to be discarded and have the greatest chance of attracting new customers.

Before The Design!

Before you start creating and making any design decisions, it is a good idea to pick the size of the mailer. A standard sized postcard in the UK is A5, this is an ideal size to pack a punch for your message or statement.

The size’s that qualify for the letter-size postal rates from royal mail are as follows:
Letter Format Dimensions permitted

Weight

  • Maximum 100g

Thickness

  • Minimum 0.25mm
  • Maximum 5mm

Longer side (length)

  • recommended minimum 140mm
  • recommended maximum 240mm

Shorter side (depth)

  • recommended minimum 90mm
  • recommended maximum 165mm

Let’s design a “SALE” postcard together.

To go deep into the design, we are assuming that you already have the finalised written content ready to go.

Start by laying out in front of you all the elements of your written content.

Firstly we are going to produce a mock furniture company which I will call ‘Furnitorium’ For the purpose of this blog.

So for example ours is:

  • November 2016 only Furniture Sale. (dates)
  • Save 25% to 40% on all designer furniture selections.
  • In-store or Online
  • Visit Our Website Today for Details and to Find Your Personal Discount Code! Use the QR Code for Quick Access.
  • Furnitorium offers a comprehensive, hand-picked collection of bespoke designer furniture from the industry’s foremost contemporary and designer labels

Let’s lay this out on paper to keep our brief and key-points in check ready for setting it to the artwork.

Headline

An excellently written postcard content with a great design can help your advertising considerably and have a growing effect on your business. Bold lettering and stunning graphics are essential for the success of your direct mail postcard campaign.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PHRASE?

‘FURNITURE SALE’ – MAKE IT THE CENTREPIECE, MAKE IT STAND OUT.

Sub-Header or Tagline

When you approve the text for your sub-header or tagline, the purpose of the sub-header/tagline is to give quick direction and information about your particular offer and/or business.
Don’t be over descriptive.

The recipient might discard your piece as fast as he or she picked it up from the pile of mail.

Use position and font for the subhead, so it compliments your headline. 
EVERY COPY NEEDS A SO-CALLED “SUB-HEADER” – A SHORT AND STRAIGHT TO THE POINT SENTENCE OR TAGLINE TO EXPLAIN YOUR BUSINESS OR OFFER. DONE.

Artwork

The recipients of a direct mail piece are a lot more likely to remember a picture on your card rather than a tagline. When designing your postcard, it is important to keep in mind that the images used should clearly portray your proposal so that recipient can effortlessly understand your message and get engaged.

Tip – SUPPORT YOUR HEAD AND SUB-HEADLINES WITH THE RIGHT ARTWORK
Colour Scheme

The best postcards designs are colourful and filled with striking graphics to engage their readers. Colours that represent a brand or a colour scheme used to convey a type of feeling can really engage readers.

In this instance we have gone with black, White, grey & a light pink to match the balloon.

Tip – USING THE RIGHT COLOURS AND COLOUR SCHEMES CAN MAKE A PROJECT SHINE, IF THE COLOUR SCHEMES DO NOT CONNECT WITH THE BRAND OR GO AGAINST THE BRAND IT COULD HAVE UNDESIRED RESULTS.

Font

CHOOSING FONTS CAN BE DIFFICULT; HAVING ‘THE RIGHT FONT’ CAN ADD TO OVERALL SUCCESS OF THE ARTWORK 

Fonts can play a significant role in getting your message across to the recipient. It is essential for your postcard design to pick a font that is bold and easy to read but i do believe creating that connection between brand and recipient is important what is it that this postcard tells them? Modern, Unique, Indepent and artsy?

Be warned that fonts that appear too cluttered might make your postcard harder to follow. Take a look at your layout from a comfortable distance so you can make sure everything is understandable and no obstacles are taking away the attention of the reader from your message. Another way to make sure your postcard is at its best and is easily readable you could ask someone else to look at it so you can get a different perspective.

Branding
You have to be certain that your Brand is recognisable on the postcard design from only one quick look. This goes back to the collective unification of both font, artwork & colour scheme are all related to the branding of that business or marketing campaign.

Front or Back of the postcard

Many people do not pay attention to both sides equally on the postcard design, My tip is that the Address side needs to condense your entire image and call to action down in an A6 format as the other half of the postcard will be taken up by recipients address, postage impression indicia, recycle logo and so forth. Let’s just remember this as call to action summary and address block. The none address side is much easier in terms of space for creativity and recipient direction.

Call To Action
Do not assume that your recipients will figure out what you want them to do, Tell your recipients what you expect them to do! This is a massive part of your postcard design.

The most popular “Call to Action” phrases are: Call today | Visit us online | Scan the code | Make it as easy as possible.
*If you are able to provide more than one way for your prospects to react to your offer, do it.

Exclusivity – Timed offer

CRITICAL COMPONENT OF THE DESIGN!

The urgency or exclusivity of the promotion or offer – our example falls into the category of “Event Promotion”, the overall message and offer are merged, it is essential to highlight on the sense of urgency: “November 2016 only!”

  • Many companies that mail postcards develop a schedule, usually a seasonal promotion to send them out routinely.
  • Some businesses promote upcoming special events or discounts.
  • Using postcards as a direct mail piece on a regular basis, gives the recipient an impression that your company stays above the surrounding competition.

Conclusion

Postcards are very useful and a valuable direct mail tool that must have a place in your marketing mix. Postcards are irreplaceable for short notices, reminders, special events and just about everything if completed correctly!

**Furnitorium is a mock company name and mock furniture company therefore all of its designs and mention within this blog post are intended for educational purposes 

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