It’s no secret that postcard marketing remains one of the most powerful tools in small businesses’ marketing arsenal, which means as a graphic designer you probably design a lot of great-looking postcards. But beauty isn’t the only hallmark of a great direct mail marketing piece; in fact, when it comes to postcard marketing the aesthetics of your design are secondary to the message. When form and function are melded into one cohesive postcard, you have a powerful marketing tool that’s sure to increase ROI for your clients and earn repeat business for you. The following 10 postcard design tips will help you design postcards that look beautiful and also market beautifully.
1. Highlight the offer and benefits
I see many postcards that waste good real estate on a meaningless headline. Your design should feature the offer and benefits, front and center, if you want customers to take notice and respond.
This postcard was intended to highlight a b2b promotional offer for dental restorations.
2. Design on the back
Most postcards are delivered address-side-up, since that’s what the postal carrier looks at. Start marketing on the back by crafting a compelling design that motivates customers to turn your postcard over.
3. Command attention
An attention-getting design will get your copy read, so your first job as a postcard designer is to make sure your postcard design gets noticed. There are several techniques you can employ to that end, including bold, contrasting colors, humorous or offbeat images, or an extra-large headline.
4. White space, baby!
You know white space is important, but oftentimes clients will want to cram as much information as they can onto a postcard. Help them resist the urge to do so by explaining that they need a clean, easy-to-read message that motivates a singular action. Incorporate plenty of white space so each postcard element is easy to notice and read.
Torguga postcard incorporates plenty of white space. Clean, classic, simple.
5. Keep it simple
Only include graphics and copy that help your postcard design motivate action. If it doesn’t play a role in achieving the desired response, pitch it – even if it means sacrificing some of your best work.
6. Go big
One surefire way to get noticed at the mailbox is to print an oversize postcard, such as 6 by 11 inches.
7. Include a perforated coupon or sticker
Let customers interact with your postcard by including a perforated coupon, VIP pass, voucher, or even a sticker they can peel off and affix elsewhere. Doing so keeps customers involved, as they can’t resist the urge to play with the postcard. Do this even if your postcard’s purpose is to drive online traffic. You might, for example, include a perforated coupon or access code.
8. Portray benefits
Don’t simply rely on a bulleted list to demonstrate the benefits of taking the desired action. Show customers the benefits by portraying someone who meets their demographic enjoying those benefits, right on the postcard.
Personalize your postcard design as much as possible. If your client isn’t going to use variable data, you can still personalize your postcard by taking advantage of known customer demographics. For example, you can lead off with a headline that states something such as, “Save 20% on nutritional meals for your dog!” The operative word here is “your,” which implies that the sender knows the recipient is a dog lover who owns a dog.
10. Highlight the call to action
Don’t force customers to search for the next step so they can respond. Highlight the call to action so they can quickly and easily pick up the phone, go online, or visit a storefront to take advantage of the special offer.
The next time you design a postcard, refer to these tips and incorporate them into your design. Assuming the postcard is sent to a highly targeted mailing list, your client’s return on investment will increase because you designed their postcard with the end goal in mind: sales.
Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint and Facebook.