Are you looking for a postcard printing company?
Before starting your search take a look below for some valuable information to help you become a wiser consumer.
First – What is a business postcard?
A custom business postcard in most cases is used to quickly gain the attention of the reader. Other mediums offer similar advantages but the postcard is by far the easiest and most efficient. Postcards usually come in three standard sizes, 4 x 6 (standard size), 5 x 7, and 5-1/2 x 8-1/2.
Tip: Since a postcard is a smaller size they are less expensive to produce and mail. Expect to pay a little more for heavier thicker card stock. The heavier stock is more durable and will last longer. Postcard Stock FAQ.
Second – How can printing and mailing postcards help my business?
Integrating printed postcards into your marketing plan can help broaden your clientele. Here are some examples of how to include a postcard:
- Subscription or renewal cards for newsletters, magazines, and other periodicals.
- Order forms
- Survey forms
- Mini-news releases or announcements
- Products, and/or services
Custom printed postcards are used in various ways because they are more convenient to fill out and return than clip-out order forms, coupons, or other response devices.
Third – How should I design my postcard?
Before developing the design of your postcard ask yourself what is this postcard intended for? Is it an order form, mini-news release, or a general statement of my products and/or services? Create your postcard in a way that will persuade the reader to take action.
Tip: If your postcard is a form for ordering or surveying, keep it simple because too much text can be confusing which may cause the reader to lose interest.
Tip: When choosing a font make sure you use at least 10pt text. A sans-serif font (Arial, Tahoma, Verdana) is best suited for smaller type size because it has a cleaner sharper look.
Marketing research has proven that full color postcards are more effective than postcards printed in one or two colors. The visual cues in full color printing grab the attention of the reader so keep this in mind when you design.
Another consideration when designing your postcard is what type of card stock will you use: coated or uncoated. Coated card stock will convey your message on your postcard more dramatically since the stock will have a smooth glossy finish. It will also be more durable.
More tips for printing an effective Marketing Postcard
- Prepaid return postage.
- Pre-addressed return address on card or a pre-addressed envelope.
- Color. Neon-bright paper, pre-printed paper, or photo-postcards attract attention.
- Plenty of room to fill in names and addresses, and easy-to-read large type.
- Check-boxes that allow the recipient to quickly fill out order forms or surveys.
- Incentives such as free gifts or drawings for prizes to entice recipients to return surveys or other types of reply cards.
- Include your mailing address, phone number, or other alternate contact information on the card.
- Repeat any special marketing message that is found in accompanying marketing materials.
- Calls to action. Always tell the recipient what to do with the card — “Fill it out & drop it in the mail” may seem obvious, but say it anyway.
Offset Postcard Printing – Most commercial postcard printing is done on an offset printing press that utilizes a four- color process called CMYK. CMYK is an acronym that stands for Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black.These four colors can be used to create any printed color shade. Your computer monitor is calibrated in RGB (Red, Green, & Blue) light. Although, like CMYK, all colors of the visible spectrum can be produced using red, green and blue light, your monitor isn’t capable of displaying them all. It will only display a limited amount of the visible color spectrum. Due to these different color models and the wide variation in monitor technologies, the colors will be similar, but not exact. If you print a sample on your inkjet or laser color printer, there may be instances of substantial variations from the high quality produced from an offset lithographic press.
RGB vs. CMYK – RGB is a color build system used by your computer monitor to display full color. CMYK is the color space that commercial printing presses use to reproduce your printing project. RGB is Red, Green and Blue, while CMYK is Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black. The final printed project that you see on your computer screen will not necessarily be the same exact colors reproduced by a high quality offset printing press. In most cases there won’t be a big difference, but there are some colors produced by an RGB monitor that cannot be reproduced via CMYK on a press. Special thanks to Postcard-Printing-Tips.com for the RGB vs CMYK color printing information above.
Spot Colors – Spot colors are used most frequently for one and two color jobs and when an exact color needs to be produced every time. Logos are perfect examples for spot colors. The Pantone PMS color matching system is most frequently used for selection and printing of spot colors. For example, if your logo needs a distinctive blue, tell your commercial printer your Pantone PMS color choice. This number will then be matched on the press to deliver the exact result you need. Special thanks to Postcard-Printing-Tips.com for the spot color printing information above.
Pantone Matching System (PMS) – A popular color matching system used by the printing industry to print spot colors. Most applications that support color printing allow you to specify colors by indicating the Pantone name or number. This assures that you get the right color when the file is printed, even though the color may not look right when displayed on your monitor. PMS works well for spot colors but not for process colors, which are generally specified using the CMYK color model.
Short-Run and Digital Postcard Printing
Modern digital-to-plate technology, digital presses and state-of-the-art laser printers have made it possible to produce small quantities of high-quality color products at prices everyone can afford. Companies are now offering smaller quantities for business cards and postcards by building an automated work flow. This technology allows setup charges to be the lowest in history.
Protecting your Postcard – Printed postcards are often coated to enhance and protect the ink and card stock as it travels through the mail. Take a look below for the most popular finishes.
- Aqueous coating – A fast-drying, water-based, protective coating which is applied while the paper stock is on the press. Cheapest type of coating.
- UV coating – A liquid gloss plastic finish applied after printing.
- Film lamination – A process of applying a plastic film on the postcards
Postcard Printing in a nutshell – Custom printed postcards are the fastest, easiest, and most economical way to dramatically increase your sales and profits. A custom printed postcard can increase response to your sales message and provide brand name recognition your company needs. Make it easy for your prospective client to buy your product or service; all the while making your advertising dollars stretch further with your own custom printed postcard.
Postcard Printing FAQ
- What is card stock, how is the thickness or weight determined?
- What are the most common card stocks used in postcards?