Direct Mail is a form of marketing almost everyone can identify. We all get postcards, fliers and brochures advertising anything from pest control to tooth whitening. Many marketing gurus know the basics of Direct Mail success in terms of strategy, and many designers know how to make the art pop, but how many of these experts know the key to printing beautiful pieces?
Gaining Weight is Good
Let’s focus on postcards. There is a wide array of paper weights and finishes which contribute to the actual feel of a postcard. The first thing to consider is the paper weight being used. Nobody likes picking up a flimsy card that has been all but shredded during its mailing; you want a postcard to feel like it’s worth holding onto. If the paper is too thin, it is more likely to be thrown out because it feels like a throw away piece. We suggest using a 12 pt paper.
Follow Through to the Finish
Then there are finishes to be considered. Many people assume a glossy finish or a lamination will be more expensive and, therefore, more effective. While this may be true in some cases, it is easy to go overboard and have the gloss be too smooth and too shiny, ultimately causing the piece to be disregarded. We want to make sure your postcard looks professional, not like something more suited for a club promoter with a street team. Dull finished stock is a great use of a coated stock, so you get a smooth paper feel without over doing the glossy effect.
The next thing to take into consideration is size and shape. Traditionally, 4”x6” or 5”x7” sizes are the standard. Going much larger will result in postage rates rising, so it is suggested to stay within this size range. Die cutting the piece into a special shape is another great way to give your postcard value, but depending on the shape, can also change the mail rate as special shapes can not always go through the automated processors.
If you keep these few tips to a great postcard in mind in conjunction with a basic know-how of direct mail marketing and design graphics, there is no reason your direct mail marketing campaign can not be successful. As always, feel free to discuss your paper stock option and your specific project with your local printer.