5 Ways to Reduce Postcard Printing & Mailing Costs

by Sara Duane | August 16, 2013

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Direct mail postcards are one of the most cost effective methods of connecting with customers. Surveys have shown that customers actually prefer having marketing messages mailed directly to them over other styles of advertising, like email or SMS. Custom postcard promotions place your brand in front of potential customers and keep your products and services “top of mind” for loyal clients.

postcard printing with SmartpressMarketing budgets are tight, though, especially for small businesses. Some people may be concerned about the number of paying customers or orders they will receive, relative to the cost of printing and mailing postcards – how good will the conversion rate be? However, there are some guidelines and tips that can be followed to reduce the price of postcard printing and mailing, increasing the effectiveness of your efforts and reducing the cost-per-lead.

  1. DIY – Design it yourself. The cost of designing a postcard can sometimes cost more than the printing itself. One of the most practical ways to reduce costs is to bring the design in-house. If you’ve printed postcards previously, you may already have some fine examples of postcard templates. If you don’t, there are plenty of postcard design templates, clip art and fonts available on the internet for free. These options are pretty easy to use and can be highly effective. There are also basic free design software resources available that can get the job done right with less cost.
  2. Use standard postcard shapes. The smaller and more standard the postcard, the more attractive the price will be, both for printing and mailing. Smaller postcards mean less materials and ink are used to make your project, resulting in a lower price. Conversely, large-sized postcards may cost more to make and to mail, and they may take longer to get to their destination. Non-standard postcard shapes may also be charged at a higher price to mail and require additional handling. Sticking to a standard shape, such as 4×6″, 5×7″ or 6×9″, can reduce both the price of postcard printing and the cost to mail. While the 6×9″ will cost more in materials, it will also stand out from the stack of mail it may be delivered with, increasing the likelihood that it will be noticed and reviewed.
  3. Pick practical materials. When it comes to choosing postcard printing materials, always try to use the most basic options in order to cut costs. There is no need to get fancy paper when a sturdy-but-simple paper stock will do. Choosing the basic CMYK digital print process over Pantone will result in lower prices without cutting quality. U/V coating will protect the design from being damaged by the USPS mail handling equipment. Paying for additional coatings may be worth the price to make your postcard resistant to any inclement weather or water to which it may be exposed as well.
  4. postcard addressing and mailing servicesPrint and mail in bulk. The fewer postcards you print, the higher the cost of each individual postcard. The more postcards you print, the cheaper the cost per unit. Order as many postcards as you need all at once instead of ordering in batches. You can also save money by utilizing variable data postcard mailing services. Instead of paying for shipping to have the finished postcards sent to you, and then paying even more on actually mailing the cards, online printers like Smartpress.com can print individual addresses on each postcard and mail them directly to your mailing list.
  5. Consult your printer. Your chosen online printer should be able to help you with your order and make suggestions for high-quality products at a low cost. Though online printers have automated systems that make it easy for you to place an order, they also have customer service departments that can advise you on what the best options may be. You may discover that there are extra options that can improve your postcard or perhaps make the printing process cheaper for your unique project. Additionally, you could save money with Smartpress.com by utilizing our mutliple version ordering option. If your designs have the same paper and size specs, this option is helpful for printing postcards for different audiences, multiple events, or to be sent at different times at a reduced price compared to ordering them all seperately.

Postcard printing and mailing can be an incredibly effective marketing technique, especially if you can keep costs down without sacrificing quality. Following the tips above can help you accomplish that. Then, you can use the extra money you save to increase the number of people on your mailing list and increase your return on investment, or you can invest the money in other effective marketing efforts.

Postcards aren’t the only great print marketing pieces for a direct mail campaign. Take a look at our brochure printing and booklet printing services to round out your efforts.

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