How to Use Postcard Marketing for Your Small Business

Ensure effective postcard marketing campaigns by implementing these tactics and strategies regarding everything from design to mailing.

It can be difficult to come up with creative marketing tactics to break the mold and make your business stand out. Sometimes, tried-and-true is the way to go. Marketing with postcards remains one of the most popular and successful ways to build your business. According to the DMA, direct mail household response rate is 5.1%, the highest ever reported since releasing the Response Rate Report in 2003. Many businesses may think that print and “snail mail” are dead, resulting in less direct mail campaigns. Those who do continue with marketing mail have seen increased engagement as they are not being clumped with the other junk mail and tossed in the trash. Don’t be afraid to keep it old school and take your small business to the next level with postcard marketing.

Postcard marketing success

A physical piece of mail helps establish a connection with potential customers. Every time they see your postcard, they will be reminded of your company and to take an action regarding it. Even if it’s just to look your website up, this serves as a great brand awareness tool.

Learn more about building brand awareness!

Ensure effective postcard marketing campaigns by implementing these tactics and strategies regarding everything from design to mailing.

Plan your postcard marketing campaign

Two key components of an effective postcard marketing campaign are:

1. Your target customers.

Understanding your customers’ needs and motivators will you craft a call to action that will get them to take that next step and make a purchase. Depending on who you are targeting will determine how you go about getting a mailing list. Popular ways to acquire mail lists:

2. Your goals.

Establishing the goals of your marketing campaign will help measure the success of your campaign. Popular postcard goals:

  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Offer a discount
  • Attract new customers

Once you have established your goals, you can figure out how to measure their success. Popular measurement methods:

Effective postcard copywriting tips

The content of your postcard is what will encourage your audience to take action. Ensure that you craft compelling content and utilize your space wisely.

Consider the space you have available.

Postcards are not meant to be lengthy letters. If you clutter your space with too much text and design elements, you risk not being read at all. Determine what information from your offer or message needs to go on the postcard.

Ensure effective postcard marketing campaigns by implementing these tactics and strategies regarding everything from design to mailing.

Start with a question.

A great question can immediately engage your audience and encourage them to read on and learn more about you and your offer.

Emphasize your products or services.

When writing about your products or services, assume your audience doesn’t know all of the technicalities that you do. Emphasize the benefits they receive from what you offer.

Include special offers.

If someone receives a postcard with on special offer, they may not feel inclined to follow up on it. Give your recipients the motivation to take action. Instilling a sense of urgency will inspire them to act more quickly. For example, “receive a free *useful promotional item* with purchase” will not inspire someone to make a quick purchase as much as “receive a free *useful promotional item* with purchase while supplies last!”

Include a call to action.

Once you have established your special offer, you have to let your customers know how to take advantage of it. If you want your customers to visit your store, either in-store or online, be sure to include the exact address or URL. You should consider repeating your product or service benefits in the call to action.

Quadruple check the spelling.

There is nothing worse than coming across a spelling error on a professional business’s website or marketing materials. Ensure that your copy is error free by double, triple and quadruple checking. To ensure you haven’t missed anything, have another set of eyes look it over as well.

Postcard design tips

Before even reading your postcard, your recipients will notice the design. Consider these important factors to ensure your postcard doesn’t immediately end up in the junk pile.

Design with your company color(s).

Color is a key component of a brand’s identity and should be incorporated into all brand-related materials to remain consistent across the board.   

Learn more about color and branding!

Include relevant design elements.

If it is appropriate, include images on your postcard such as a picture of your products or storefront. An image helps to further establish a relationship between your business and customers.

Prominently display your logo.

Your logo serves as a visual representation of your brand’s identity. Make sure to place it in a central location to attract attention.

When in doubt, keep it simple.

Less is more. Consider what information is a priority and try to keep it to that. You don’t want to clutter your postcard with unnecessary details. Remaining easy on the eye will encourage your recipients to look at your postcard. There a few key details you want to ensure you include though, such as contact information. Your company name and relevant contact information such as an email address or phone number are crucial.

Ensure effective postcard marketing campaigns by implementing these tactics and strategies regarding everything from design to mailing.

Examples of postcard designs

Modern postcard examples

Ensure effective postcard marketing campaigns by implementing these tactics and strategies regarding everything from design to mailing.
Design by Anastasia Poner

Retro postcard examples

Ensure effective postcard marketing campaigns by implementing these tactics and strategies regarding everything from design to mailing.
Design by Ryan Brinkerhoff

Postcard fonts examples

Design by Emdash Paper Co.

Postcard dimensions

There is nothing wrong with the standard postcard size 4 in x 6 in, but a 6 in x 11 in would be much more noticeable. Instantly grab the attention of your audience by opting for a larger postcard. Keep in mind that standard postcard sizes are meant to fit in traditional mailboxes. Anything larger may need to be folded to fit.

Standard Postcard Sizes

  • 4 in x 6 in
  • 4.25 in x 6 in
  • 5 in x 7 in
  • 5.5 in x 8.5 in
  • 6 in x 9 in
  • 6 in x 11 in

Postcard stocks

Set the tone of your brand and message with the paper stock you choose. A glossy postcard is perfect for portraying top of the line brands while matte would be better for a more masculine vibe, for example, a shaving company. For a unique effect, choose a semi-gloss finish with a touch of high gloss coating.

Postcard paper stock options

  • 14 point uncoated cardstock
  • 14 point semi-gloss cardstock
  • 38 point triple-layered (red)
  • 24 point triple-layered (green)
  • 16 point cardstock with matte finish
  • 100# recycled cover with matte finish
  • 35 point triple-layered (pearl with canvas texture)

Learn more about paper stock to help you choose the best one for your project!

Let’s Talk Paper Stock | Types of Paper Explained
Paper Weight Chart | Thickness of Paper Explained

Postcard mailing tips

When designing a postcard, keep in mind the United States Postal Service’s requirements for addressing and labeling.

Requirements overview:

  • Print addresses in pen or permanent marker with proper capitalization
  • Avoid commas or periods
  • Include the four-digit number that follows a standard zip code whenever possible
  • Customer’s address should be in the center of the postcard towards the bottom
  • Company’s return address should be in the upper left-hand corner
  • Apply proper amount of postage

Helpful Resources

Small Format Sample Pack – includes postcards, door hangers, greeting cards, flyers, brochures, pens, and pencils.
Instructions on How to Create a Correct File for Postcards
Design Templates: 4.25 in x 5.5 in | 4 in x 6 in | 4 in x 9 in | 5.5 in x 8.5 in | 5 in x 7 in | 6 in x 6 in | 6 in x 9 in | 6 in x 11 in

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Featured image by: Photo by Cem-Marvin von Hagen on Unsplash
Content Specialist at

Jackie Vlahos is the Content Specialist at Printi. She is an expert in design, marketing and anything in between. When she's not blogging her life away, she can be found with a camera in one hand and a coffee in the other.

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