Sending out postcards is one of the most economical, easy and effective ways to advertise your business. Whether you want to market a specific event, share good news or even just remind your customers about your everyday deals, postcards can be easily created and distributed. Postage stamps are less expensive for postcard mailings, and since envelopes are not necessary, that is another expense that is eliminated. All you need is quality postcards and you are ready to mail.
But the question remains: Do you have to sacrifice quality in order to keep your postcards affordable? Fortunately, the answer is “no.” Affordable postcards don’t have to look cheap. Choosing glossy finish, bold graphic fonts in black and white and standard paper stock can help your postcards look great. Here are a few ways to make your postcard budget work for your company.
Professional versus DIY
One of the simplest ways to find quality postcards at an affordable price is to work with a professional printing company. Trying to print postcards in-house and on your own machines will end up costing you more in the end. Between buying paper, supplying ink and having an employee (or even yourself) devote time to printing postcards, you will end up with a lot of waste – a waste of money on supplies, and a waste of time that could have been spent focusing on other day to day business tasks. And unfortunately, “at-home printing” often looks cheap when compared to professionally printed products, no matter how advanced the technology is on your desktop printer.
TIP: Make sure that your postcards are designed using a blank template. This allows the company to correctly print copies of your quality postcards. For non-designers, download a Microsoft Word postcard template so you can edit the text and images directly using the word processor.
Printing in Bulk
Once you find the professional printing company you are going to be working with, you will often find that printing in bulk is where you get the most bang for your buck. As the amount of items printed increases, the price per unit decreases. With this in mind, you may choose to print a postcard design that is more generic and can be used for different purposes throughout the year. Some companies even choose to print stickers with more specific dates that they can affix to their general postcard design. If you are having an event or sale that recurs throughout the year, that may be an option for you.
Glossy versus Matte
If you are planning on using any type of graphics or photos, choosing a glossy finish for your postcards is going to keep them looking high quality. This is usually a nominal extra expense, but well worth it. Not only will graphics pop and look sharper, but you are also protecting your postcards from the elements. Mail is delivered through “rain, sleet and snow,” and weather can destroy your postcards before they even get to their recipients if they are not properly finished.
Choosing between color printing and black and white printing may be another financial hurdle for your company. You may feel that color is too expensive, but you don’t want your postcards to look cheaply made. You can counter that perception by choosing bold graphics and fonts that look appealing in black and white. This takes a little more creativity, and you may find that working with the graphic design team on staff at your printing company is a good way to make this bold option work.
Choosing the Right Paper Stock
Finally, standard paper stock is nothing to smirk at; the standard is standard for a reason, and it is not going to diminish the quality. How you plan to distribute your postcards may be the deciding factor for the paper stock you end up choosing. Talk with your printer to see what they think will work best for you within your budget.