Tips for Cutting Costs with Direct Mail Postcard Printing

Direct mail postcards are still one of the most cost effective methods of connecting with customers in a local geographic area. With even a small list of client names and addresses, you can send tailored postcards and keep your brand in front of potential customers.

But even with the relatively low price for postcard printing and mailing, there are still some great ways to cut costs. The most important step in reducing the cost is a little planning – choosing the right marketing message and target audience will mean your postcards get a greater response rate. With that in mind, here are some practical tips for cutting costs on direct mail postcards.

Avoid expensive designs

Instead of hiring a professional designer, create your own postcards. One option is to use pre-designed postcard templates that you can customize using your software program of choice, such as those found Or some online printing companies provide both blank or pre-designed templates, such as these free postcard designs from Hint: Just be sure to print with a professional rather than on your home or office printer. You will get much better results and, if you choose the right online printer, much more bang for your buck.

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Use standard postcard shapes

Another point to consider is that the post office may charge you more for non-standard shapes, such as a large format or rounded postcard. Often, there is a chance your odd-shaped postcards can cause their sorting machines to jam, meaning they have to use manual labor to sort the cards. Better to stick with standard shapes, such as 4×6″, and get the reduced cost.

Print and mail in bulk

When you print just a few postcards at a time, you are spending a much higher cost per postcard. Order as many postcards as you need all at once; keep in mind that the more you print, the less your cost per piece is – as long as your printer uses the offset printing method and not digital printing. Printing in bulk via offset printing basically means that the printer only has to create one “master version” (or printing plate in printer’s terms) of your order, no matter how many postcards you’ve requested.

Some companies will print and mail as part of a combined service. This can save you considerably just in shipping costs since you don’t need to have the postcards shipped to you just to turn around and mail them out to individuals. The time savings for you compared to the automated services provided by these printing firms can be significant as well.

Use both sides

It may seem counter-intuitive, but printing on both sides of the postcards gives you a lot more room for valuable content. A higher response rate results in a lower cost per sale. Use the front of the card to get attention and the back of the postcards for details and a call to action. Beside, a single-sided postcard just looks cheap and you don’t want to give potential customers this impression.

Postcards are an inexpensive way to connect with customers, but these cost saving tips can make direct mail postcards even more practical for you. Just don’t forget to carefully select your target audience and carefully craft a message specifically for this group. This will result in a higher response rate and, therefore, a better cost per mailer.

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 2

  • The downside of most of these suggestions is that they will decrease the effectiveness of your campaign. So it might cost a little less but the overall ROI is probably going to less as well. It’s all about standing out, cutting through the marketing clutter and noise, grabbing the readers attention, etc. Unfortunately, utilizing Inexpensive design, standard shapes, print in bulk (probably not personalized) are tactics that will have the opposite effect.

    • You are right – the more unique you can be, the more likely you are to stand out. However, some businesses have to weigh cost versus results. I believe that with the perfect offer targeted to the perfect market, you don’t always need to have all of the bells and whistles. I would much rather spend money researching my ideal customer and their needs and then purchasing a highly targeted mailing list than to spend too much on the other stuff. And you can still produce a very professional and snazzy postcard without spending too much money. :)

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