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Does Size Really Matter? Choosing between a 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 card


Postcards – even a modest marketing budget can make use of them, but there are so many different postcard sizes, how do you choose? Let’s consider the two most popular sizes – the 4×6 and the 5×7.

50s-graphic-design-postcardWhen Graphics Count . . . use 4×6!

  • Space
    To visualize a 4×6 postcard picture a typical travel postcard – these are often 4 x 6. This means there is room for a great graphic, a few lines of promotional copy and the address.
  • 4×6 Marketing Thoughts
    This is a good size for special events, invitations, and promotions. Keep in mind that people typically use the 4×6 in landscape format so you might want to use yours as a 6×4 (portrait) to be a little different so you stand out more. And if you really want a distinctive look that jumps out from the junk mail crowd you might consider a 4×6 with a die-cut shape. These are still mail-able and you can even design your own perforated shape.
  • Mailing Cost – affordable!
    A 4 x 6 postcard qualifies for presorted first class mailing. To mail 100 it will cost you $27.00 (in Dec. 2008).
  • Printing Cost
    You can have 100 printed for $17.95 or 1000 printed for $34.95 (at Next Day Flyers). This means you can print and mail 4×6 postcards to 100 potential customers for $44.95.


When copy is King . . . use 5×7!

  • Space
    The additional space is the primary reason to use the 5×7. A 5×7 postcard gives you about 45% more space than the 4×6. This means you can put 9 lines of text on a 5×7 card, 3 more lines than if you were using a 4×6 – and still have plenty of white space.
  • 5×7 Marketing Thoughts
    In general the 5×7 postcards are a better size for promotions than the 4×6 because of the additional space. And the 5 x 7 postcard is much wider than a typical #10 envelope so it naturally stands out from other mailed items
  • Mailing Cost
    To mail 100 5 x 7 postcards the cost will be $42.00 (in Nov 2008).
  • Printing Cost
    You can have 100 printed at Next Day Flyers for $41.95 or 1000 printed for $60.95. This means you can print and mail 5×7 postcards to 100 potential customers for $83.95.

The long and short of it:

Postcards force you to focus your message to short powerful phrases that zero in on the essence of your promotion, get your audience engaged quickly and improve your return – which is obviously good. Keep in mind: postcard sizes range way beyond the 4×6 and 5×7, all the way up to 8.5×11. So determine what you need to say, how many lines it takes to say it and choose your postcard size wisely.

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5 thoughts on “Does Size Really Matter? Choosing between a 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 card

  1. I like how you show the cost to mail for 100 postcards. It would be interesting if you were to already show the cost to mail for 1000 cards, and you could even mention that you can mail the postcards to our list for us and show what that would be for 1000 cards. If you were to add a way to sort and purchase mailing lists, that would make this this ultimate, one-stop direct marketing shop.

    You should have a web-based calculator for printing plus postage plus mailing service (with February 2009 postage rates.) Give people the option to uncheck the mailing service, etc. and still be able to use the calculator.

    Also, examples of 9-line ad copy would be interesting. How about an article on the top 10 postcards that clients have said have had the highest return on investment?

  2. I agree with the price calculator so you can see your total cost plus it will help sell your services. You guys would prosper having an easy way to send out mass mailing fast and cheap online

  3. I think you’re right that a total cost calculator would be effective. With our recent site design we do have the printing and shipping calculator up front and some other cool features. We’ll put this idea on the list. Thanks.

  4. I think the 5×7 are a better value. This way your not so cramed for space to get you idea across. Keep up the great work!

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