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 x 6 and the 5 x 7.
When Graphics Count . . . use 4×6!
Space – To know how large a 4 x 6 postcard is, 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 x 6 Marketing Thoughts – This is a good size for special events, invitations, and promotions. Keep in mind that people typically use the 4 x 6 in landscape format so you might want to use yours as a 6 x 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 x 6 with a die-cut shape. These are still mailable 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 5 x 7. A 5 x 7 postcard gives you about 45% more space than the 4 x 6. This means you can put 9 lines of text on a 5 x 7 card, 3 more lines than if you were using a 4×6 – and still have plenty of white space.
5 x 7 Marketing Thoughts – In general, the 5 x 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 x 7 postcards to 100 potential customers for $83.95.
The long and short of it:
Postcards force you to focus your message into 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 x 6 and 5 x 7, all the way up to 8.5 x 11. So, determine what you need to say, how many lines it takes to say it and choose your postcard size wisely.