Direct mail postcards are one of the most effective direct mailer types and the cost of printing postcards and mailing them is on the lower end when it comes to direct mail products. However, depending on your budget, you might be looking for the cheapest direct-mail postcards possible.
So where do you find the cheapest direct mail postcards and what are some ways you can keep the costs down while still creating a successful postcard campaign?
Check out our helpful tips below to get started on creating and ordering the cheapest direct mail postcards that still generate amazing results.
Creating the Cheapest Direct Mail Postcards
Create a Game Plan
With so many options to choose from when it comes to direct mail postcards including sizes, finishes, and mailing services, it’s important to strategize your goal and budget.
You need to figure out how much you can spend on a postcard campaign, so you’ll be able to narrow down your options throughout the entire process.
You also need to figure out the purpose of your postcards so that you not only choose the cheapest options, but you also choose the options that will bring in the most revenue.
By creating a game plan that includes your budget and goal you’ll be able to disperse your marketing dollars where it matters most. For example, who you reach may be more important than a special coating on your postcards, or a larger postcard may be more important than reaching a larger audience.
Choosing the Cheapest Direct Mail Postcard Size
When choosing the right direct mail postcard size, you need to carefully consider the results each size could generate before you jump directly to the cheapest option.
Because larger postcards like a 6” x 9” or 6” x 11” require more resources to print, they will ultimately be more expensive than a 4” x 6” or 5” x 7” postcard. However, smaller, cheaper postcards may not deliver your message in a way that stands out which could result in a lower ROI.
Before choosing the cheapest 4” x 6” direct mail postcard, consider your goal. Is the purpose of your postcard to say thank you to customers or send a short message with limited design elements? Or are you looking to promote your grand opening or offer a discount to your audience?
Sizing up to a 5” x 7” is only a couple of cents more per postcard and it will guarantee that your direct mail postcard is larger than the average everyday mail which will help it stand out. If your budget allows, it’s recommended to size up even further to a 6” x 9” which is only a few cents more than a 5” x 7” and will make your marketing message hard to ignore.
Choose the Right Paper & Coating
The USPS requires that direct mail postcards use a thick enough paper stock to allow them to move easily through postal equipment as well as ensure they are durable enough to withstand the mailing process.
Because of this, you have limited options when it comes to choosing the cheapest paper for your direct mail postcards, and 10pt or 14pt cover stock will typically be your cheapest option. You do, however, have a few options when it comes to coatings.
Paper options available for direct mail postcards are durable enough to not need a coating. Opting to not add a coating to your postcards will be cheaper.
However, you can add a UV coating or aqueous coating to add additional protection as well as to add extra shine or to create a matte or velvet look to your direct mail postcards.
A UV coating on one side or both sides will be more expensive than no coating but much cheaper than adding an aqueous coating since the process for UV coatings require cheaper resources and have faster processing times compared to aqueous coatings.
Consider the Quantity
Of course, the fewer postcards you print the cheaper the total price will be. However, this isn’t the case for the price per postcard and it isn’t always the case when it comes to mailing your postcards.
Quantities For Printing
While the overall price will be cheaper for fewer postcards, it’s actually cheaper per postcard to print more. For example, if you were to print 100 postcards the total cost could be around $100 which results in $1 per postcard. If you were to increase the quantity to 200 the overall price would be closer to $150 resulting in around $0.75 per postcard.
Quantities For Mailing
To qualify for certain postcard postage discounts, you need to mail a minimum number of postcards. This is because the USPS offers lower prices for bulk mailings, or larger mailings, since you or your mail center takes care of a lot of the work the USPS would otherwise have to handle.
For example, if you were looking to save a few dollars by printing only 100 postcards, you wouldn’t have enough to qualify for Standard Mail postage rates—which is one of the cheapest bulk mail options—since it requires at least 200 mail pieces. So, if you opted to still mail only 100 postcards, you would need to use a stamp for each mail piece and pay full postage prices.
Design Your Postcards in House
While you may not have an in-house designer or don’t have much design experience, it will always be cheaper to design your direct mail postcards in-house.
When designing your direct mail postcards in house, always remember to:
- Never forget your branded elements
- Create an eye-catching headline
- Make sure there is enough contrast
- Use high-quality images
- Never forget your call to action (CTA)
- Use a direct mail postcard design template
Now, if you have zero design experience or can’t find a design template you like then paying a graphic designer to design your postcards is going to be your best option which you should consider including within your budget.
To help you create an effective direct mail postcard design check out our two blogs which include general direct mail design best practices as well as a complete direct mail postcard design guide which includes free design templates for each postcard size:
Deliver Your Direct Mail Postcards Affordably
We've talked a little about how mailing quantities play a role in the price of direct mail postcard marketing, however there are some other options and even loopholes.
Below are the direct mail options you can take advantage of to mail the cheapest direct mail postcards possible:
Bulk Mailings (Standard & First-Class)
As mentioned above, to qualify for Standard Mail Postage discounts, you need to mail at least 200 postcards. While you do need to mail enough to qualify for these discounts, the savings compared to single-piece mailings are amazing, making it potentially worth adding a few more postcards and individuals to your mailing list.
To qualify for First-Class Mail postage discounts, you need to mail a minimum of 500 postcards. This mailing option is cheaper than single-piece mailings but more expensive than Standard Mail. However, First-Class Mail is treated as the most important and as a result is delivered much quicker than all other mailings. So, while it isn’t the cheapest direct mail postcard option, it is important to consider if you’re looking to deliver your postcards within a certain time frame.
Every Door Direct Mail
Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM, does not require a minimum quantity and it’s cheaper than Standard or First-Class Mail. However, it does require you to use either 6.25” x 9” or 6” x 11” postcards.
EDDM also is a unique direct mail service where you choose certain mailing routes and your direct mail postcards will be delivered to every address on those routes. So, while it’s one of the cheapest direct mail postcard options, it might not be suitable if you’re looking to mail to a more targeted audience.
In general, yes, there are minimum quantities you must mail to qualify for postage discounts. However, there is a loophole when it comes to 6” x 9” direct mail postcards.
There is a way to produce cheap postcards while mailing as few as you would like. This is possible if you take advantage of Commingled Direct Mail Postcards which uses 6” x 9” postcards and then combines your low quantity (as few as 1 postcard) with other companies’ mailings so when combined they all qualify for bulk mail postage rates.
Where to Find the Cheapest Direct Mail Postcards?
Find An All-in-One Print & Direct Mail Provider Who Offers Affordable Options
Finding a provider who can produce and mail your direct mail postcards will save you not only money but a lot of time.
For one, most print and direct mail providers will allow you to use their mailing permit meaning you don’t need to purchase one. They’ll also take care of the entire mailing process so you don’t need to pick up your postcards and then lug them to the post office which ultimately results in more time available to spend on working on new marketing campaigns that will bring in more money.
At Conquest Graphics, we offer a variety of direct mail marketing services along with cheap direct mail postcard options that never jeopardize the quality of your messaging. And we’re committed to helping you find the very best options to fit even the smallest budget. We even offer Postcard Commingling so you take advantage of the cheapest way to mail small quantities.
Click below to get started on your direct mail postcard campaign today!
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