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Postcard Design Tips You Won’t See on MSNBC

Postcard Design Tips You Won’t See on MSNBCWhen I started out in business, I was a graphic designer. Design is in my blood, and it's something I am very passionate about. So it's only fitting that MSNBC asked me to come back on their “Your Business” show for a second time, this time to discuss what makes for effective graphic design.

I shot it back in August of 2009 (the link is no longer available sorry!). During the 3-minute segment I was able to highlight some great designs for flyers and postcards. I wanted to go over more, but you never have as much time as you need on TV. Here on my site, I have all the room I want so I thought I'd put together a refresher course on the 10 things that you absolutely have to have in your postcard design.

  1. A clear, bold headline.

    On the front of the mailer, the non address side, there should be one central message. The best way to achieve that is with a bold, clear headline that's not cluttered up with other text. Make sure the headline fills up at least 15% of the front of the mailer.

  2. A graphic that supports the message.

    The graphic should be easy to understand and add to the message the headline is trying to convey. Also, make sure your graphic is appealing. For instance, if you are a dentist, a picture of an attractive smiling model will help get that point across much better than before and after teeth pictures.

  3. Color that pops.

    Make the headline and other text stand out by using a color that stands out from the background color. When you look at the card, ask yourself, “What do I see first?” If your answer isn't the headline, you might want to tweak the colors.

  4. Subheads that lead into text.

    Prospects need 2 things in order to start reading the text on your card. They need motivation and they need guidance. A compelling subhead will give people that motivation and a place to start reading.

  5. Benefits, benefits, benefits.

    One of the biggest errors people make in advertising is stating features rather than benefits. For example, never assume recipients know what benefit can be derived from a lower interest rate on their mortgage. Let them know how their monthly payments will go down.

  6. The offer.

    The offer usually includes 2 things: First, what is being offered, and second, at what price or discount. The offer can make or break a mailing, so make sure you do your research and come up with something that is going to generate a good deal of interest.

  7. Your company name and logo.

    Although this needs to be on the mailer, it shouldn't overshadow the offer. Customers care most about what you can do for them.

  8. Call to action.

    Tell prospects exactly what you want them to do. “Call today for more information” or “See us online” are two of the most common desired actions.

  9. Contact information.

    Provide your name, phone number, and Web address directly following the call to action. Whatever you ask prospects to do, give them the means to do it easily.

  10. Return address.

    A return address ensures you'll get returned mail from the post office and sends a message that you're an established professional. People feel better knowing the company they're dealing with has an actual location.

So when you see the proof of your next postcard campaign, grab this checklist and make sure everything is on there. It's a simple step that can really help to ensure you're getting the best results possible on each mailing.

If you already have a postcard and you want me to take a look at it you can send it to me at and I'll be happy to let you know what it needs!

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation's most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing–all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC's "Your Business." PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership.

If you would like to interview Joy or book her as a speaker, please email or call 1-800-628-1804 ext. 281.

Call or Text a Marketing Consultant 1-800-628-1804