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Businesses use postcard printing to market a product or service to potential or existing customers. As a marketing tool, postcards have several attributes; they are inexpensive to print and mail, and simple to handle. Business postcards are also quickly produced. Because most business postcards are in full color, are double sided, and contain graphics, they are quick to grab attention and, therefore, are often more effective than letters or brochures.
Some businesses use postcard printing for advertising purposes. Other companies use postcards as a reply, survey, or order form insert to a letter or packet of company or product information. Frequently, businesses use postcard printing to mail coupons or to announce company or product news.
Companies also use postcards as subscription or renewal cards for newsletters and magazines. Postcards can provide brand or company recognition also. The advantage to the consumer is that postcards are a convenient form of order or response.
Many postcard printing companies also offer direct mail services, with the business deciding whether to send bulk or first class mail. Most postcard printing uses an offset press. Color options include standard color processes and customized colors, like those that might be required for a company's logo. A laser printer can handle small postcard printing jobs.
Postcards are available in various sizes; standard sizes are 4 x 6 inches (10 x 15 cm), 5 x 7 inches (13 x 18 cm), and 5.5 x 8.5 inches (14 x 22 cm). Postcard printing prices vary according to the type of card stock used; heavier stock is more durable and more expensive. Other card stock options include coated or uncoated. Coated card stock is more durable and also presents a smooth glossy finish.
The least expensive type of coating is water based, applied to the paper stock. A UV coating is a plastic finish applied after printing. Film lamination is a plastic film applied to the postcard. Other coating choices include coating on a single side and matte coating.
When designing your business postcard, keep in mind the purpose of the card. If it is a response card, use the minimum amount of text and instruction, so as not to confuse the reader. Consider using check boxes for ease of reply. Determine whether to use prepaid return postage and a pre-printed return address.
There are some other design elements to consider when making postcard printing decisions. Use easy to read large types, no smaller than 10-point. Arial, Tahoma and Verdana are effective fonts. Photos and bright paper attract interest. Be sure to include contact information on your postcard, and make any instructions on what the reader should do with the card very specific.