5 Postcard Design Tips to Help You Create Effective Direct Mail

Posted by Stephanie Polkowski on Jun 20, 2023 8:30:00 AM

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It’s vital your mailer engages quickly with a professional look and standout messaging. The following postcard design tips will help you create mailers that grab the attention of your audience and improve your marketing return on investment.

Designing a direct mailer presents a different challenge than creating an email or a social media post. It’s a single printed piece that must tell enough of a story to drive the audience to take an action, like make a phone call or visit a website or brick-and-mortar store.

Top Postcard Design Tips to Keep in Mind

1. Understand your audience. 

Before you start designing your mailer, take the time to understand who you are targeting and what emotion you want to evoke from them. Consider what your audience may gravitate toward, not just what you like.

Are you looking for new customers? (Need their address data? We can help!) Use what you know about your current audience and how they engage with your organization to help you develop messaging that will resonate with new prospects. 

For example, a luxury car brand may send a sleek postcard with limited copy to convey an aspirational feeling to potential customers. A local veterinarian might use cute pictures of puppies and kittens to encourage pet owners to bring theirs in for a checkup.

2. Have a strong (but simple) message. 

Once you know the objective for sending your direct mail piece and the emotion you want it to evoke, you can start thinking about messaging. Keep your message short, punchy and to the point.

Rather than telling your entire brand story in the space of a postcard, find a few captivating lines that focus on the campaign at hand and encourage some kind of action, like coming into the store or making an order.

Avoid over-used, punny lines (think “Patty-O-Furniture” sales around St. Patrick’s Day) or spending too much time highlighting accolades. If it doesn’t show a consumer how your product or service can improve their life, keep it off the mail piece.

3. Stay relevant. 

Keep the imagery and messages on your postcard relevant to your business. You want people to see your mailer and know, almost immediately, what your business does – so putting a family pet on a piece for an electronics retailer would be counterintuitive. Similarly, stay away from graphic elements like icons and emojis that don’t serve your message.

Design your postcard around relevant events or times of year to appeal to your audience’s current needs. 

Use an incentivized call to action (CTA) to create a sense of urgency and drive response. Write a CTA that makes people want to do something. Tell them what they get out of it, how much they can save or if your offer is available for a limited time.

4. Less is more. 

You only have a few seconds to grab a person’s attention, so avoid the clutter. If you try to say too much or include too many different images, it becomes difficult for consumers to recognize your message and call to action. Instead, have a primary message and let the entire piece drive that home.

Don’t feel compelled to fill every corner of the mailer to get your money’s worth. You can get a lot more attention by whispering than by shouting.

As you’re designing, think aesthetically. For example, experiment with color and font size to set primary text apart from the rest. Make background images lighter or more transparent so that your copy isn’t lost in dark colors or harsh lines. 

5. Make it flow. 

In addition to keeping messages concise and decluttered, make sure that things flow visually. Using standard grid lines to keep items aligned and well-spaced goes a long way toward creating a highly readable piece.

A consistent visual flow stops people’s eyes from bouncing around. Use a clean hierarchy of weights and sizes within one font – rather than many fonts in different styles – to guide a reader through your message.

Rather than cluttering space with photos and graphics that have varying treatments, choose one or two that convey the emotion you want to evoke and arrange them neatly. 

Direct Mail Designs: How AMPlified Mail Makes It Easy   

When you’re ready to create your mailing, let these postcard design tips guide the way. With concise messaging and relevant images, you’ll make a postcard that flows and attracts attention. Even better, your direct mail postcard could convert prospects into customers

Through our platform, you can design engaging and impactful postcards by modifying one of our professionally designed templates or building your own from scratch. Designing your marketing mailer has never been easier.

We offer templates that work for every industry. Choose from our many professionally designed postcards which can be easily customized with your own text, logo and images. When you’re happy with the look of your mailer, ordering is a click away. Once you create a postcard, we'll save it in your account for future use.

AMPlified Mail allows you to identify your target audience and design your postcard quickly and easily, all while saving you time and money.

Start Designing a Postcard Now.


Topics: Direct Mail, Marketing Postcards, Postcard Designs, Direct Mail Designs, Postcard Design Tips, Postcard Creator