Printing is so close to our hearts at PrintPlace.com, (we are passionate about printing, you know), and we are already dreaming of our holiday vacations. That’s why we put together our best tips to increase your holiday travel sales this year. These aren’t the same boring tips you see all the time. We’re betting you haven’t tried these yet.
PrintPlace Gives SMBs an Affordable Marketing Option with Free Downloadable Designs for Postcards, Business Cards, and Brochures
From its very beginning, PrintPlace.com has continually sought for ways to make professional printing more affordable for small and medium sized businesses. Their recent release of free downloadable print-ready designs is another way PrintPlace hopes to help SMBs cut marketing costs. The PrintPlace design team specialists have created pre-designed templates for the most common marketing product on the site: postcards, business cards, and brochures.
Now, SMBs can download a design of choice with one click of a button and quickly customize the template by replacing placeholder text with their own message, add in a logo, and even change colors and other graphics if so desired. Whether businesses make lots of changes or very few, a customized design can be ready to send to print in a matter of a few hours or as little as a few minutes.
Graphic designers can also benefit from the postcard, brochure, and business card templates. For a project on a tight deadline, designers can download one of the free templates, and then easily customize for the specific brand look the client needs.
PrintPlace’s pre-designed templates come in PSD format for easy customization in Adobe Photoshop. The files are formatted for print, so once changes are made, clients can immediately upload their design to PrintPlace and approve for printing, all in a single day. The layout of templates are easy to work with, so even those with very little experience in Photoshop can replace text and add in their logo quite easily.
All of the templates come in a variety of styles, so businesses can choose from a look and feel that best matches their company image and industry. The pre-designed postcard templates include minimal layouts, corporate styles, feminine styles, IT designs, and even a postcard that would be perfect for a home interior or real estate business.
The business card design templates also come with several choices, including a minimal black business card for the more corporate business as well as a frilly design for the owner of a boutique shop. Brochure design templates include a few corporate and IT styles as well as one design perfect for a landscaping or even a women’s accessories business.
PrintPlace.com has offered blank templates for a number of years now to help clients set up designs for printing specifications. The new pre-designed ready-to-print templates, though, give those businesses without a design eye to very quickly create postcards, brochures, or business cards that reflect positively on their brand image.
We can print your postcards for you to mail or you can take advantage of our mailing service to do the work for you. Customers appreciate direct mail offers, and postcards are one of the least expensive ways to get the offer to them. The average cost for mailing a 4-by-6 inch postcard is just $0.268 (less if you have a valid US Postal Service non-profit permit). Including the cost of printing and processing you can reach 250 customers for less than $1 each (and the price per customer will drop as you increase the quantity). That makes direct mail post cards one of the most cost effective marketing tools you can employ.
Start by choosing the type and size of postcard you want. The standard size is 4 inches high by 6 inches wide, but you can choose sizes all the way up to 6-by-11 (postage will go up to about $0.403 each for First Class or $0.279 for Standard). You can even choose your own custom size, if you have a specific design you’re looking to produce.
- Tip – add a perforated section to your postcard for a coupon.
Select all the options you want for your design, such as the paper, coating and cutting (you can have rounded corners to make your cards stand out in the crowd). When you’re ready, you can add the job to your cart (if you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one at this point, it’s free and easy).
Check out, when you’re done shopping. You’ll have a chance to choose the shipping method – select direct mail from the options. You still need to enter a shipping address though, it’s where we’ll send any extra post cards that don’t go out to people on your mailing list.
Pay for the print portion of your order (you can pay with a credit card or by money order, wire transfer or cashier’s check). Once you’ve paid for your printing, you can log in to your account and upload your artwork and mailing list. We’ll take an Excel file (.xls or .xlsx), comma separated value (.csv) or a text file (.txt) for your mailing list. We’ll process through the addresses and figure the postage charge.
Pay the postage through your account on PrintPlace.com. You can, again, pay with a credit card or money order, wire transfer or cashier’s check, but if you do use a credit card to pay for postage there will be a 5% service charge added to the total price.
When you’ve approved the proof of your print job and all your postage is paid, the order will print and ship at the speed you chose in the options. It’s a fast, easy and inexpensive process that lets you reach out to your valuable customers in an effective way.
Direct mail can be one of the most difficult marketing methods available; you have to capture attention quickly and powerfully enough to avoid everyone’s first instinct of tossing without reading. This is why postcards are the most popular choice for direct mail: the message is out in the open to easily see when shuffling through daily mail. Postcard designs, however, still have the responsibility to “grab ‘em in a glance.” Without a hit design, a headline that wows, and extra information that draws you in, you may have well just thrown your marketing dollars down the drain.
A project with this much pressure could be hard to begin. But everyone knows that when the blank canvas on your design program is glaring you down, one of the best medicines is browsing through some inspiration to get the ideas flowing. The examples below show just how eye-catching an incredible design in combination with an action-packed headline can be, and will hopefully help those of you who need some ideas to get started. Take a look, be inspired, and feel free to share your own brilliant direct mail postcards with the rest of us!
DISCLAIMER: The following images are not owned by PrintPlace.com and are used only to inspire our readers.
Museum of the Moving Image Postcard by Tien-Min Liao(student project)
Printing and mailing postcards is one of the least expensive but most effective ways of advertising. There are a number of important methods to make sure you get the most out of your postcard printing campaign. Three areas where many companies make mistakes are in budgeting, sampling, and persistence.
Additionally, many companies do not work with professional printing firms who can handle direct mail postcard campaigns on their behalf. When a printing firm can produce the postcards and also mail them, you’ll find that this relationship can create a number of efficiencies for you. Some printing firms can supply a mailing list for you, but other web sites such as Info USA (www.infousa.com) can provide you with quality mailing lists that can reach targeted customers.
One of the easiest ways to wreak havoc on profitable advertising campaigns is by failing to set a budget or failing to stick to the budget. Once you have your budget, you can decide whether or not to spend more money on features of your postcards, or to cut back on printing features so that you can actually produce more postcards. In either case, you are making a decision based on a pre-determined budget.
Once you have found the ideal balance between printing quality and quantity, send your postcards out to a small sample of customers. Watch carefully and record any responses that you get. This will help you make sure that your design is effective. If nobody responds, or the response is much lower than expected, you can adjust before spending your entire budget on a faulty design.
Postcard printing campaigns should be sent at a regular basis. This is especially true when sales are low. Persistence is the key. While it may be easy to try to cut costs, one of the best things you can do is to continue to advertise. Using inexpensive direct mailing tools, like postcards, can help your company maintain an advertising presence with your customers.
Postcards are an extremely efficient marketing tool. Why? primarily because of the fact that they can be applied to any business. No business should leave out the postcard marketing approach. It doesn’t really matter what business you have or even what you want to market. Even in this age and time, some of the biggest companies still prefer to market with postcards than anything else as they have a record of creating more responses than personalized letters or flyers. Quick and easy to produce, postcards are a must for every marketing campaign’s success. In the following section, we will be learning why and how postcards can be beneficial for your business specifically. Some of the major reasons as to why you should be using postcards are listed below:-
1. Cost Friendly: When using something like a postcard as a marketing tool, there is fair amount of chance that you will prefer to get them printed in bulk. This is the point where you can tap in your savings. Most printing companies charge a very small amount especially if you order in large quantities. It takes no more than 2 days for them to get printed, so you can start sending them out according to your convenience. Moreover they have a standard size. So the chances are that you will pay almost the same amount as your competitor.
2. Quick and Smart: One of the best features of postcards is that they can be designed in a really short time. There are various templates available that can help you save time. Be wise and choose one that suits your business the best. Also they have a standard size, so you can design them in one day, send it to your printer and hand them out to your customers very easily after a couple of days. There is not a single marketing tool that can get to work in such a short span of time. This proves they are a smart way of promoting your business. Some companies will even send them out on your behalf.
3. Widely read: This misconception should be cleared from your mind A.S.A.P. People do actually read them because of their simplicity in design and a time efficient way of promotion. It is easy for people to pick and read them whereas letters are much tougher to get through. They CAN NOT be ignored. In fact, even if they do plan to throw it out, they will have read your company’s name or seen your logo by the end of the process. Hence, its work is done. Remember, you are not to sell a product, its enough that they know your name through it. But in most of the cases, people pay enough attention to them, so they know what you were trying to convey.
4. Bank on the popularity: One of the coolest reasons why they are handy is because postcards are generally sent by one’s kith and in. So the receiver may not throw it out instantly thinking it’s a pile of crap. This is something that other marketing tools cannot bank on. Also keep in mind their design. Try and give it a more “card” like look. It will benefit in one way or the other, forcing people to have a look at them.
5. Instant results: Unlike other forms of marketing, postcards are effective and show results very quickly. Just be consistent and keep them printing so you can send out as many as you can. They are cheap yet effective and are undoubtedly an excellent way to boost your company sales. Moreover, as we discussed earlier, it does not take a very long time to reach your customer’s mailboxes from the printing machine.
These are just some of the ways postcards can be beneficial. All great brands including Mc Donalds, still stick to this form of marketing because of its efficiency. There are a lot of other innovative things you can do to make them work. Remember, you cannot completely be involved with this and expect to become a great brand overnight. It needs to be coupled with other tools of marketing like brochures for a greater and deeper impact.
Article Written By Mark
Direct mail is a powerful marketing tool for businesses of any size, but especially for small businesses. Direct mail can get expensive, but oftentimes you can keep the costs reasonable and still have the same effect as a more expensive direct mail campaign.
With direct mail, you can send brochures, letters, postcards, flyers – basically anything you can stuff in a mailbox! But postcard mailing is the most efficient and effective, and here’s why:
Postcards are cost effective. Your printing costs will be lower because you only have a small area to print on, and that smaller piece of paper stock will also cost you less to purchase. Your mailing costs will be lower than letters or brochures because you don’t have an envelope and extra paper weighing it down. If you send postcards that are smaller than 4” x 6”, your postage will only cost .21 cents, rather than the first class rate of .34 cents. It may not seem much if you only send out 10 postcards, but if you send out 5,000 postcards at a time, you’ll save $650 with each mailing!
Postcards are read more than the other types of direct mail pieces. People are leery of opening envelopes and boxes with the somewhat recent anthrax and bomb-in-the-mail scares. You can’t hide anything dangerous in a postcard!
Also, people have to be motivated enough to get through the envelope to the contents inside to read the message. With a postcard, there is no barrier to your message. If you have a great design and eye-catching headline, you can grab recipients’ attention from the moment they start sorting their mail.
Postcards are chameleons. You can use postcards for myriad reasons:
• To promote a new product or service
• To offer a discount or to announce a sale
• As an invitation to an event
• To announce a new Web site
• To announce a new location
• Those are juts a few reasons, you can send out a postcard for just about anything that doesn’t need an in-depth explanation.
You can measure their effectiveness. You can measure response rates by making people redeem their discount by bringing in the postcard. If you send out 5,000 postcards and you get a response rate of 125 people, you know you earned a 2.5 percent response rate, which is pretty darn good for direct mail.
You can also track which demographic region responded most to your postcards by color-coding them. Or if you’re sending out postcards for a discount on your Web site, you can vary the discount code by Zip code, so you know pretty closely where your best customers are located.
The bottom line is that postcards are an affordable way to market your business or product by drumming up new business or keeping your current customers with announcements. Postcards are flexible, which makes them an excellent choice for any size business and any type of business.