Supercharge Your Direct Mail Postcard Campaigns

Marketing team conferring at conference table

NFocus Marketing Team

Giving your postcard campaigns the best chance for success starts before you develop your list. The size and quality of card you send, the design and timing are all factors that can work for and against your campaign.

Let’s start with size – it matters! The Mailing Standards for the United States Postal Service regulations define allowable sizes and mailing costs. There are incentives for staying inside the size guidelines. Yes – they’ll discount your cost! Even better, campaign performance improves if you use the USPS guidelines.

Direct Mail Postcard Sizes
To get the best rates and results, your postcards should be sized:

– Between 5″and 6″ long
– Between 3.5″ and 4.25″ wide
– Between .007″ and .16″ thick


Be careful when ordering specialty cardstocks as their thickness may exceed these specs. A great way to see if you’re in the zone is to compare the thickness of your postcard to an index card. Index cards are .007″ thick (the lower end of the thickness allowance).  You can do a larger-sized postcard but it may not perform as well and will cost more than smaller postcards using the specs above.

Now let’s talk design.
Designing and printing postcards today is easier than ever with many choices for paper type, size and shape.

Postcards convey your message quickly, can act as a coupon for redemption, and are the least expensive option with lower printing costs and no envelope included.

Your bulk mail cost per postcard will be lower (about 32-cents per card) than sending a single postcard first class (44-cents effective July 10, 2022). You’ll get the same return and forwarding service as first-class letters.

Direct Mail Postcard Campaign ROI

Any good marketer looks at the returns they’ll receive from their campaigns. Some campaigns are intended to build awareness so ROI is not as readily measurable – it’s hard to tell how many people became aware of your business if there is no ‘call to action’ response.  This doesn’t mean awareness campaigns aren’t valuable – they are – they’re just harder to quantify for success.

The easier ROI to calculate is how many redemptions/sales you retrieved from the campaign.  If the offer is 20% off a product or service when the postcard is presented for redemption, it’s easy to track whether you spent more than you earned from the campaign. If someone stops in without the card but says they heard about the deal, it’s best to give them the deal – the postcard worked! It created word-of-mouth advertising for your business.


Do some lower-volume tests of different variations on your offer to see which one is most powerful.

Ask your NFocus list builder for advice on narrowing your target to reach only the most likely candidates for your offer. Finding households with older vehicles might work best for a new tire offer; finding higher-income women might work best for a spa or salon offer; and targeting homes older than a certain date could narrow the list and increase your returns for a home improvement offer.

Match your postcard quality with your audience. If you’re targeting higher-end income homes, think about printing on cardstock that has a luxury feel.

If it matches your brand, choose bright, popping color whenever possible – it increases visibility in the mail stack and definitely raises response rates.

Have questions? We’re happy to help!

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