This question gets asked by some of our clients and the answer we give is that at MARKOTS, our Design Department calls the non-address side the FRONT, and the address side as the BACK of the postcard.
The question however is actually more than one of naming preference. By FRONT, the expectation is that the person receiving the postcard will read that side first and that in turn has implication on how the graphics and message is organized in the mail piece.
But when the mail piece arrives, we do not know for sure which side will be read first.
Bob McCarthy who is a direct response marketing guru advises, in an article on his blog, not to assume any one side is more important than the other. He has this guiding principle on the postcard layout:
“My approach to postcard writing and design is to put the same message on both sides. I know what you’re thinking: “that seems repetitive.” Yes, it is – because I know that many people will never see both sides of the postcard. Very few people ever read the whole thing.
You may want to design the two sides differently – you will need to because you have different space available. Each side might have a different secondary selling point or photo just for variety. But both sides must have your main selling point and, above all, a strong promotion of the offer.
Make sure everyone sees your offer – no matter which side shows up on top.”
So in short, give equal importance to both sides keeping in mind space constraints on the postcard especially on the address side.
And when our Graphics folks say it is the FRONT side, they mean the non-address side, and BACK is the address side. However, you should consider both sides equally important because as Bob says “you never know which side will be UP when it lands on the desk or kitchen table.”
1. What are the sizes and specs of your postcards?
We offer three sizes of postcards: 4” X 6” (regular), 5.5” X 8.5” (large) and 6″ x 11″ (jumbo). The postcards are printed on 100lb gloss card stock, full color both sides.
2. How are your postcard marketing services priced?
We offer a complete design, print and mailing service (including standard postage paid) of a 4” X 6” postcard for neighborhood saturation mailing, for 32¢ per piece for a minimum of 4,000 pcs. This includes help with a concept, the custom design of the postcard and printing. It includes target area selection with the help of our demography department, choosing and acquiring a mailing list for your neighborhood selection, by zip code or radius, addressing and mailing the postcards. All that for 32¢ per piece! Other offers (larger postcards, different kinds of mailings) are covered below.
3. What are the minimum numbers for printing and mailing?
The minimum number of postcards we will print and mail is 1,000 pieces (37 cents for a 4×6 Saturation mailing) or 500 pieces if it’s a recurring monthly birthday or new mover marketing (48 cents/pc for a 4×6).
4. What are the different types of mailings?
A. Neighborhood, saturation mailings. These are mailings to residents or businesses in an area near you, determined either by zip code, by radius or a custom selected area. The postcards are addressed to “Resident” or “Occupant” or some other specified tag line, not by name. This is the type of mailing which is done for 32¢ per piece for 4” X 6” postcards. For the 8.5×5.5 postcards, the price is 39¢ per piece. This is the most cost-effective type of mailing. Price based on 4,000 quantity.
B. Targeted mailings to consumers or businesses. This mailing is targeted to consumers or businesses and we can filter by various criteria such as SIC codes (for businesses) demographics and/or geography (e.g homeowners with income of $60,000 and above in Mountain view, CA or mortgage brokers in Houston, TX). This can also include mailing to your own list. For a targeted mailing, the cost is 43¢ for 4” X 6” postcards and 50¢ for 5.5” X 8.5” postcards. Price based on 4,000 quantity.
C. New movers/new businesses and birthday regular mailings. We will send out monthly mailings to people who newly move into the area or businesses that start up in the area specified by you or to birthdays that fall in the following month. This type of mailing, which involves more frequent, smaller mailings and multiple set-ups for the monthly mailings costs 48¢ for 4″ X 6″ postcards and 55¢ for the 5.5″ X 8.5″ cards. Postcards can be highly personalized at no additional cost.
5. Why is the targeted mailing more expensive than the neighborhood saturation mailing?
This is simply a matter of postal rates and the higher cost of targeted mailing lists. The neighborhood/saturation mailing goes by USPS carrier routes. Bulk mail rates for such mailings are lower than for targeted mailings that typically don’t achieve high densities within a given area.
6. Why is the new movers/new businesses mailing more expensive than the regular targeted mailing?
The fact that we are mailing a smaller amount every month involves additional set-ups for us and this raises the price. It’s the extra work required to manage this kind of mailing for you that makes it more expensive. We are extremely competitive for birthday and new mover program.
7. Does the price drop if we order larger quantities?
The price per piece remains the same for quantities up to 10,000 pieces and can go lower for higher quantities.
8. Is there any charge for the design of the postcard?
No, concept and design are included in the overall service. We will also provide stock photos from our library if photos are needed. There is no extra charge for this either.
9. Do you charge less if we design our own postcard and send you the artwork?
The design of the postcard is included in the price and does not change if you provide camera ready artwork.
10. Can I get extra copies?
If you let us know ahead of time we will print extra copies for you. We will charge you for the extra copies.
11. What are your turnaround times for postcards?
The time of production, from concept through to printed postcards and mailing is about 1-2 weeks. This would depend on hearing back from you promptly when we send you proofs for comment or approval. (See also the next question about the time for the postcards to reach the mailbox)
12. How long does it take for the postcards to reach the mailboxes of the recipients?
Since this is standard (bulk) mail it takes a while for the piece to arrive at its destination. You should allow 3-5 days from drop date to receipt for mailings in CA state. Postcards are mailed using standard mail. Please allow 7-10 days from drop date to arrival in mailboxes for mailings to areas outside CA.
13. What if we have our own printed postcards? Can you mail these for us?
Unfortunately not. At present our marketing services only deals with postcards that we produce in house.
14. Do you offer print-only without mailing?
MARKOTS is a full-service direct marketing service provider for clients nationwide. We only do print-only projects for our marketing campaign clients or on a case-by-case basis as a courtesy. Sales tax is applicable on print-only projects and will be collected for clients in CA.
15. What works best, postcards (direct mail) or door hangers (direct-to-door)?
There is no easy answer to this one. It depends a good deal on the nature of your business and the aims of the campaign. If you sell pizzas, then direct-to-door usually works best. If you are a dentist or a lawyer, then the direct mail solution has a certain sophistication to it which is often more appropriate. Many of our clients have tried both and then gravitated towards concentrating on the one which got the best response. You may find you get a good response from both direct mail and direct-to-door, in which case it would be worth your while to use them both.
16. What is the ideal frequency of direct mail?
Repetition is important. It is usually more beneficial for one person to see your message three times than for three people to see it once. So you should plan to do repeat mailings to the same people in a compact area, maybe once every two or three months. You can also mail to a wider area and rotate the mailings so they go to different people each month, but try to get your name in front of the same people at least once every two to three months.
17. How much response should I expect?
This is a difficult question for any marketing campaign because there are many variables, such as the nature of your business, seasonality, competition, the area targeted and so on. Optimistic response rate claims should be taken with a pinch of salt. What you’ve got to ask yourself is: what is the minimum response you need in order for your direct mail campaign to be viable and to permit you to continue the campaign? You have to take into account the lifetime value of a new customer. If you are getting that or more then it’s worthwhile. What we can promise is that we’ll do the best job from our side in terms of concept, design, helping you with demographics and mailing to the right target audience. We can add that we have a high percentage of repeat business.
18. How does the production process work?
1. You let us know you want to go ahead with a postcard campaign.
2. You give us the necessary information.
4. You approve the design after any correction.
5. We print the postcards.
6. We work with you to get the right mailing list, using powerful demographic tools and our top list sources.
7. We address the postcards.
8. We mail them out.
19. How and when do I pay?
Full payment is required before we go to print. We accept checks, Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover.
20. How do you get an appropriate mailing list for me?
You just need to specify your requirements and we do the rest. If it’s a neighborhood mailing, we have access to the necessary information on local postal carrier routes in your area. We will go over these with you and you can pick the routes you want based on distance and even some carrier route based demographic information such as average income, average home value, age and so on. If this is a targeted mailing you specify the demographic and geographic criteria that you require. We subscribe to a mailing list service that provides lists to cover all but the most specialized criteria. This is how we can include the cost of the mailing list in the overall cost of your mailing without raising the price.
21. Where do you get your lists from?
The mailing list industry is highly specialized. We make sure that our sources for any lists we use are very reputable and the best sources we can find. We realize how important to your business a good list is. You can be assured that we source our lists from the best companies and ones that we know and trust and with whom we have a track record of getting good results.
22. Can we do single family homes only in a saturation type mailing?
Yes, you can do that and the price does not change. We will suppress Apartments and Business addresses.
23. I would like to do a saturation type mailing due to lower cost per piece but would like to know what limited targeting possibilities exist in a saturation type mailing as opposed to doing a higher cost targeted marketing?
Remember when you do a saturation neighborhood type mailing, you need not go to the full zip code. You are mailing to postal routes within the zip codes. There are typically about 20 or so routes in a single zip code and we can give you a full list of the routes and a map of where the routes are located within a zip code. The list will also include information about average age, income and home value in each route. You can select specific routes you wish to mail to based on these indicators and exclude apartments, if you prefer. Remember when you mail to homes, you are mailing to all homes (residents; not necessarily home owners) in the specified route – even though most of them are likely to be home owners. Also the age, income and home value information is average for the route to enable you pick routes/areas that fit your target group – not every address in the route will necessarily meet the criteria. You can not select gender or marital status in a saturation type mailing. Also please note saturation type mailings are typically addressed “Resident” without names.
24. You have sent me a report and a postal route map for a saturation type mailing. Please guide me on how to read both.
Report: SFDUs=Homes , MFDUs=Apartments , Income=Average Income , Home=Average Home Value , Age=Average Age , PHWC= Percentage of Homes with Children
Map: The postal routes are labelled with the last 2 digits of the zip code followed by the route number that starts with a letter “C” or “R”. So “13C20” is route “C20” for the zip code that ends with “13” .
Please note in a saturation mailing, you need to mail to the full route even though you can exclude apartments. The demographics information above helps you cherry pick the routes of your choice but once those routes are selected all the homes are mailed within the route.
25. What proof of mailing do you provide?
Once mailing is done, we send you USPS Receipt which shows mailing has been done.
26. Do you sell lists?
We have a stand-alone data service offering for direct mail lists which you can find here.
27. OK, we may have a few more questions, who do we contact?
You can send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (877) 946-7253.