We’ve all received a postcard, or two…or 10 in our mailboxes. And postcards nowadays are no longer one standard size. You will see everything from a small, standard 4″ x 6″ to a giant 8.5″ x 11″ on card stock. But what is actually a postcard and what are the rules surrounding the size (and therefore price) to mail them?
We’re glad you asked!
Most people consider a postcard to be anything that is a single sheet of paper. But to qualify for mailing at the First-Class Mail postcard price, it must meet these requirements:
- Rectangular shape
- Minimum size: 3.5″ high x 5″ long x 0.007″ thick
- Maximum size: 4.25″ high x 6″ long x 0.016″ thick
🐌 Asking how on earth you measure 0.007? As a guide, an index card is thick enough. If in doubt, you can contact a Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA) at a Post Office near you. Or you can choose a mailing service to handle everything for you.
Anything that doesn’t meet the requirements above, the Postal Service considers it a letter and letter-size postage is charged. For the sake of this article, we will call all sizes listed below a postcard, even if the type of postage classifies it differently. The difference in price for first-class or letter-size postage depends on size and quantity. There can also be price differences if you are using a mailing service, or handling everything on your own. If you are mailing postcards on your own, you can learn at USPS Mail & Shipping Services or by visiting your local Post Office.
Size options when using a mailing list
When you have a list of recipients (or as we call it Direct Blast) to mail your postcards to, we recommend three sizes of postcards. Before you think that smallest is the cheapest, keep in mind that you are looking at your overall ROI and that sometimes going a little bigger can create a better response rate.
4″ x 6″ Postcard
This is typically the smallest size postcard you would use. Some good times to use this size is if you have one clear, concise call to action with not a lot of other content and text. Too much on this size postcard and your message will get lost.
6″ x 9″ Postcard
We recommend using a 6×9 postcard if you have a lot of competition in your market or you really want to stand out (new business, special one-time event, etc.) Using a 6×9 gives you a lot more room to get your message across to your audience and it will definitely stick out of the mail pile.
6″ x 11″ Postcard
These giants will get noticed, so if you want to make a statement in your marketing or political campaign – these are your best bet. The cost of printing is not much different than the 6×9, so your increase in cost is mainly due to printing/mailing, but again – the impact and potential ROI is much greater.
However, if you are looking to save even more money, and have more size options, don’t forget about Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM).
Size options when using EDDM
Many small businesses can benefit from using Area Blast (what we call EDDM) for your marketing needs. The benefits of Area Blast are many, as are the rules. Below we break down some different postcard size options that will work within the guidelines set by the USPS.
- 4.5″ x 12″
- 8.5″ x 7″
- 6″ x 12″
- 6.5″ x 8″
- 6.5″ x 12″
- 6.5″ x 9″
- 11″ x 8.5″
How to choose the right size postcard
There are many size options to choose from for your postcards, so how do you pick the right one?
Start with the end in mind. What is your desired outcome of this campaign?
Think about how you want your audience to feel when they open their mailbox and see your postcard. Take a look at your own mailbox and ask a few questions about the mail you receive.
- Which postcards stand out to you and why?
- Which postcards went right in the garbage and why?
Finally, think about the design and content. Do you want to have multiple photos and detailed text? Are you adding a QR code? Is your message short with not a lot of images? Your answers to these types of questions can help guide you.
Still struggling? Check out our hundreds of templates in a variety of sizes. Have some fun with your design on a few different sizes and remember you don’t pay until you mail.
If you have a specific budget, or are just curious what a campaign would cost, check out our pricing page. We keep our all-inclusive pricing simple, and we pass along the lowest possible postage pricing to you.
When you choose SnailBlast for your mailing needs, you are getting a best-in-class, all-in-one design to delivery mailing service with great pricing and better service. Check us out today!