Printing And Mailing: Promoting Your Business Vs. Saving The Postal Service

As we all know, the United States Post Office is having some issues - facing billions of dollars in losses and kicking around a few ideas to cut costs - curtailing delivery on Saturday, or only delivering every other piece of junk mail (just kidding about that last bit).

The USPS came rattling its tin cup during the Great Bailout months of 2009, but the feds had already forked over all their bailout funds to GM and AIG.

So the Post Office is in trouble. How can you help? Well, you could pay absolutely no attention to the biggest cost in doing a postcard printing/post office mailing project: the postage. It's always the biggest part. So go nuts! Paying no mind to the cost of mailing can be your way of helping the USPS: squandering your hard-earned dollars by doing your mailing the most expensive way possible.

Isn't that what you Want to Do? No?

Well, alright then. Let's assume that you do want the Post Office to recover, but you don't want to finance the whole recovery yourself. Let's assume you want to save money on your mailing instead.

How? Designing a postcard with mailing costs in mind.

The design of your postcard - keeping in mind some of the particulars regarding postal rates - will give your printing and mailing effort much more bang for the buck.

The most important point is to make sure your postcard is one of those that gets read, not just tossed in the trash or used to line birdcages. We go into more on that subject in other articles, but one all-important item bears repeating here:

Keep it simple. Don't try to cram too much information on one postcard. You may have 499 outstanding products in your product line, but trying to cram information about each item onto a postcard will result in none of them standing out. Pick one and beat the drum (briefly) for that one, or just talk (again, briefly) about how great your company is.

Now then, about those pesky postage costs.

A standard small postcard, at 4" x 6", is usually enough real estate to get your message across and tell your recipients what you want them to do (call, email, visit your web site, etc.) And a 4" x 6" card is treated favorably by the post office - in terms of cost, how it is handled, and how fast it gets there, viz:

Small 4" x 6" postcards go by first class delivery, which is definitely a good thing. But unlike regular first class mail, currently pegged at 44 a piece, 4" x 6" postcards have their own rate, 27 - or even 23 if you send them as a mass mailing (more details on how to do that in a future article).

Postcards of that size are also delivered in 3 - 5 days no matter which way you send them. Larger sizes can cost more and take longer to deliver.

If you absolutely, positively can't stuff every important point on a small card, watch for a future article on larger sizes and their postal peccadillos.

When anyone is looking, Bailey Stone writes extensively about postcard printing, brochure printing and the use of other printed materials for business promotion and sales. When no one is around he writes on a broad range of subjects. See his company's web site here:

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