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How to Know When Your Postcards Are Ready for Print

May 11, 2015

A direct mail campaign is the perfect way to re-engage lapsed customers and tap into a new customer base. Effective and provoking content and design are imperative elements used to draw recipients in and encourage them to act on your offer or save it for later.

But how do you know that every element in your postcard is in the right place, and at the right size before printing?

There are some precautionary measures you can take after designing the content and layout of your postcards that can help to ensure that your postcards will be legible, appealing, and ready to produce a great return on investment.

Discover the four things you should check before sending your direct mail postcards off to print.

Proof read your direct mail

Before you place your order, it’s important to carefully review your postcards after coming up with the content, design, and images that you plan to use. This will help ensure that there aren’t any grammatical errors as well as problems with your images or placement.

When placing your order, download the PDF proof of your postcard and open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader to carefully review and inspect every element to ensure it looks and reads how you envisioned it would. Avoid opening the postcard proof in your browser as it can appear distorted.

Using the zoom in tool, zoom in 200% so that you can carefully inspect your company’s logo and other elements included in your postcard to make sure they are crisp, clean, and easy to read. If you have images that appear fuzzy or distorted, you may need to replace them with a higher resolution photo.

Living close to the edge

Another important thing to keep in mind before sending your postcards off to print is to avoid placing any text or images too close to the edge of your postcards.

Imagine seeing your postcards as your recipients do, and some of the words or letters are missing due to a design placement too close to the edge. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it’s unlikely that it will garner the response you want and can leave a negative impression about the quality of your brand.

Use the PDF proof “trimmed size” feature to see where your postcards will be cut to make sure all content and images are included. Keep in mind that the PDF trimmed size is slightly smaller than the actual size specifications of your postcard. If you feel that some of your content is a little too close, consider moving it around to a safer place.

You can also use the file specifications as a guide before you begin designing your postcards. This can be helpful if this is your first time sending direct mail, or if you’re unsure about the placement of elements on your postcards.

Ensure that it’s centered

Once you’ve reviewed the text for any grammatical errors, ensured that all of your images are crisp, and that none of your content will be cut out, it’s time to make sure that it’s centered.

It’s important that your content is centered because it allows for even distribution of all the elements you want to include in your direct mail campaign as well as making sure it’s balanced and pleasing to the recipient’s eye.

Within the PDF proof, you can determine if your postcard is centered and balanced. If it appears to be otherwise, check to make sure that you are not using a transparent background. If you discover that you are, change it to a solid white, or add a border to your design.

If you use Microsoft software, like PowerPoint or Word to design your postcard, it’s likely that a default transparent background will be set if you do not specify. Use these guideline templates to create layout that is centered every time.

When it doubt, use Professional Review

After reviewing your postcard with the steps mentioned above, you should feel a lot more confident in knowing that your postcards will be clean, legible, and professional. If you still feel unsure about certain elements within your direct mail postcards, you might want to consider consulting the Professional Review team to make sure that everything will appear as planned.

While the Professional Review team does not inspect your text for grammatical errors, they help make sure that the placement and design is compatible and clean looking.

Order your next postcard campaign, here!