By: Mike Ryan
President- Cactus Mailing Company
Color is what makes your postcard standout in a stack of mail. It's also what makes color postcards such an effective direct mail piece. Let's face it- a typical mailbox contains several pieces of advertising mail everyday. If you don't takes steps to make your postcard standout, grab the recipient's attention, and be one of the first pieces read- your response rates will suffer. It's as simple as that. The typical approach is to select a colorful image that is relevant to the product/service being offered or that relates into the content of the postcard.
What do you do if you can't find a colorful image that relates to your content?
Stick with the color and forget the relevancy. I've received many postcards that have had pictures of something that resembled the pattern on some of the 10 year old ties I have in my closet, but because it was colorful - it stood out and grabbed my attention. All kidding aside, I've seen successful postcard campaigns where a relevant colorful image couldn't be found so the postcard designer utilized random shapes and vibrant colors - it worked.
The back side of the postcard is a different story. The back of the postcard is side that contains the majority of the content. This content needs to convince the reader to take action and respond to your offer. Too much color on this side can distract the reader causing him to skip around and not read your marketing method in the most effective / persuasive sequence. Additionally, too much color can result in poor contrast between the colors and the text. If the test is difficult to read most people will just skim through it and as a result won't get the full effect of you marketing message. The best way to use color on the back side of a postcard is to use it to make the key element of your marketing message stand-out.