Post Card Design for the USPS
Let's talk Postcards! With a little background information you can maximize your marketing dollars and be sure you are compliant with postal regulations. Our staff is well versed in this area and can assist you with the design to be sure you are in compliance and receive the best possible mailing price.
Sizes for Postcards - there are choices!
Postcards are an inexpensive way to get an immediate message to customers. When they arrive in the mail, there's the message - no envelope to open!
First-Class Mail postcards are a great value, too. With First-Class Mail postcards, you pay a low price and get all of the benefits, like forwarding and return that come with First-Class Mail. And, if you mail with single-piece First-Class Mail postage affixed, there is no extra work involved - simply drop the postcards in a collection box.
You may think that your mailpiece is a "postcard," because it is a single sheet of paper. But to qualify for mailing at the First-Class Mail postcard price, it must be:
- At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick
- No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick
If your mailpiece does not meet the dimensions above, then the Postal Service considers it a letter and letter-size postage is charged.
Here are some basic guidelines for First Class Mail:
- Minimum Weight: None
- Maximum Weight: 13 ounces (over 13 ounces, First-Class Mail becomes Priority Mail)
- Letter Maximum Weight: 3.5 ounces
- Minimum Quantity to Mail at Commercial Prices: 500 pieces
- First-Class Mail letter-size pieces that are square, rigid or meet at least one of the nonmachinable characteristics are subject to the nonmachinable surcharge
- Flat-size pieces that are rigid, nonrectangular, or have uneven thickness will pay the parcel price
- Quicker delivery time
- Free Forwarding and return
With Standard Mail, there is a little more flexibility - there is no separate (lower) price for postcards, so you don't have to worry about your postcard being too big - because you're paying letter prices anyway. But make sure that your postcard is no larger than 6-1/8" x 11-1/2" x 1/4" thick. Mailpieces larger than any of those dimensions and you'll have to pay flats (large envelope) postage prices. Our standard size of 5.5" x 8.5" is the most economical size for postage as well as the best fit for our printing presses to be able to offer you our discounted rates.
Here are some basic guidelines for Standard Mail:
- There is no Minimum Weight
- Maximum Weight: less than 16 ounces
- Minimum Quantity: 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail
- Longer delivery time
- Lower cost
- No free forwarding or return
Postcard Example below indicates the areas of the mailing side that must meet certain postal requirements. Our staff can assist with this design to be sure you are in compliance and don't incur additional costs.
- Return address area
- Address area that must be ink free
- Barcode area at bottom that must be ink free