Costs of Printing a Marketing Postcard

9 01 2009

Many factors go into the price of printing marketing postcards. Here are the standard decisions you’ll need to make about your postcard that will affect its price.

Size
The bigger your postcard, the more it’s going to cost. A standard 4×6 postcard is usually plenty big enough, but if you want to bump it up to a 5×7 or 6×8, you can expect to pay another $15 to $50 per 250. To make a smaller postcard stand out from the normal bills, pay a little extra for a bright color, like orange or yellow. Be sure the color you choose isn’t too dark so that it doesn’t make the text hard to read.

Design (graphic designer)
Some printing companies have free postcard templates that allow you to design your postcard to your liking. The trouble with this is that your postcard could end up looking like the company’s down the street, or worse yet, your competitor! It’s best to design it yourself, or hire a freelance graphic designer. Experienced designers can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 an hour. You could hire a graphic design student from a local university for much less, probably $10 to $20 an hour.

You could also pay an advertising or marketing firm to design a postcard for you, but the rates will be even higher than the freelance designer’s. I’d advise against this unless the firm is also designing the rest of your marketing materials.

Front and back design
A postcard with a 4-color front and back versus nothing on the back will cost you about $20 to $25 for 1,000 postcards.

Mailed proof or instant, electronic proof
Any more, everyone is going to a PDF, electronic proof, which is normally free. The bad news: the colors you see on screen won’t exactly match what you’ll get with a printed piece. You can pay an extra $1 to $6 for a mailed proof.

Folded, perforated flap
Add about $20 to your order of 1,000 postcards for one side to be perforated. (This is actually a pretty good deal, since it will make it more likely for people to return your form.)

Rounded corners
If you want your postcards to look a little more stylish, you can pay about $30 more for rounded corners.

Turnaround time
The quicker you want them, the more it’s going to cost you. This is where it pays to plan ahead. Expect to pay another $15 to $30 for rush services.

Mailing services
Mailing services usually include addressing your postcards, as well as checking your mailing list for USPS format errors and then putting postage on the postcards and mailing them out. Some printing companies even sell mailing lists. Mailing services could run you between $100 to $300, with purchasing a mailing list included in the upper range.

Bulk order
The more you order, the less you pay per postcard. Instead of ordering 250 at 30 cents each, you can get 500 at about 13 cents each. Up that to 1,000 and you’re looking at only 7 cents each. The savings are significant, if you need a high quantity.

Full color versus one color
By going full color on both sides, you spend about $20 to $40 more than if you did full color on one side (for 1,000 postcards).

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