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Ideas for postcards / mailers
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TheVoiceOfBob
14th Avenue


Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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Location: Pittsburgher in the Carolinas

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:26 am    Post subject: Ideas for postcards / mailers Reply with quote

I'd like to start doing some mailers for VO and I wanted some input into creating one. I'd like to start with something like a postcard, announcing who I am, what I offer, etc... I'd like some ideas on what works and what doesn't. I have NO graphic creation skills. Give me a T-square and some triangles and I'll design you parts all day, but being creative on something like a mailer completely escapes me.
I did a search of the archives here and picked up a few ideas, but I'd like to hear what would be good, what would be BAD.
This would mostly be for local distribution.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simple design is best IMHO, but well designed is important too. I'd find a professional graphic artist or graphic arts student and inquire on rates to give you a finished product you can take to a print shop. I'd skip long bios and long lists of services you provide and just drive them to view and listen to your website.

I'm sure we'd enjoy seeing what you end up sending out and a report back on your response results if you feel like sharing.

B
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Rognog
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I create postcards in Word and print them using Avery postcard stock. Then I print my mailing labels via ACT and off they go. It's inexpensive and pretty easy to use. If you have the funds to do something a more high-end, you should go with Bruce's suggestions...
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bobbinbeamo
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Photoshop or Publisher to design and Avery postcards and my return address labels to print on my HP Laser. For client address labels, I used my Quickbooks database and use clear labels. My stock is getting low, so this is timely! I am thinking about Modern Postcards. Has anyone used them?
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TheVoiceOfBob
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd also be interested in what people put on the cover of their postcards, I like the suggestion given by Bruce, the old K.I.S.S. method.

I was looking at Postcard Builder as another way to create one. My graphic designing skills are horrid, so a site like that where it steps me through it helps.

I used to use Quickbooks back when I owned a business. This hasn't created enough to purchase software yet, but perhaps in the near future.

Maybe some guidelines much like Deirdre has for websites would be a useful thing to put together here for mailers.
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louzucaro
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anybody thinking about doing postcards, if you're not a good designer yourself like me, I definitely recommend hiring an artist to design your stuff. They'll do it right and it'll look good.

It's like I tell my clients re: web development: A bad site is kinda worse than no site

Smile
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Lou Zucaro
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Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,
nothing on the postcard, but I just started using Quickbooks Simple Start, it's free and will handle up to 20 clients, and easy upgrade to the fuller version later.
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DougVox
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Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along the lines of the great advice Lou gave, keep in mind who you're sending your postcards to. If they're going to advertising agencies, remember that these are people who are around high-quality, professional artwork every day. They're not likely to be impressed by anything less.

Yeah, it's tempting to save some cash by designing and printing them yourself, but you might be doing yourself more harm than good.

Present yourself as a pro and that's how you'll be seen. It's all about branding. Right, Frank?
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louzucaro
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to follow up by saying that you do NOT have to spend a ton of money to have truly professional design done, especially for something like postcards.

Here's how I did it for mine...I went around online and looked at websites of artists...hundreds of them.

I made a short list of the ones that fit the style I was looking for.

I contacted them, and told them I was looking for a designer to create the artwork for a CD as well as some coordinated postcards (I wanted to do three different designs) and asked them to provide pricing and turnaround time.

I made my decision based on style, price, turnaround time quoted, and how quickly they responded to my e-mails as well as their attitude. There were a few good candidates but in the end it came down to one guy who had it all, and he totally nailed it as far as what I was looking for.
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TheVoiceOfBob
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou,
That sounds like a good process.

What kind of artists did you do your searches on? I'd like to emulate your process, so whatever shortcuts you care to hand out, please feel free!
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louzucaro
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you first need to decide what style you want to go with. That will help tremendously, because then your brain will be able to instantly filter out anybody who doesn't do that kind of artwork.

Then I just started with Google searches on 'artists' and 'illustrators' and went from there.

I also had already written all of my copy before I spoke with the artists on my short list, and I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted as the main elementes of the art to be created...I would suggest the same, as it'll help the process along greatly.

For me, I like to dictate certain aspects of things and leave the rest to the artist...after all, I'm hiring them for their creativity, so that's important to me. For you, something different might work better, so just make sure it's a process you'll be comfortable.

It also helps to know the various media that'll be used. Your artist may or may not know what the best formats are to work in, so if you know, then you can tell them...and if you're dealing with somebody who really knows what they're doing, none of what you tell them will be a surprise or a problem.

Be clear on your deliverables...what you expect to get from the artist...I like to put that stuff in writing in e-mail so everybody involved has a clear understanding of the project and what's expected of both sides.

For me, I wanted a very particular style and once I found it, I laid out the elements that I knew I wanted, provided the copy and made sure the artist knew where everything was supposed to go (particularly for the art related to the CD).

The whole thing went very smoothly. Here's where I ended up:

CD art
Matching postcard 1 art
Matching postcard 2 art
Matching postcard 3 art

As happy as I am with how it all turned out, keep in mind I've dropped the ball in several areas, which brings us to another extremely important point: don't drop the ball.

First, I've done a crappy job with my website. It's 'fine' for now, but I need to re-do it and fix some stuff. Second, I have these great postcards and haven't sent them out yet. Don't make the same mistakes! If you do all the work, make sure you finish the job haha.
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Jeffrey Kafer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the art style, but I can't say I'm a huge fan of the postcards. They don't say anything! If I read the front that said "Guess what?", I'd expect the answer on the back.

But hey, if they work for you, who am I to criticize....
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louzucaro
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha well, they WOULD have the answer on the back...but since the answer would change with each mailing, I'm going to be writing the answers in.

For instance the "Guess what?" would be to alert somebody to a project I just finished / a spot I had landed etc. Or to update them on a new demo / some info on the website.

That's why I did three of them, to be able to use them in different circumstances.
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Lou Zucaro
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Diane Maggipinto
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

or maybe something like:

"Guess what?"

"I actually DID it (again). I made it to the altar, stood there as long as was necessary, and now I'm of the connubial sort"
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louzucaro
The Gates of Troy


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure my clients want to hear about that...
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Lou Zucaro
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