The right postcard paper stock can turn something ordinary into something extraordinary and the wrong choice can turn even the best design into a disaster.
From creating copy and choosing images to the final quality check and mailing requirements the direct mail printing process can be intimidating for those who are new to this type of task. But the postcard paper stock is the backbone of your mailer. The touch, feel, and look has to be spot on.
There Are Many Options for Postcard Paper Stock
There is a wide variety of options when it comes to postcard paper stock. You will find varying thicknesses, different strengths, and assorted coatings. Each type of stock will have specific benefits and drawbacks, and each one will be the right pick for certain jobs but the wrong choice for others. All of the factors need to be considered before the best stock can be chosen.
Direct Mail Printing Costs Can Change Depending on the Stock Chosen
The cost of direct mail printing may change depending on the stock chosen. Thicker papers may require extra considerations or special adjustments to ensure that the printing process is not impeded in any way. Thinner stocks may be more fragile and easier to rip, and these options may require special handling or additional steps.
Thicker Stock is More Impressive and Seen as Higher Quality by Consumers
A general rule of thumb is to choose the thickest possible postcard paper stock that you can afford. Thickness is seen as an indicator of quality, and a thicker paper will be more impressive to your recipient. The feel and appearance of a thicker stock can really increase the reputation that your company has and shows the priority that you place on high quality.
If Stock is Too Thick It May Involve Higher Postage Rates
While a thicker postcard paper stock will be more impressive and last longer, it may also cause the cost of postage to increase as well. When paper is thicker this makes it heavier, and postage rates are usually set by size and weight. If your postcard is heavier than the standard weight, this could mean extra fees and costs tacked onto the total postage that is owed.
Make sure your mailpiece meets the minimum thickness requirement. Thin, flimsy pieces tend to get caught in mail processing equipment.
What Does Your Budget Say?
The cost of direct mail printing will always be a factor in any campaign. The stock thickness that you want for your printed items should fit within the budget amount that you have set. As usual, it is important to balance cost and quality in order to compromise and get an acceptable level of both. If you really cannot work within your budget then you may have to redo the budget to be more realistic.
Some Stocks May be Too Thick for the Desired Purpose
There are times when a postcard paper stock may be too thick and this could make it unsuitable for the purpose for which it is intended. If you plan to send a postcard that folds then the thickness of the stock will need to be thin enough to allow the material to be folded. If you are not sure then ask the printer you are using what they would recommend for your project.
What is the Expected Life of the Postcard?
If you are selecting postcard paper stock for a mailer that is only intended to be kept for a very short time then you will probably want a thinner and less expensive stock. If you are sending out a price list postcard designed to be kept for a long period then a thicker choice will be more durable and stand up well over time better.
What Requirements Does Your Printer Have?
Before you make any final decision on a final postcard paper stock to use make sure you understand the requirements that the selected printer has. Since most printers only carry card stock that they are familiar with this should not be a problem but it is always a good idea to make sure of this before you place your order and part with your money.
What postcard paper stock thickness and type do you usually use and why?