Fundamentals in Postcard Design

By Megan Hausmann

As a marketer, you have seen various shapes and sizes of mail aimed to entice you to open and read what’s inside. Beautifully designed dimensional mailers, pop ups, cut outs, iron cross multi-fold mailers and even packages certainly catch your eye as the target audience in order to motivate and take action.

While these more expensive design examples have proven results, many banks need a more cost-effective approach. How can you catch the eye of your prospect and motivate them to act? You have up to eight seconds to grab your prospects’ attention, so let’s look at best practices for effective postcard design.

1. Personalization

Just adding a person’s name on a full color postcard can increase your response rate by 135 percent. Recipients value mail tailored to their interests. Pulling relevant data for the postcard adds personal touches to the recipient. For example, adding the recipient’s branch including their branch managers name, contact information and a small photo goes a long way.

2. Graphics

The creative should be important to the prospect, as they need to relate to your postcard. It must captivate your audience. Consider this example from Liberty Bank attracting new movers to open deposits.

Prospects were located in neighborhood settings outside of Chicago, two miles from each branch. A big challenge was conveying to millennials a smaller bank like theirs could do just as much and more as the larger, bigger name banks. On the back of the postcard are printed ATM locations close to the resident’s home. Within four months Liberty established dozens of new accounts and within five years, revenue from the new mover campaign estimated is estimated at $90,000. The colors it chose and the nostalgic design gave a local feel to recipients. This type of design differentiated from city bank buildings with sleek and contemporary design.

New mover campaigns have big potential, and according to V12, people who move are five times more likely to be attracted to your bank if you connect with them first. Our recommended strategy to attract new movers is a three-part campaign.

3. Font

Font choice is directly connected to conveying a message. How do you want the reader to feel when looking at your postcard? Let’s look at two bank logo examples. The “Capital” in Capital One is based on the sans serif font Frutiger Black. Chase Bank’s logo is also a version of sans serif. Each speaks of trust, elegance, respect and tradition. It also is a neutral font. In designing your postcard, what type of message would you like to convey? Ninety-five percent of graphic design is typography. So it’s important.

4. Keep it simple

If there are a maximum of eight seconds for your prospect to look at the postcard, read it and decide to act, then a clear and simple message with a call to action is the main driver for the design. Do not clutter the postcard with verbiage.

Instead, use a bold, clear headline that communicates exactly what the service or product is. It is equally as important to guide the reader with an action to take after reading the headline. If possible, adding a due date to the postcard will help motivate the audience to take action.

Here are some examples of calls to action:

  • To qualify, make five purchases between July 1 and August 1.
  • Download our mobile app for more details.
  • Visit our website at to apply online.
  • From now until August 1, bring this postcard into your nearest branch for a chance to win $500.

5. Measure results

Postcards drive response and ROI if you communicate correctly. Drive your prospect online by providing a specific landing page, a QR code or (if your budget allows) a personalized URL. The mobile app is also useful for tracking specific sales campaign results.

You do not need a robust budget to grab the attention of your targeted audience. Following these best practices with any direct mailer will motivate your prospects to take action from your campaign and give you the results you need.

Megan Hausmann is the account executive for marketing services at BankBound, a results-driven agency that works exclusively with local banks.