Free postcard templates are a great tool for small business owners to market and advertise their business with a minimum strain on the company budget. Use a template for any purpose a postcard would be a good idea for. If you stay under the 4 ¼-by-6-inch parameter for a standard postcard, the trusty USPS will deliver your postcards at the cheapest rate they have (roughly 1/15 the price of a cup of coffee at $.20). With a postcard, you can display photos of the storefront or your new products, thank customers for their business, announce promotions, events, and whatever else you can dream up to drum up business. Even pared-down newsletter postcards have been known to achieve impressive results.
Postcards basically work like billboards, but unlike the enormous and all-seeing eyes of Dr. T.J Eckleburg staring down on The Valley of Ashes, you control the content, message, and symbolism on your mini-billboard. This is yet another article in the all-things template series showcasing the free sources (and the bargain-basement offerings) the Internet provides for your desktop publishing needs. Take advantage of these freebies to generate customers, boost sales, and make known what it is that you have to offer.
As always, when working with these templates, have whatever pictures, company logos, and graphics at your disposal on your computer to upload them onto the ready-made designs. Don’t neglect to display your contact information prominently. This is no time to be mysterious. Even if they throw it away, there’s no envelope so you still have a chance to get inside their head on a subliminal level.
I had to do a lot of research to find totally free postcard templates that weren’t lame (just blank cards that you could insert a little text and nothing else.) On the other hand, if you do want the most basic template available, which in some cases is all you really need, especially if you are a nascent entrepreneur, go to http://www.postcard-template.com/.The supply of free postcard templates wasn’t as abundant as the other DTP project templates, expounded upon in this article series, but keep in mind that there are numerous companies that allow you to customize their postcard templates online, then they print them out and either send them to you or directly to the leads off the mailing list you give to them. These printing companies offer a greater variety of templates, categorized by types of businesses, and have easily navigable steps to upload your photos, logos, text, and more. They offer competitive prices so I’ll list a few for you at the bottom of this article.
In terms of free templates, check out what HP has to offer with its small business resource center at http://www.hp.com/sbso/productivity/office/direct_marketing.html. It will guide you through the process seamlessly and offers some good marketing and promotional tips as well.
I liked the free postcard template selection at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT101449501033.aspx?stt=26. These postcard templates were easy to work with and it took very little time to customize them and get them printed. You will need to have Microsoft Publisher to use them and if you don’t have it, Microsoft offers a 60-day free trial offer so you can download it, make your postcards, and then drop the program like a bad habit. Get in and get out, Bill Gates will never know.
As long as we’re on the subject of downloading software, I was impressed with the capabilities of Serif PagePlus, a freeware you can download and then you have a great program for all your desktop publishing projects with plenty of templates and the capability to integrate all your own photos, logos, and even design new ones if you like. If that sounds like a good option, go to http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/DesignTemplates/DesignView.asp?ID=647&navProduct=pageplus&type=packs&Cat=13.
To glean more information about the mailing process, such as rates and advantages of using bulk versus first class, plus other helpful hints, go to http://www.modernpostcard.com/preparing_materials/mailing/postage_types/.
If you want to spend a little more and avoid the paper choosing, printing, and mailing steps altogether, you can find printing companies that will handle it all, from design to mailing it for you. You’ll find some of the cheapest rates for these services at http://www.vistaprint.com/full-color-postcards.aspx?GP=8%2F10%2F2008+6%3A39%3A30+PM. You’ll find another good option at http://www.psprint.com/printing-products/gloss-postcard-printing.asp. A quick Google search will provide you with cost comparisons and you can also contact your local printer, for convenience sake.
Now that you have this wealth of resources, engage your creative faculties to produce the most effective and eye-catching postcard you can. Postcards are a time-saving, cost-effective, and easy way to broadcast the capabilities of your small business.