Postalytics offers a variety of methods to create direct mail postcard templates. Aside from creating your mailpiece using third party software or a designer, you can build a template from scratch with our easy to use, streamlined, and intuitive Direct Mail Editor.
Before we walk through the steps to create a postcard template, be sure to open and review our help article Understanding the Postalytics Direct Mail Editor. This article explains in detail all of the features within The Editor. As you are becoming familiar with using The Editor, it’s recommended to keep this article open while creating any template format.
First Steps in Creating Direct Mail Postcard Templates
In the Postalytics application, from the Creative drop down menu, select 'New Template'. This will bring you to the Create Template page. To begin, select 'Create in Editor'.
Build Direct Mail Postcard Templates From Scratch
Now, complete the steps to start creating your new template.
Choose Your Template Type Postcard then Choose Your Template Size. The template sizes are available in 4×6, 6×9, and 6×11 in both portrait and landscape layouts.
- 4″ x 6″ (Landscape) 120# (14PT) gloss cover, UV coated
- 6″ x 9″ (Landscape) 120# (14PT) gloss cover, UV coated
- 6″ x 11″ (Landscape) 120# (14PT) gloss cover, UV coated
Front Portrait Layout:
- 4″ x 6″ (Front Portrait) 120# (14PT) gloss cover, UV coated
- 6″ x 9″ (Front Portrait) 120# (14PT) gloss cover, UV coated
- 6″ x 11″ (Front Portrait) 120# (14PT) gloss cover, UV coated
*NOTE: ONLY THE FRONT SIDE OF THE POSTCARD IS A PORTRAIT LAYOUT. THE BACK MAINTAINS A LANDSCAPE LAYOUT.
Important to reiterate in this article (also outlined in the article referenced above) is the workspace within the editor. The middle area of the editor is where you will design and build your direct mail, we call this the canvas.
The dotted green line is the safe margin.
- Keep all text, shapes, and images that are not meant to abut to the edge within this boundary.
- Content outside of this boundary is in risk of being cut off.
The black line is the bleed line.
- This extends past the trim size and is cut off when the postcard is printed.
- Use this to make sure images or color blocks reach the edge of the postcard without any unsightly while edges.
The tabs along the top left indicate the front and back of the postcard which you toggle to edit.
The tabs along the top right of the letter canvas are:
Snap to Grid
Postage Area Toggle
The top of the editor is the area to Name Your Template, Save, Save & Close, and Close. When selecting Close, be aware that no changes will be saved.
Be sure to name your template.
Postcard Design Walk-through
Save your template as you go through the design process.
Step 1: Select Postcard Size
For the purpose of this article, we’ve selected a 4” x 6” Landscape Postcard template.
Step 2: Name Postcard
Rename your postcard “Dog Training Postcard” in the top right of the editor.
Step 3: Import Background Image
To the right of the canvas, Select the Template Properties panel.
Under Front Template Settings, click Search to browse the free image database.
Search the keyword “golden retriever”.
Try to find the same image as shown below, then click Select.
Recommended Background Image Sizes
To ensure highest background image quality, we recommend downloading and cropping images to the following sizes:
4” x 6” Postcard
6” x 9” Postcard
6” x 11” Postcard
Step 4: Create Front Design
Using the left Build panel, begin by dragging the Rectangle icon to the canvas.
- Increase the width and height by double clicking the element and dragging the small blue positioning boxes up and down
- Use the Properties and Styles panel to lower the transparency under the Color option
Next, add text boxes by dragging the T icon from the left Build panel to the canvas.
Use the right panel (Properties and Styles tab) to:
- Change the font to Oswald
- Change the color to white
- Change the font sizes
Then, drag the horizontal line icon from the left Build panel to the canvas.
- Change the color to white with the Properties and Styles panel
- Adjust the width by double clicking the element and dragging the small blue boxes that appear, to the left and right.
Step 5: Add Variable Data
To add Variable Data, drag the T icon to the canvas, double click the element, then click the Variable Data icon in the left Personalize panel.
A pop-up window will appear with a drop menu to Choose Your List and the Variable Data Insert you want to populate. Select and list and choose First Name.
Step 6: Add QR Code
To finish, drag the QR Code icon from the left Track panel to the canvas and adjust the size.
The QR Code that you set up here is a “variable” or placeholder. It will ultimately point your users to a pURL that is generated when your campaign is built. When you set up a campaign that uses a template with a QR Code, you’ll be asked to define a pURL structure, as well as the landing page that you want the recipient to access when they scan your QR, both in the proofer and when building the campaign.
Step 7: Back of Postcard
After completing the front postcard design, click the Edit Back tab at the top left of the editor to begin the back design.
You will see an area blocked off in the bottom right of the postcard. This is the addressing area. You will need to design around this space as it cannot be moved or modified.
You can toggle the view of the address area ON and OFF with the control in top right of the canvas.
Step 8: Create Back Design
To begin, drag the T icon from the left Build panel to the canvas to create text blocks for content.
Then, drag the Bullet List icon to the canvas for text content as well.
Next, drag the Rectangle icon to the canvas.
- Adjust the width and height using the blue positional boxes that appear when double clicking the element
- Change the color to orange utilizing the Properties and Styles tab under the Color option
- Change the text to the font Oswald by clicking each text block and utilizing the Properties and Styles panel
- Change the colors of the text by clicking each text block then using the Properties and Styles tab to change the Text Color to similar colors shown below.
Step 9: Add Personalized URL (pURL)
Click and drag the pURL icon from the left Track panel to the canvas.
Like the QR Code, the pURL that you enter on a template is a “Variable” or placeholder. It will be replaced with an actual pURL for each recipient when you set up a campaign that uses this template.
Step 10: Begin Proofing Template
To use your finished design in a campaign, select the red Proof Template button in the top right corner of the editor.
A pop up window will appear asking to use Sample Data or Your Data to populate the variable fields in the template.
Next, you’ll choose a data source in order to populate your addresses and any personalized Variable Data or Logic fields in your template with data:
After you choose your data source, you can choose to add any Return Address into the Proofer. The default information is pulled from the Postalytics profile.
Step 11: Setup pURL
Step 12: Wait for Proof to Generate
The editor now prepares your proofs for viewing.
Step 13: Review Proof, Print, or Download
These high resolution PDF proofs allow you to see the mailpiece as it will be printed, including the "crop marks' for trimming the piece.
All variable fields populated with the data source selected will be included here, and ou’ll be able to toggle through multiple proofs to see the impact of the longest names, addresses, other variables, and pURL strings.
If you’d like to share the proof you can easily print or even download to attach to an email.
When satisfied with the proof, and all of the Check pages have been confirmed, add your initials and select Accept Final Proof!
If there are any edits to be made, select Return To Editor. You’ll then need to go through the proofing process again.
Note: It is extremely important to review how your variable data populates in your proof. Each variable has different character lengths so please map out an appropriate area on your design to accommodate the longest First Names, pURLs or other types of data used.
For more information on the direct mail proofer, including a how to video, click here:
Step 14: Template is Now Ready to be Used in a Campaign
After the final confirmation has been made, the template will have a green check mark under the Proof column in your Template Library. It will also now be available to select for use in a Postalytics Smart Send or Triggered Drip Campaign.
If you have any questions on how to create direct mail templates in Postalytics, don’t hesitate to Contact Us.