With the one-of-a-kind Postalytics Direct Mail Editor you’ll be able to easily create personalized, automated direct mail templates for letters, custom envelopes, postcards, and bi-fold self mailers.
In the Direct Mail Editor, templates are designed in HTML. Why is this important? Because by generating and storing templates as HTML, they can be built, copied and modified! Our direct mail creative template tools work just like email marketing editors that marketers use all day.
What about personalization? With Postalytics, you can embed Variable Data, Variable Logic (merge tags and dynamic content), and even Variable Images, directly into your template (excluding custom envelopes), so that you don’t have to replicate the personalization each time you want to generate a proof, with a manual printing pre-press operator setting up a “job” in order to get a proof.
Speaking of proofs – we’ve replaced the old-fashioned direct mail proofing process with a waaaaay better system! In our editor, you can instantly merge your template with data from either a list you’ve uploaded, or with sample data, and generate high resolution PDF proofs, which are the exact mailpiece that gets generated by Postalytics. You can then download, email it to others on your team for approval, and accept the proof in a matter of minutes, saving a ton of time versus the traditional direct mail way.
We’ll outline the features in the remainder of this article, and soon you’ll see just how quickly you’ll be able to create your own direct mail templates!
This article reviews all of the features found in the Postalytics Direct Mail Editor, and is recommended reading before designing any template, as well as to use as a reference while you are working in the Editor. We also have articles specific to designing each format that we offer, just click on one of the links below:
Navigating to the Editor
From your Postalytics Home Page, select the Creative Drop Down and then, click 'New Template'.
Next, select 'Create in Editor'. The Editor will then open.
You’ll then select the template format you’d like to create from the drop down menu 'Choose Your Template Type'.
Features of the Editor
Template Name, Save, Close
The top area of the editor is where you’ll name your template. You can also include the date and even the time, if preferred. This area is also where you can Save, Save & Close, and Close your template. When selecting Close, be aware that no changes will be saved. Be sure to save your template as you’re working through the design process.
The middle area of the editor is where you will design and build your direct mail. This is known as the canvas and will be formatted differently depending on the template format and size selected in the 'Build a Template from Scratch' drop down menu.
The dotted green line you see within the canvas 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 solid 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.
Above the Canvas
The tabs along the top left indicate the different pages or sides, depending on the format chosen.
For letters the tabs will indicate which page is being designed. To add a page to the design, simply click the + sign.
Letter designs can be made to print single or double sided.
To select double sided printing, add a page to the template design with the +, and then click the Double Sided box within the Settings drop down menu. You can print up to 6 pages front and back - that’s 12 pages total!
For Postcards and Custom Envelopes these tabs appear as Edit Front and Edit Back. Once you are finished designing the front, simply click “Edit Back” and you’ll be ready to design the back side.
If you’re designing a bi-fold self mailer, these tabs appear as Outside and Inside. The canvas will show the design fold marks on both sides, as well as the glue area on the inside panel.
The tabs along the top right of the canvas include:
- Alignment - allows you to select and align objects to the template or to other objects
- Snap to Grid - allows you to move objects in small increments for perfect alignment
- Postage Area & Bifold Glue Markings Toggle - allows you to hide these elements from the design view in the Editor
- Settings (Letter templates only - to indicate double sided printing)
Build, Track, and Personalize Panel
To the left of the canvas is the Build, Track, and Personalize Panel. Here you can click and drag the icons onto the canvas. The only exception is the Variable Data icon, which is only a select option, not a drag and drop.
Features include adding:
- Bullet List
- Horizontal Line
Use the elements by clicking and dragging to the canvas.
Features include adding:
Both work the same way. In Postalytics templates, you position a pURL or QR code on your template. These act as “Variables” or “merge tags” that get replaced with the actual pURL or QR code when you build your campaign. Why do it this way? So that you can re-use your template over and over again in different campaigns.
Both the pURL and the QR code will direct your recipients to the landing page of your choice, that you enter in your campaign setup. The pURL is hosted on a domain that you configure in our domains tool prior to your campaign setup.
Select your tracking method and click and drag to the canvas.
Position the tracking to your preference and make any necessary styling adjustments to meet your creative goals.
Features include adding:
- Variable Data
- Variable Logic
- Variable Images
To the right of the canvas is the Properties Panel. When you are not actively using the editor, this panel will display helpful editor details if you get stuck.
When an object or text is selected on the canvas the Properties tab displays, allowing you to toggle between the Styles, Arrangement, and Effects tabs.
The Styles tab allows you to adjust:
- Font Family
- Font Size
- Text Color
- Highlight Color
- Line Height
This is also where you can Delete or Duplicate the element on the canvas.
Use the Position arrows or Top (px) and Left (px) to move text blocks, images, or shapes on the canvas.
Arrangement buttons Forward and Backward allows you to adjust how a text block, shape, or image is layered on the canvas. You can move up or down a single layer (middle buttons) or all the way to the front or back (end buttons).
Effects provide more advanced features for creative development:
- Adjust text blocks, images and shapes using Rotate, Corner Radius
- Border Settings: (Style, Width and Color)
- Text Shadow Settings (Horizontal, Vertical, Blur and Color)
- Box Shadow Settings (Location, Horizontal, Vertical, Blur, Spread and Color)
Template Properties Panel
Default Template Font
By changing the Default Template Font, the Direct Mail Editor will apply the single font change to the entire mail piece rather than changing each text block individually.
Front and Back Template Settings
Overlay Color allows you to select a color and apply a transparency to give your background image a color effect. Sometimes using overlay colors can help darken the background image to improve readability of text over images.
Add a background image by selecting Browse or select Search to look through a library of over 200,000 high resolution free photos.
Background images can contain images, designs, logos and text. Just be sure to design around the Address Area and Postage Area on the envelope, and you can upload images to the Asset Manager any time.
If the dpi is higher or lower than what is recommended for a particular format, even if the height and width are correct, your image may not upload, or render properly.
Add a background image by selecting Browse (to choose images from the Assets that you’ve uploaded)
Search Free Images
There is also a Search feature which allows you to look through a library of over 200,000 high resolution free photos. You’ll be able to search keywords of interest for images that correspond to your design or messaging. When you see an image you like, select Preview or Select.
Preview will show the full size image and Select will import the photo onto your canvas.
*IMPORTANT* When using the free image search tool, we recommend downloading the image and resizing to the appropriate template size. Then, upload the image back into Postalytics.
Preview and Proof Template
An important part of the process of creating a direct mail template is the method of previewing and proofing.
Preview Template provides a template PDF preview, before you go through The Proofer steps, so you can get a closer look of the finished product and make any edits needed. This is a great tool to use throughout your design process.
Proof Template provides high resolution PDF proofs that include data population of any variables as well as pURL formatting to see how all of the pieces fit and how the finished product will look.
Proof Template is an extremely important feature that needs to be completed before using your design in a campaign.
Now that we’ve reviewed the features, it’s your turn to have some fun creating inspiring and compelling direct mail pieces.
We love hearing from our customers! Please reach out to us with your questions, or comments!