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Create Direct Mail Postcard Templates In Postalytics

Overview

Postalytics offers a variety of methods to create direct mail postcard templates. Build a template from scratch with an easy to use, streamlined, and intuitive Direct Mail Editor. It’s easier than creating email!

 

How To Create 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 Postalytics.

Build Direct Mail Postcard Templates From Scratch

Complete the steps to start creating your new template.

Choose Your Template Type (postcard or letter) and then Choose Your Template Size.

The template sizes are available in 4×6, 6×9, and 6×11 in both portrait and landscape layouts.

Landscape Layout:

  • 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.
create direct mail templates - from scratch

Postalytics Direct Mail Editor

postcard bleed safe areas


The Postalytics Direct Mail Editor is an easy to use tool that gives you everything you need to create direct mail postcards templates that will wow your audience.

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:

  • Undo
  • Redo
  • Alignment
  • Zoom
  • Snap to Grid
  • Postage Area Toggle

 

 

Naming Template

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. Always save your work.

create direct mail templates - name temlate

 

 

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 the Variable Data icon, which is only a select option, not a drag and drop.

create direct mail templates - build panel

Build

Features include adding:

  • Text
  • Bullet List
  • Images
  • Horizontal Line
  • Squares, Circles
  • Rectangles

Use the elements by clicking and dragging to the canvas.

Track

Features include adding a Personalized URL (pURL) and/or a QR Code. 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.

Personalize

Features include adding Variable Data and Variable Logic.

Variable Data personalizes your template with data such as “First Name” which is derived from an imported list.

Click and drag a text block to the canvas using the T icon. Double click the text block. Go to the Personalize Panel and click on the Variable Data icon. Under Available Variable Data Inserts select First Name. “%First Name%” should populate in the text block.

Variable Logic also creates personalization from your list.

Click and drag the Variable Logic icon to the canvas. Double click on the text block. Fill in the appropriate logic fields for your campaign, then click Insert. Once the Variable Logic is completed, click Update.

 

Properties Panel

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.

 

Styles Tab

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
  • Weight
  • Decoration
  • Alignment
  • Line Height
  • Style
  • Letter Spacing
  • Width
  • Height

This is also where you can Delete or Duplicate the element on the canvas.

create direct mail templates - property styles

 

Arrangement Tab

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).

the arrangment buttons in use

 

 

Effects Tab

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)

create direct mail templates - property effects

 

 

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.

Search Free Images

In the search feature, search keywords of images you are looking for. 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. For this instance the background image measurements are 8.5 x 11 inches or 2550 x 3300 pixels.

create direct mail templates - template properties

 

Preview and Proof Template

An important part of the process of creating a direct mail postcard template is the method of previewing and proofing.

Preview Template provides a PDF download to get a closer look of how the finished product will look. This is a great tool to use throughout your design process.

Proof Template also provides a PDF download in addition to importing sample data or data from your list to populate the postcard’s variable fields to see how the finished product will look.

The Proof Template is an extremely important feature that needs to be completed before using the postcard design in a campaign.

create direct mail templates - proofer

 

Postcard Design Walk-through

Once you become comfortable using the editor, start designing and let your creativity soar!

Follow this walk-through to learn how to create a postcard from scratch.

*Make sure to always save your template as you go through the design process.

Step 1: Select Postcard Size

In the Postalytics navigation bar, select Creative>New Template. Select the Create in Postalytics box. In the Build a Template from Scratch window, Choose Postcard as the template type and 4″X6″ as the size.

Step 2: Name Postcard

Rename your postcard “Dog Training Postcard” in the top right of the editor.

create direct mail templates - postcard name

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.

create direct mail templates - image search

Recommended Background Image Sizes

To ensure highest background image quality, we recommend downloading and cropping images to the following sizes:

4” x 6” Postcard

GuidesH x W (in)H x W (px)
Bleed4.25” x 6.25”1275 x 1875

 

6” x 9” Postcard

GuidesH x W (in)H x W (px)
Bleed6.25” x 9.25”1875 x 2775

 

6” x 11” Postcard

GuidesH x W (in)H x W (px)
Bleed6.25” x 11.25”1875 x 3375

 

 

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.

Again, use the right panel (Properties and Styles tab) to change the font to Oswald, the color to white, and the font sizes.

Then, drag the horizontal line icon from the left Build panel to the canvas and 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 the left Track panel to the canvas and adjust the size.

The QR Code that you setup 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 setup 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.

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 Address Area. You will need to design around this space.

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, and change the color to orange utilizing the Properties and Styles tab under the Color option.

Next, change the text to the font Oswald by clicking each text block and utilizing the Properties and Styles panel to change the Font Family to Oswald.

Finally, 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)

There are two ways to add a pURL. You can simply click and drag the pURL icon from the left Track panel to the canvas.

Similarly, you can click and drag a text block to the canvas, then write in the variable input “%pURL%”.

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 setup 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.

create direct mail templates - proof 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:

proofer data source

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:

proofer with return address

Step 11: Setup pURL

When selecting to proof with your data, a window will appear with steps to build a personalized URL(pURL) that will populate in the proof to preview how it will look.

create direct mail templates - proof pop up

Step 12: Wait for Proof to Generate

The editor now prepares your proof for viewing. This allows you to see the variable fields populated and download the proof for closer viewing.

create direct mail templates - proof rendering

 

Step 13: Review Proof, Download, and Share

Postalytics will present to your a high resolution PDF that you should review carefully before moving on. If you’ve used a list to create the proof, data from the list will be used to fill any variable data fields that you’ve used in your creative. You can toggle through multiple proofs to see the impact of the longest names, addresses and other variables.

If you’d like to share the proof (download and email for comment or approval, or post on social media), click the Share button.

When satisfied with the proof select Accept Final Proof or select Return To Editor if further adjustments need to be made.

*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.

 

Step 14: Template is Now Ready to be Used in a Campaign

After selecting Save Final Proof & Close, in the View Templates window you will now see a green check mark under the Proof column.

In addition, your finished template will now appear when going through the steps of Creating a Campaign.

Once your templates are proofed, they can be used in a Postalytics Smart Send or Workflow Drip campaign. If you have any questions on how to create direct mail templates in Postalytics, don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

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