6×9 Postcards Can Help Mitigate USPS Postage Increase Costs

Go big and go home! Big news is coming to home mailboxes.

Let’s dispense with the 800 lb. gorilla (riding the elephant) in the room; postal rates are going up for the second time this year. We previously shared several ways to optimize direct mail campaign costs to offset the impact to your budget. And now there’s another silver lining.

USPS delivers for marketers

Recognizing the important role that marketing mail has in the long-term health of the postal system, and the effectiveness of direct mail to drive commerce, the USPS has delivered on a long-standing marketing wish. As of August 29, 2021, the same day of the postage rate increases, USPS is increasing the size of the preferred rate postcard from 4.25″ x 6″ to 6″ in height x 9″ in length. So, marketers will be able to send qualifying mail at any size from 4.25″ x 6″ to 6″ x 9″ and still receive the preferred rate:

Current First-Class Postcard rates

Retail @ $0.36pp
Auto Presort from $0.285pp to $0.269pp

August 29 First-Class Postcard rates (includes 6×9)

Retail @ $0.40pp
Auto Presort from $0.326pp to $0.306pp

The opportunity

Marketers now have over double the real estate to communicate with their audiences, for the same rate they’d pay for the much smaller mailer, complete with first-class handling. This is, to put it mildly, huge. Goodbye 7-point body copy! Get lost, micro-logos!

We’ll bet you are already dreaming about taking full advantage of:

When these new larger items start arriving in homes, people are going to notice!

Two birds, one postcard

In addition, this change better facilitates the use of presorted postcards for combined promotional and non-promotional content. For example, companies that use postcards as payment or appointment reminders can also include promotional information/offers, to offset the mailing costs. 

It’s also the perfect vehicle to include newer technologies like QR codes or smart speaker activations without eating into the primary content marketing footprint.

New postcard rate dimensions
Sometimes, bigger IS better!
Retargeting ROAS

We see direct mail retargeting earning direct mailers an average of 4.7 to 34.7 return on ad spend, depending on the brand’s vertical. It has been our guidance in most situations that a 4.25″ x 6″ postcard is the format that yields the greatest results, largely due to the timeliness of First-Class service and the cost-efficiency to print. Depending on the specific case, a larger postcard may be worth a test. This will help validate if the standard 4.25″ x 6″ continues to be the optimal size for maximum direct mail retargeting return.


2023 Postage Outlook for Direct Marketers

For additional insights on how to mitigate postage increases and boost ROI, download our 2023 Postage Outlook eBook.

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