Posterize the Competition

February 22, 2010

Postcards and letters are wonderful marketing vehicles that can drive recipients online to your brick-and-mortar store or get them to raise their hand and simply say, "I'm interested." Yet, why send a postcard when you could send an entire poster to advertise your business?

A poster-mailer format is the same general idea as a postcard; the fun eye-catching stuff is on the front side and the information is on the back. But, unlike a postcard, a poster-mailer folds out into a HUGE format and when designed well, a poster can be impressive and irresistible to potential customers and help you to posterize* other competing local businesses.

*To Posterize (verb): A basketball term meaning to embarrass someone, usually while slamming the ball over them. It refers to the guy who's being dunked on in basketball posters. Example of use in a sentence: "Wow, that guy just got posterized!" - definition via

To print a poster-mailer it's best to use matte paper, because it will be easier to fold than glossy or coated stock. Contact your printing vendor to discuss scoring each poster, so it can be easily folded down from poster-size to a more mailable shape. Matte paper stock is also beneficial, because it's sourced from recycled paper. (Be sure to put a recycled paper emblem on the mailing to let customers know you've made an environmentally friendly paper choice). Design-wise you will need to come up with an engaging concept for the poster side of the mailing. If you are having a sale, perhaps it's a sleek, table top photograph of an object in the store, seen from a unique angle or perspective. This will make recipients think, and they'll value a poster that's artful and speaks to them as more than just an advertisement. If you are having trouble coming up with a design concept, try searching on stock websites for a photograph or illustration that relates to your promotion or event. You can use the reverse side of the poster to accomplish many goals. Depending on the size of the poster, and the size you want to fold it down to for mailing, you will have a number of panels on the reverse side to fill with content. Two panels on the reverse side should be dedicated as the front and backside of the folded and sealed mailing. One for addressing the mailing and one for design and teaser copy that will get recipients interested in opening the poster up. The remaining panels can be used to include a sales letter, or as a kind of a brochure, to highlight product information. The back of the poster is also a great place to include a customer survey, or for conveying applications or order forms. Simply use perforated lines to show where folks can cut and mail back a response. They will have to cut into the beautiful poster design on the reverse-side, but it will be worth all the new incoming business!

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What is the PsPrint Blog??

The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.