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Post Cards from US Post Office

The US Post Office has a great tool available for entertainers. They offer postcards at a very competitive rate and ease. They are available in 4 grades: Deluxe (the best), full color, spot color, and B&W. The later are great for meeting notices. I use the deluxe which is a full color plastic type card. Below is a sample of the card I use.

The actual card is high resolution, brilliant color, 4 1/4 x 6. You upload your graphic file 4 1/4 x 6 at 300 dpi to the post office web site. A number of different graphics can be uploaded and stored. Then you can select the one you want. You can upload and use a small pix also on the back. You upload your text for each card run. This is not stored on the site. You can give individual addresses or upload a mailing list. The deluxe cards are reasonably priced and including printing, mailing, and postage. You pay with a credit card and postcards can be bought in advance and used however you want. I use it to send a single Thank You card after a show. I add custom text and may use a custom pix.

The address is: http://www.premiumpostcard.com/ and click on Small Business Tools: You can send one free sample to try it.

A word on mailing lists: You can experiment with this as I did however here is the results of my use. To see the fields that the post office uses I recommend go through like you are sending a card and when the input screen comes up for the address, print it. This will act as a guide. You can back out of the process at this point. Then create your mailing list in Excel. Use each column as a field. Have separate First and Last name fields. I like to use the first line as the column headings. You don't need all the fields The input form you printed shows the needed fields. When you have finished save it as your master list.

Now do a Save As and select .csv file (Comma Separated Values) and save the file. You will get all kinds of warnings that you may lose formatting and you can only save the active list. Just acknowledge them and don't worry about it. You only want a single sheet with no special formatting. This is the file you will upload to the post office site. When you do you will see the first several records including the headings and will be asked with a pop-up menu what the field is. Go through all of the fields then continue. You will get a report on any records that didn't translate correctly and were not uploaded. This will include the first record of the headings because when it tries the ZIP code field and gets "ZIP" it knows that is NOT a correct zip code. You can save a list of the errors so you can correct and upload separately. This error file will tell you what was wrong with each rejected record. You can have several different mailing lists. 

When you send the postcards you can select names from the list individually or select all. I always send one card to myself when doing a mass mailing so I know when it gets out.