Many contests require a postcard versus a 3x5 index card enclosed in an envelope. When the rules state to use a postcard, don’t put your entries into an envelope or you may get disqualified. Postcard means just what it says, though you do have some leeway here. You can get creative by using cereal boxes, old Christmas decorated boxes, standard postcards you buy at the store or postcards from your local post office.
Read and adhere to what size the rules say to use when submitting your entry to them. If no size is noted, then you can have fun sending any size you want, as long as it is legal to go through the postal service. Legal size is at least 3½x5 inches. The exception to this rule from the sponsor is, if they ask for a 3x5 postcard. Since this will not legally go through the mail system, you can opt to send a 3½x5 postcard or a 3x5-index card enclosed in an envelope.
If you have been sweeping for any length of time, I’m sure you have had a few postcards sent back to you. With homemade postcards, sometimes it is very confusing for the postal service to recognize who is the recipient and who is the one sending the postcard. You can eliminate this confusion by addressing your postcards as shown below.
On the front of your vertical postcard, clearly write TO: (in permanent marker) and the name of your addressee.
Then turn you postcard horizontally and on the back, fill in your name and other information at the top of the postcard, versus across it. Clearly write FROM: (in permanent market) above your information.
For your envelopes, address them as neatly and accurately as possible. Due to the changes that occurred in our country on 9/11, it is highly recommended you put your return address on all envelopes. Many companies are still hesitant to open mail that has no return address. There are several ways you can do this in a timely fashion. You can handwrite it, print up return address labels on your computer, or have a rubber stamp made. Once you really get rolling with your entries, you need to find ways to utilize your time more efficiently, and handwriting return addresses on my envelopes is not the way I want to use mine.
I have a rubber stamp, which you can get made at any office supply store for roughly $8-$10. If the sponsor states, “Hand print,” then obviously you can’t run your entries through a computer. As far as ink color, it really depends on how fancy you want to get and how much time you want to allow for mailing.
Anything not addressed in blue or black ink is going to cause a delay in mailing time. Just remember, the more you enhance your entries with decorations, colored inks and do-dads, the greater chance you have of your mail being held up, because it has to be manually processed.
Now, get green. Forget about the recycling bin, you’ve got a treasure trove of postcards, right there in your garbage can!
I want to hear from you. Do you have some creative ideas for sweeping? Share your thoughts on the Contests and Sweepstakes forum.
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