Yesterday we got a promotional postcard from a local company — while the printing looked great, the small, 4 in. x 6 in. card was so packed with text that I didn’t even know where to begin reading!

Think about when you arrive home after a hard day’s work and begin to sort through your mail. I know when I go through my stack, the only items I read right away are those that aren’t jammed packed with text. The text-heavy stuff goes in a pile… and unless it’s a bill or a magazine, it will probably end up in the recycle bin within a day or two (without being read).

When it comes to making a quick and memorable connection on a marketing or advertising piece, less is more. Make your text strong, clear, and memorable. Let your clever headline, accompanying imagery, and the design of the piece grab the reader’s attention; then present a few relevant details and a call to action. Finally, include contact details and you’re done! If you have more to say, direct the reader to your web site or give them a phone number to call to learn more.

And we’re not just talking about postcards here — the same holds true for other promotional pieces like brochures, advertisements, billboards, and more. Avoid being a “text heavy turn-off” and don’t try to fill every inch of a piece with text just because there’s room!