There’s an idea in the era of digital media that a printed postcard is no longer useful. However, this perception isn’t accurate at all. Postcards, when done right, are still an enormously effective tool for marketing or to share information.
Indeed, in some ways, postcards remain one of the most effective approaches to branding, and have advantages that no other option – physical or digital – can offer to companies. So here are five reasons why you should be using postcards in your business.
1. Postcards are personal
One of the major goals of marketing and advertising in the digital space is ‘personalisation’. Brands spend huge amounts of money collecting as much data as possible about their customers so that when they send the customer an email or similar, the information in that email is ‘targeted’ to them, and therefore the customer feels like they’re being given the personal touch.
You can also achieve that through a postcard. Postcards are physical, tactile objects, and they can evoke a warm nostalgia. People send postcards because they’re thinking of the recipient, and therefore when someone receives a postcard from a business, they feel like the business considers them important. This is especially true if the postcard comes from someone the customer knows at the organisation – their client manager, for example. Postcards create instant personalisation.
2. Postcards are cheap
Really, the biggest cost you’re looking at with a postcard is postage, and if you’re sending the postcard locally that’s not much at all. There are other forms of marketing that can incur a relatively significant cost, but postcards aren’t one, giving you the benefit of adding physical media to your marketing campaign without needing a big boost to the marketing budget.
Postcards are also cheap to produce. It sounds minor, but there’s cost involved in folding letters or other printed material, and sticking them into envelopes to send. A postcard is a simple cardboard rectangle, and therefore very cheap and easy to prepare.
3. Postcards last
With so many marketing campaigns, the audience sees the content once and then it’s soon forgotten. However, most people don’t like throwing out postcards, especially if the image on the front is something aesthetically pleasing. You therefore get long-term value out of producing a postcard. Perhaps it only gets stuck on a fridge or on the desk, but that means that your customer will be seeing something from your brand every day for months, if not years. That’s long term value money can’t buy.
4. Postcards allow you to be creative
When you think about a postcard, you’re going to imagine a large, bold image on the front, and then a block of text on the back. That image is perfect for marketers. The front of the postcard is an opportunity to catch the customer’s eye with something beautiful, and is a piece of cardboard real estate with which you can get very creative. Unlike many other forms of both print and digital media, there’s no real drive to compromise the creative art on the front with competing text and call-to-actions (CTAs).
This is because the text and CTA can be safely housed on the back without the need to compete with visual assets. The postcard format is one where audiences are very comfortable with looking at both sides equally, and therefore the marketing and creative teams can really focus on being both eye catching and deeply informative. That, ultimately, is great for the brand, as customers can start associating the brand with creativity.
5. Postcards are versatile
Postcards can be used for a nearly infinite number of reasons. They might be used to introduce a new business to the area, or to bring focus to a particular product or service that the business is offering. That’s how most postcards for business are used.
But other businesses get really creative and use postcards for more soft-marketing purposes. Postcards sent out to clients or customers at Christmas are an ideal way of getting into the spirit of the season. If you know your customer’s birthday, then a postcard arriving on their doorstep that day is a clever way of letting the customer know they’re important to you. Postcards can be sent out to celebrate major milestones you want to share with a customer, for example, “we’ve now been in business for 50 years!”. They could also be used to communicate important information – you might let customers know that they’re now able to buy shares as part of your businesses’ IPO through a postcard, for example.
Using postcards to benefit your business
As long as you work to best practices, a postcard is a marketing tool you’ll find is so effective that you return to it again and again. As a low cost and immediate way of creating a connection between your brand and the customer, postcards can be the perfect complement to other digital and physical marketing activities you might be conducting.