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What Are Postcards Used For? – And Why You Should Use Them

Postcards are one of the most popular printing products there have ever been, and regardless of how much time passes, they don’t seem to lose this popularity. It makes you wonder, what are postcards used for?

As a whole, postcards are used to convey clear messages, ideas, or communicate with other people in a short, eye-catching way. Postcards are also used as souvenirs. Nowadays, due to their effectiveness, most companies and people use postcards for commercial purposes.

But why are postcards still used if we already have other means of communication such as texts, emails, and social networks? Also, why are they so effective in marketing?

What Are Postcards Used For?

According to the National Smithsonian Museum, postcards came into use around the 1800s and 1900s. And it seems illogical, but now more than ever, postcards have returned to be an excellent tool in marketing due to the high saturation in social networks that the 21st century has brought. 

If you think about it, or you start to detail this abnormal phenomenon in a very analytical way, before, technology was not so standard; it was expensive, and very few people had access to it. And as we know, the law of supply and demand is the one that governs all good businesses or the market in this specific case.

In the past, it was much cheaper to print advertisements in bulk because many marketing companies focused on distributing postcards worldwide. However, printing postcards was so accessible at that point that our target audience became saturated with receiving physical advertising. In the beginning, people would take their time to analyze and read a postcard, but as time passed, after people took a quick look at them for a few seconds, it became second nature to throw them away in the trash. As a result, postcards saturated the market because it was cheaper and more efficient to print advertising than to appear online.

Now it’s the opposite, well, almost the opposite. We live in a time where access to technology is much more affordable. Our target audience is already more trained to distinguish online advertising in all the different ways it is displayed, whether through a post on Instagram, Facebook, Email, Google, etc. Our brains tend to see and ignore these ads when browsing Google or our feed, especially in advanced countries like the United States, Canada, Germany, and Australia. 

However, the cost of printing has not risen; it has fallen. And although in many cases now printing can be a little more expensive than advertising on social networks, for the first time in many years, our target audience is not used to receiving good physical advertising, I mean, a postcard!

The psychology of a postcard | A great marketing strategy

The objective of any marketing campaign is to transmit a clear message in the shortest possible time. However, this is a challenging task when thousands of businesses compete for the same advertising spaces; worst of all, our prospects end up thinking that they are constantly being harassed with advertising. This means that in the eyes of our clients, the vast majority of advertising efforts by companies are visual pollution.

For this reason, we must think differently and look for new marketing strategies that stand out from the competition. Keep in mind that there is no single way to stand out from the competition, and there are many factors that make a business successful. However, a good rule of thumb in marketing is to focus on the untapped market. 

If our competition competes on social media, we will be one more fish swimming in the same space. Nevertheless, if we send a postcard, use the correct printing material and the right visual communication strategy to our clients, BINGO! We have a unique opportunity to reach our target audience differently.

You have just become a great white shark navigating unexploited areas.

Pro Tip:

The younger our audience, the higher the probability of them looking at our postcard.

This answer depends more than anything on the goals that the company has. However, in a nutshell, the quick response to when you should send a postcard is every time you can!

It doesn’t matter if your business is starting out or if you already have thousands of clients; printing a postcard is always an excellent marketing strategy. The real question is, how should we get our postcards to our target audience? This is the question you should be asking yourself because printing a thousand postcards has a reasonable cost and is a fast and effective way to interact with the public closest to your business.

If you are starting your business, you can print 1000 postcards with your business information, a very clear message of what you do, and what you want your future clients to do and distribute these postcards close to your area. What better way to promote a business than by talking or interacting with people close to you! At best, some of your prospects are interested in what you have to offer. In the worst case, your prospect is not interested, but now they know you exist and understand what services you provide.

Now, what if you are a large company or a company with thousands of customers?

If you are a large company, even better! Since you have the advantage of having an extensive database and capital reserved for monthly marketing, it is much more probable you’ll see a higher return on your investment. Remember that every marketing effort is positive, and the more you are in the mind of your target audience, the more likely it is that your customers will make a new purchase with you. 

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that your postcards printing strategy must be different from that of a business that is just starting. I will explain to you how to approach your postcard printing strategy in the two cases. 

If you’re a beginning business, your postcard printing strategy should focus on communicating your services and location. Your main goal is to make the people near your aware of your existence and what you can do to help them. 

On the other side, if you’re a large company or have much more experience in business already, you can divide your postcard printing strategy into different categories.

  • Sell merchandise that has not been sold yet.
  • Reach the company’s monthly sales goals.
  • Communicate new products or services.
  • Branding.

Each of these pillars requires a different marketing strategy in the printing of your postcards. Keep in mind that each industry is different, and depending on your industry, these pillars may vary a bit. However, if the company allows it, it is important to have an excellent marketing budget not to combine pillars or objectives in a single campaign.

How can we use these pillars in our postcard printing strategy?

1 Sell merchandise that has not been sold yet.

When a company has an excellent database or an extensive list of addresses, it is easy to get out of inventory that has not been sold in the period established by the company or that is stagnant. In this strategy, the idea is to use the postcards to show the best products, about three of them, and offer a reasonable discount so that consumers can take the correct action. Do not forget to put the location of your business and give it a special emphasis, since the idea of ​​printing this postcard or advertising flyer is to reach the customers closest to you.

Pro Tip:

This strategy works great with boutiques or medium to small stores that specialize a bit more in a more niche market. These companies can get to know their target audience very well and know the chances that some of their closest customers will understand them again.

2 Reach the company’s monthly sales goals.

Postcard printing, in this case, is a very effective tool to boost end-of-month sales. Contrary to what many people think, if used right, postcards can boost local sales and long-distance sales. The local campaign could try to give a discount with a time limit to the people around. In contrast, the postcard printing campaign with a larger radius around it can focus on showing the top 3 or 4 of the most exclusive products at a good discount. This strategy will motivate consumers to travel further away to the locality since it is a unique purchase opportunity.

3 Communicate new products or services.

This postcard printing strategy complements the business website’s digital strategy and social media marketing strategy. As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, it is essential to remember that the vast majority of users or our target audience is subject to massive advertising exposure. It is for this reason that our advertising efforts are often not rewarded. Our audience is simply omitting the information that we are trying to convey. In this case, what better way than to deliver it directly to our prospects?

The advantage of a postcard is that our space is very valuable and small, unlike digital space. This means that we have to be very resourceful and selective in what we want to show or say. Every word counts!

So what is the advantage of a postcard in this case? The advantage is that it forces us to think about precisely the product or message that we want to convey, which has the highest chance of a conversion. A good example is to see our advertising on the internet as our army, but all our printed marketing efforts such as postcards, we can see it as our special forces.

4 Branding

Finally, we have the branding strategy for our marketing efforts in physical materials such as postcards. For this strategy, it is necessary to consider that the main objective is not to sell: it is to be in the minds of our consumers and remind them that we are a current brand that continues to grow. This strategy will also help make our consumers feel identified with us and sure that we are their best option and make sure that every time they mention the name of our company or recommend it to someone else, they can do it with great security.

In this case, there are two ways we can approach this campaign

  • Focus on quantity: the first one would be to use slightly cheaper materials, print lots of postcards to send them to as many people as possible and be in the minds of our consumers.
  • Focus con quality: the second one would be to choose more expensive products to validate the idea that we are a more premium company.

The decision is yours alone!

With this, we conclude this blog. We hope you now have a clearer idea of what postcards are used for and their value. If you have any questions or would like to place an order of postcards, visit our Postcard Printing in NYC page!

Japan Printing and Graphics