What are Business Postcards?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Business postcards are simple postal cards that are mailed through a national postal system. The cards are generated by a company for the purpose of attracting the attention of new customers or advising existing customers of special purchasing opportunities. As one of the more cost-efficient strategies in direct mail advertising, the business postcard is still widely used today by many sales and marketing professionals.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Business postcards are often the same dimensions as any other postcard. However, there are oversized versions that are as large as the postal system will allow and still consider the mailing piece to be a postcard. Often, one side features an image of some type that is designed to attract the attention of potential customers. This may be a tempting scene, a funny cartoon, or even a colorful slogan. The opposite side of the card will feature the recipient’s address and a quick sales pitch, including a phone number or email address that can be used to obtain more information.

The use of direct mail pieces has long been an effective way of increasing sales. Business postcards are often favored as the best format for use, rather than letters or even flyers. There are a couple of reasons why business postcards may prove more effective.

One advantage that business postcards have over other types of direct mail pieces is they do not require the recipient to open or unfold anything. With a letter, it is necessary for the recipient to open the envelope and extract the letter. Even with a flyer, that type of mailer is normally folded in half or in thirds, requiring the recipient to break the seal and unfold the single sheet. By contrast, the postcard can simply be picked up and read quickly.

The second common advantage of business postcards is they often will receive at least a cursory reading when other forms of direct mail pieces will receive no attention at all. It seems almost universal that when a postcard is received through the mail, people will automatically check both sides of the document. Thus, a potential customer that would not take the time to open brochures or letters will take the few seconds required to glance at both sides of a postcard. Often, those few seconds are all that is necessary to attract the recipient’s attention and possibly generate enough interest to lead to a sale.

Even small businesses on a tight budget can often make use of business postcards. Today, there are software programs that make it possible to generate the postcards on a personal computer. This can be an advantage, as it allows the small business to only print the number of cards needed for a particular campaign but save the template for use later with slight changes for the next campaign.

Alternatively, most professional printers offer discounts on printing postcards in bulk and often also offer the service to address and post the cards for the client. A local printer can be used for these functions, as well as one of the several online printing companies that allow the client to design and approve the template for the card, upload a mailing list, and pay for all the charges in one quick step.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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