Postcards are not dead

Does sending out postcards still work?

This is the age of the ” x and y ” generations. The age of digital media, online social networks and direct, immediate message sending and receiving. We no longer rely on the age of ” snail mail ” to get our message across. We scream in a bold, aggressive term – ” look at me.

This is my message right NOW ” ! So, has this rung the bell for the end of the age of postcards? The time of personal, touch-based greetings with printed images and postal stamps from the country of origin? The evidence says, perhaps not.

It is true that the sending of postcards as a way of greeting and marketing is dying a bit. Certainly fewer are being sent out. The US postal service processed 770 million postcards in 2014 versus 2.1 billion in 2010. So yes, more people are turning to instant gratification for their greeting needs which can be found digitally.

But what is the value of a postcard?

The first, and obvious one is the argument is that people still like something they can hold and touch. Its that kinesthetic aspect of the greeting that can be said to have the most appeal. But post cards are traditionally sent from people on travels.

These kinds of post cards have a sense of originality about them. The have the stamp and postal mark of the country from which they originate, adding something of unique value to the postcard. It seems to make the greeting authentic. These promotions still work even today.

Yes, there is evidence that it is harder to find postcards overseas because of the perceived trend that people aren’t interested in them anymore. For instance, in India, you can only find post cards of the Taj Mahal and only at the airport to boot.

But then again, it does seem that this unique item of travel, like a bit of adventure in your pocket, will never go away. It seems to be here to hang around, reminding us of our travels, and of the receiver of where we have been. It panders to the nostalgic whim of where we may like to go at some point.

What about marketing postcards?

Do these still work? Well it has been said that these are the cheapest, easiest and most effective form of direct marketing available today. These post cards, if eye-catching and witty can generate direct leads, encourage people to visit websites, help introduce new and modern services and create a bond with the customer.

The difference between a postcard and a marketing flyer is in their aesthetic appeal. If you make your postcards look good, people are more likely to glance at it, even for a second, to see what it is about. Flyers are stuffed with images and wording and basically pack sensory overload.

A simple answer to whether postcards are dead or not is this: No, they are not dead. Just being bullied a bit by social media.


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