Dare to be un-hip - send a postcard.

by: William Gennuine on

The political season is coming around again, and with it a resurgence of the old-fashioned direct mail piece. Or, as I like to think of it, the red-headed stepchild of the advertising world.

Billboards are big and flashy. Television ads get your face on the tube, where your momma and her bridge group can see it. And anything related to the Internet or social media is obviously hip (or so they say). But the postcard, with its snail-mail delivery and lack of sound or movement, is considered by many to be too old-fashioned for today's technology-driven world.

But I think they're wrong. How many other forms of advertising do you pick up every day and carry into your home with you? You may pass by a billboard every day, but it never makes it through your front door. Magazines are nice, but pretty pricey.

A 6" x 9" postcard, however, gets carried in with my mail. And it always gets noticed, even if it's just because the danged thing is too big to fit in my small hand, so I have to grab my mail with two hands to get it out of the box and into the house. An oversized card has plenty of room for your message and sticks out among the stack of envelopes not-so-cleverly designed to make you think they're important checks instead of ads informing you you've won a cruise to the Bahamas only if you call in today. You don't even have to stop to open a postcard, which is a bonus when dealing with people who have little time to bother with opening "junk" mail. With a vibrant, attractive design printed right on the card, you've got a real shot at capturing your audience's attention.

And it's hard to beat the cost of a postcard when compared with the exposure you get. A new U.S. Postal Service program called Every Door Direct Mail means you can blanket an entire zip code for just 14.2 cents per piece in postage. No buying a mailing list, no fooling with databases, no stuffing, sealing and stamping. You only have to get a designer (like me!) and a printer (I have one of those!).

Now might be the time for you to try the retro approach. Sometimes old tactics reap new rewards.