Thursday, August 27, 2015

The power of postcards

Imagine the attention and power your message can convey with a billboard advertisement, in a high traffic area. Now, imagine the effect of thousands of billboards, directly targeting your audience, that they can take home with them. Utilized effectively, a postcard or flyer can be just that: a mini billboard, suitable for pinning to a fridge with a magnet, kept in a car’s sun visor for later use as a coupon, and even as artwork in some contexts.

 A flyer or postcard has the advantage of mobility over a billboard, however many of the same principles can be applied to both methods of advertisement. A post card or bill board is not meant to close sales, but develop interest, and leads. Your design should grab attention, have a strong graphic presence, and clearly convey your message and how to contact you.

Postcards, utilized in a timely fashion, and distributed properly, can serve a variety of functions and call attention to: appointment reminders, coupons, new product releases, store grand openings, event access and tickets. Keep in mind, postcards are generally not meant to explain your whole life story. When adding text, think “newspaper sale ad” and not “War and Peace”. 

Utilize both sides effectively as well. One side should be to grab attention, with big bold lettering and graphics. The more poster like and pleasant to look at this side is, the more likely someone will care enough to read the other side. The other side should be used to convey information, such as contact details, locations, sales or any other promotion you are offering. 

The most effective word you can use with this, and many forms of advertising is “FREE”.   If you’re clever, and creatively inclined, you could even devise a way to utilize the word “FREE” to grab attention, without actually giving away anything more than the postcard. Jimmy John’s, a sandwich shop franchise’s “FREE smells” campaign, is a perfect example of this tactic.

A post card or flyer is not the time to go cheap on printing. The difference between getting tossed with the recycling, or on the floor even, will be made in the quality. If I’m invited to attend a conference, and the invitation looks like a Xeroxed garage sale flyer, it will be used as mulch and little else. 

Know and target your audience. A postcard or flyer can work a thousand times better than a TV or Radio ad that indiscriminately targets everyone. Appeal to the aesthetic sensibilities of your audience and keep your design in harmony with your product, service or offer. If you’re not the creative type, by all means you should definitely hire a professional graphic designer to create your postcards image and proof.

You should also utilize professionals to distribute your post cards as well. The United States postal service offers what’s known as “EDDM” service, an acronym for “ Every Door Direct Mail”, which allows you to target whole zip codes without the need for an address list.

Professional street teams should be utilized to distribute your flyers at events your target audience tend to frequent, to drop off at stores, cafes, and other places with space for print and other literature and announcements, and to post bills in public places as allowed by law.

Years ago, I worked in a small bookstore that was suffering for business. As a new hire (that also got a small commission on each sale) I immediately thought to utilize print to increase traffic. Taking a postcard, and a small complimentary button we gave away free, I taped the buttons to the postcards and had my coworker hold down the fort for an hour. I then went two blocks away and started giving away the postcards with the buttons attached, which a few people actually pinned on their jacket or bag in front of me. 

Upon returning to our rather small retail space, I was overwhelmed by the number of people in the store! My co-worker informed me I arrived not a moment too soon, stating “I don’t know what you did, but thanks for all this commission!”

Put the power of print to work for your business today, and watch as your small initial investment helps your business grow larger than you thought it could! offers a variety of sizes and styles of postcards, and allows you to choose the printer and price that works best for you. Browse through a variety of professionally designed templates, or upload your own design.

Our simple to use design wizard is a powerful and flexible tool to create or modify your own design on the fly, too.

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