A Brief History Of Postcard Marketing

The first postcards

The first postcards really weren’t postcards as we know them at all. The idea came from envelopes that featured printed pictures. The first card sent post in the United States was privately printed and copyrighted in 1861. It certainly didn’t have anything to do with postcard marketing. Indeed, many postcards first evolved as sort of greeting cards. It wasn’t until 1870 when the first postcard as we would recognize it, was printed. And it was more of a historical issue for the Franco-German War. But marketing is a powerful force, and it only took three years for postcard marketing to get its start.

The dawn of postcard marketing

Postcard marketing got its official start in 1872, when a postcard advertisement appeared in Great Britain. These first advertisement postcards appeared in black and white, or with only one color. It wasn’t until 1889 that a multi-colored postcard was printed. And even then, because of the expense involved, postcard marketing did not embrace multi-colored postcards.

Early hindrances to postcard marketing

Postcard marketing did not take off immediately in the United States. It took a while to develop because early postal regulations made it difficult to create attractive advertisements on postcards. Happily, nearly all of the obstacles to cost-efficient postcard marketing have been overcome. Some of the hindrances to postcard marketing included:

The expense of quality color printing

Could only print the message on one side of the postcard (the side with the picture or illustration)

An undivided back for addressing only

Cost the same as mailing a letter

Required a long and prohibitive identification phrase on the back

Changes that encouraged postcard marketing

As countries in Europe changed the regulations and design of postcards, the United Stated gradually followed suit. And this is when postcard marketing began truly developing into the inexpensive and effective advertising medium that it is today. A divided back that allowed for a message as well as an address, and no longer requiring the identification phrase helped create more room for a sales message. And, the postal service decided that privately printed postcards could be sent for less postage, making them more cost efficient. And don’t forget about technological advances! The changes to the quality of paper used and the decrease in price for multi-colored postcards combined to make postcard marketing one of the most cost-efficient advertising methods available.

What postcard marketing offers businesses today

Today, postcard marketing has evolved into an efficient form of advertising that allows for inexpensive production and mailing. It is possible to create attractive postcards for very little (http://www.designsnprint.com offers them for as little as $170 for 5,000 postcards), including full color cards that grab attention. Postcards can be strategically included in both offline and online marketing campaigns to boost quality business leads and increase sales. High quality graphics, photos and lettering can be included in postcard marketing, and postcards offer other advantages as well:

Small size makes it easy to carry

Postcards are easy for recipients to pass along to family and friends

Convenient reminders of your business

Perfect for informing customers of your Web address, and encouraging them to visit your business
Web site for more information

Postcards look more friendly than more in-your-face advertisements

For the last century postcard marketing has become more cost-efficient. Now anyone can take advantage of one of the most effective advertising mediums around.

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