When many of us think of postcards, we think of those sent by friends and family when they are on vacation, but postcards have grown to become so much more than that. The earliest known postcard was sent in 1840, with the first American ones being printed in 1873. In the beginning, the United States Postal Service had a monopoly on postcard printing and this continued to be the case until 1898. Not long after this, business professionals discovered postcards and learned how to use them to promote their products.
Businesses today use postcards to promote their company, to announce sales, and to get their brand name known to the general public. It seems businesses are thinking of new ways to use postcards every day. For example, nowadays doctors and other professionals use them to remind people of appointments, politicians use them when an election is close, and realtors use them to highlight a specific property. Postcard printing is relatively inexpensive, and even more so when the postcards are purchased in bulk. Also, postage in many areas is cheaper for regulation sized postcards than for letters, with the most common postcard size being 4 x 6 inches.
There are several points to remember when designing a postcard. It should have a grabbing headline, a simple layout, use professional, eye-catching images, be made of quality materials, have a glossy finish, and contain contact information on the back. If the postcard is offering a discount on services, it should be made clear exactly how to get that discount. Postcards are often stuck on the refrigerator, helping people to remember the business next time they need their services, and the chances of holding onto a company postcard are greatly increased with the right design.