Here’s a concept that is big in the US. Think of a small, bijous, concise form of communication that is quirky, eye-catching, yet still packed full of information. Of course the Americans have a larger version of the postcard, something resembling an A5 so there is more space for the designer to play with, but I still think it could work with our British sizes if you’re clever.
How can you fit a newsletter onto a postcard? This all depends on an efficient use of layout. You don’t have to make your font extra small so the reader needs to get out a magnifying glass to read it, it’s all to do with columns, succinct copywriting, choice subject matter, prioritisation and, of course, a brilliant use of headlines. You could say it is an exercise in combining the verbal with the visual into another form of communication. And don’t forget to wrap it up with excellent imagery that describes, reinforces or compliments the content, with a fully incentive-biased call to action together with your clearly presented contact details.
Why do a postcard newsletter? Well, in this age of emails and e-newsletters, why not grab your readers’ attention with something different. Postcards are simple, easy and cheap to post; don’t require an envelope; fun, different and visually compelling; are always open and therefore immediately readable; not time-consuming; and are a medium for quick messages and prompt news items. Their brightly coloured visual impact will not get swamped, deleted or forgotten. They can be read there and then or later with a cup of coffee, and can be passed around for others to read or stuck onto a noticeboard. It’s their individuality that makes them stand out above the crowd and get noticed.
Use a postcard newsletter to advertise your news in bite-sized chunks and tantalising snippets of information. You can post up the remainder of the story on either your blog or website by including the link at the end. I know it won’t be interactive, so make sure your link isn’t complicated or over-long, or provide clearly placed links from your homepage to the remainder of the content, a double whammy as the reader will then get a chance to view the rest of your website later.
Then there’s the added bonus that they are relatively inexpensive to produce, even if you get them professionally printed. And that’s probably a good idea, as digital printers can mailmerge the names and addresses onto each card (as well as other variable information), topped off with your personal franking mark and, of course, your corporate identity and colour scheme. If you prefer to use stamps, then send them to a distributing house for economic facilitation, especially if you want to stick a sample onto them or whatever else your marketing team comes up with.