The journey of the popular postcards began in the 1800s. During that time, individuals send cards by mail with postage attached. The cards, or “mailed cards” as referred to at that time, were contained inside envelopes with pictures on them. They can be photos of buildings, sights, or paintings. They give the card receiver a visual experience of the sender’s surroundings.
To this day, we still send postcards with photos of places we’ve been to or of places that are located where we live. They can also contain the things we see or encounter. The gesture is made to do the same thing mailed cards did, and that is to make the receiver experience our surroundings through pictures.
What is the business side of mailing postcards?
Businesses also use postcards to promote themselves by mailing them to regular and potential customers. According to an article by AZ Big Media, approximately half of a business’s postcard receivers said they are more likely to engage in future business with a company or individual that sends out postcards. It is also a way for businesses to keep current clients by making them feel remembered, especially during times of celebration.
Business leaders are also fond of sending postcards. An article on UnderArmour’s CEO sending Nike’s Co-Founder greeting cards for years talked about the act as a form of building relationships.
Is sending postcards still a thing in the digital age?
The number of cards being sent has declined a little, but people in America still purchase 6.5 billion of them every year. Data from the Greeting Card Association, a trade organization for the greeting card and social expressions industry, also tells us that 1.6 billion of those cards are used and sent during Christmas time — the biggest card-mailing season in all US.
While it is more convenient and less expensive to deliver our card greetings through e-mail, mailing them is still a better gesture. Sending electronic postcards through e-mail or other forms, such as messaging apps, is as easy as bulk sending them, which gets rid of the personality and sentiment that should come with the cards. Your recipients are aware of that, too.
To make postcard-sending more personalized, you can create your own. You print pictures you’ve taken with your camera or smartphone on any part of the cardstock. That’ll guarantee that the person you’re sending it to won’t receive one or two identical cards. Another option is to paint or draw on the cards. You can also commission an artist to do them for you. If you can’t find it in your calendar to make time for mailing them, there are editing apps you can use to make your cards.
Do Americans still see postcards as a way to communicate?
Numbers provided by the Greeting Card Association proves that the country still sees postcards, greeting cards, and holiday cards as a way to communicate with their loved ones and acquaintances. Americans still look for custom-made cards where they can get their family portraits printed. The digital age did not eliminate the card-sending culture but instead helped develop it. Technology has allowed people to make personalized and custom cards that will convey their message well.
Sending cards as a form of communication is elevated by millennials’ taste for authenticity. They are the target demographic of businesses and individuals selling custom cards for that reason. While Americans of all ages are participants in the card-sending tradition, people tend to send cards after hitting milestones in their lives such as having children, marriage, traveling, etc. Currently, it’s the authenticity-driven millennials arriving at those turning points.
How long will the postcard tradition stay?
The tradition of sending postcards will stay for a long time because of its personality and versatility. People rely on sending postcards to build and maintain relationships and businesses rely on them for marketing to attract and keep clients. E-mail as technological advancement has been around for forty-nine years and hasn’t affected the public’s use of postcards. That further proves that postcards are still used widely and will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
There is an ease in just posting a photo of you and your family cheek-to-cheek and hugging each other during Christmas, but where’s the fun in doing only that? You can send a personalized postcard to your loved ones or customers — if you’re in business — to make them feel like you’ve thought about them during this holiday season. After all, card-sending is a gesture unique not only to personal relationships but also to business ones.
Meta title: Is Sending Postcards Still as Big as Used to Be?
Meta desc: Individuals and businesses have been using postcards since the 19th century. Did today’s technology affect how we use them? Learn more about it here.