Printed direct mail applications are still the one of the best methods for attracting business. Digitally printed, personalized postcard formats are among the most popular of the direct mail applications. The compact size of the postcard has many advantages over larger, more elaborate variable data applications. The postcard has the ability to present a personalized message that is short yet it gets noticed. Variable data technology allows direct mail postcards to be targeted to specific clients. Individuals are more apt to take immediate action due to the postcard's message or they may save the postcards for future reference due to the easy to store size. The small size also makes it easier to pass the card on to others that may have an interest in the message.
Personalized postcards are less expensive to produce than complex variable data projects. The front end costs are less as are the paper and printing costs and the mailing costs are minimal compared with larger applications.
Although mass emailing and Internet ads may be one of the easier methods of soliciting business, many individuals are leery of such advertisements due to privacy concerns. People are especially concerned about security with the practice of "phishing" from emails that attempt to direct the user to bogus websites. These online privacy issues make digitally printed, direct mail postcards more appealing to many consumers.
A direct mail postcard is usually formatted in one of three ways:
- It may contain all text
- It may be composed largely of an image with very little text
- It may include text and images in varying combinations
A direct mail postcard containing too much information may have a negative impact. The majority of individuals receiving the card will dispose of the card if it is crammed with information. In most cases, a simple message and graphic are all that are necessary in order for a key point to be introduced.