Did you know that a writer named Theodor Hook sent the very first picture postcard to himself in 1940? If you do, then you’d better get your facts straight, because Mr. Hook was born in 1788 and died in 1841. Nonetheless, Mr. Hook did send himself a postcard that consisted of postal worker caricatures that he had drawn free-hand.
In the United States, mass postcard printing didn’t occur until around 1873, but the very first American made its way through the U.S. postal system in December 1848, which was only one year after the U.S. government rolled out the first national postage stamps. Although this “postcard” was merely a message scrawled on card stock, it was also the very first example of postcard marketing.
The postcard direct mail marketing trend continued during the 1870s, and this idea of mail advertising expanding to other forms of mail. For example, Montgomery Ward stole this idea when they started mailing out annual Christmas catalogs during the late 1800s. In fact, advertising business postcards were so successful that they were employed by businesses of all sizes and industries.
While the postcard direct mail marketing survived the advent of radio and television, it seems as if the rise of internet marketing might spell the end of marketer’s direct mail campaigns. To the contrary, direct mail marketing is far still far from obsolete, and even remains a more effective marketing strategy than email marketing. After all, there’s zero risk of contracting a computer virus from a direct mail postcard!
Despite the innumerable technological advances that have occurred in the area digital communications over the past couple of decades, the tried-and-true strategy of postcard direct mail marketing remains as effective and vibrant as ever. Additionally, results from a recent survey revealed that direct mail marketing offers the highest ROI for business to consumer advertising. This means postcard marketing remains an ideal advertising strategy for all businesses within all industries.
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