Postcard Art and Postcard Marketing: Top 3 ways to make an impact

image shows three butterfly postcards and the text "Postcard art & postcard marketing?"

Have you fallen in love with the versatility of postcard art or marketing with postcards?

And is it postcards or post cards? That unanswerable question will just have to step aside and accept that for this post I’ll just use the postcard (one word) version. I’m a printing rebel that way.

If you’ve ever worked with me on marketing projects, you know my love for postcards. They’re small, quick to print, easy to mail, can be a first step in a more in-depth marketing campaign, and they make a super affordable impact. 

I know they’re paper, I’ll address their paper-ness.. But.. print is still a necessary marketing component and even if it wasn’t, I’d probably still have an affinity for the versatility of postcards for marketing.. I can’t help it, I love paper.. But let’s be responsible about it.

Postcards art is also a very real thing, and the true motivation for me to write this post, to be honest. I love postcards for their postcard artsy nature, and I think postcards are really great marketing tools for artists. I love collecting them from the national parks, the redwood forest, other artists, and vintage postcards.. 

Their small size and affordability means you can have little collections of art to share with others. I sometimes have them in my computer bag so I can leave a little thank you card for someone, somewhere…

As an artist and marketing specialist, here are my top 3 ways to use postcards to make an impact:  

  1. Simple postcard mailer 

  2. Marketing “take-aways” 

  3. Postcard art for the sake of art


The simple postcard mailer

Simple, impactful, full of options.. Call me stuck in the 90s but postcard mailers are still so great for marketing. They make sense for all sorts of businesses, but they can also be a great marketing tool for artists. 

Postcard mailers can be as simple as a 4X6 card announcing an event, promotion, opening or anything really; or if you want to make a bigger visual impact, you can go up to 6”X9.” But I think that’s the limit on straight up postcards.

If you want to be one of the few postcards that aren’t tossed into the recycling bin, make sure your postcard is very well designed and irresistible – and/or offer something really valuable or relevant to the receiver. 

People may gloss over a standard corporate postcard sent by the local orthodontist, but if they receive a little piece of art? They’re so much more likely to hang onto it and read it.

Postcards can be a stand-alone marketing tool (think invites, save the dates, big sales) or they can be just one touch point in a larger marketing campaign. 

I know of artists who mail postcards out to gallery curators, potential art licensors and anyone who they want to share new work with. Knowing that these people receive a ton of artist pitch emails, artists may follow up their email with a postcard in hopes that this second contact gets the art director’s attention.

Printing a QR code on a postcard mailer can be a seamless way to lead the reader to the next step, like registering for an event, signing up for your newsletter, or going to an online portfolio page. So the simple postcard mailer can actually be part of a bigger story, but it’s still the only piece that is printed and mailed. 


Postcards as “marketing take-aways”

Ahh, the old “take-away.” The little stack of postcards you see on the kitchen counter when touring a home for sale; or the postcards slipped into your 5K race bags; or the postcard with a salon menu or a venue map printed in a convenient size for you to throw in your drawer.

Usually found at in-person events or at the front desk of a business, postcards can be a great way to send someone home with a little marketing piece that you hope they keep for a certain amount of time. 

If you want them to hang onto the card for a really long time, it pays to make the art on the front something relatable or artsy; something that people actually want to hold onto. 

If you aren’t mailing your postcards, you have more freedom with what you want to put on the back – no postal rules to follow or spaces for stamps to  worry about. Let this inform your design, sometimes it’s nice to have more room for art and less room for whatever..

The possibilities are endless on these – program schedules, printed menus, maps, shows, birthday parties… Endless..


Postcard art for art’s sake

Now.. Postcard art for the sake of art is a whole glorious thing in and of itself, and I’ve always been here for it. Mini works of art ready to be grouped and framed or haphazardly slapped on the fridge with magnets? Little vegetables and vintage labels? Yes to all. 

I love collecting postcards from artists, stumbling on a little postcard art series that I can share or display. It’s an inexpensive way for artists to share samples of their work, and it’s so much more fun to get a cute postcard in the mail than a bill… 

Artsy postcards are one of my little splurges.. Such a small purchase makes me so happy. It’s like a good tea towel.

And here you have it. A quick little read about a few simple ways to embrace the versatility of the postcard in your marketing. I hope you got inspired to either go find some cute postcards out there in the wild, or to make your own postcards to use in your business or art marketing campaigns. 

It’s not always easy marketing ourselves – may you find the most fabulous way to utilize postcards for you and your business. Happy posting!



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