postcards as newsletters or announcements can have multiple advantages
for contacting your clients, customers and volunteers. Postcards can
be serious marketing and communication tools.
In this day of modern marketing technology
why would you want to create postcards to get your message out? You
can now send out mass emails or newsletters and reach hundreds to thousands
of people. But how many people actually read your email message? So
many people have learned to pass over or delete non-essential information
from the vast amount of emails people are now receiving. Are you even
sure your message is getting out?
Email has become a less reliable form
of communication than it was a year ago. Filter technology to combat
the endless flow of junk invading our inboxes is becoming very sophisticated
thus possibly eliminating that your message is received by your chosen
recipients. Even the sheer volume of emails a person receives today
can be a hit-or-miss try when trying to communicate your message online.
I suggest that you give postcards a try.
Postcards are inexpensive, easy to create, convenient to use, offer
fast message delivery and create instant visibility.
Post cards have nearly 100% readership
rate. You pick it up. It is a physical and visual medium that can compel
you to browse it. If it is attractively designed it is more likely to
get read than an on-line newsletter or piece of mass email.
Low cost because of their size they can be in-expensive to
produce and mail.
Save Time once you have designed your postcard it is easy
to address, mail out and can be used over and over again.
Flexible postcards can be used in many different ways to promote
your program. You can send out a postcard with the highlights of your
program to entice others to go to your website to read the full text.
Visibility you don't have to wait for people to get time to
read the online message about your program they will have the basic
information immediately at their fingertips. Martha Retallick suggests
that you design your postcard with the Refrigerator Door Mindshare,
"A card that someone would be proud to display on his or her refrigerator
More likely to read people are more likely to read a postcard
than an unsolicited letter in an envelope.
No fancy equipment if your budget allows you can outsource
the designing work, copy writing and printings.
But there are also even more inexpensive
ways to create the postcard yourself from your own computer.
Creating Your Own
There are two sizes of postcards you
can choose to work with:
Small Postcard A standard small postcard can't be smaller
than 3 1/2 by 5 inches or larger than 4 1/4 by 6 inches. These can be
created on an 8 1/2 by 11" sheet that is cut into fourths.
Jumbo Postcards These can be created by using an 8 1/2 x 11"
sheet and cut in half. The cost to send this card will be the same as
the first class letter rate but they can definitely have more impact
than a traditional letter.
Creating from - Microsoft (MS) Word template
I'd like to share with you a template
for the small postcard and give you some simple steps on how you can
create one using your own computer.
Download a template
Go to: http://office.microsoft.com/templates/
Scroll down to Marketing
Go to Marketing Materials Ads, Flyers and Posters
Click on Page 2 Scroll down to "Special offers postcard,
Download it to your computer
Accept the licensing agreement. You now have a document that you
can format for your own use.
Replace the default text with your own text.
Retain or replace the picture
Click where you want to insert the picture.
On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click From File.
Locate the picture you want to insert.
Do a spell check.
Rename and save your document for printing and cutting.
On the back face of the post card (download the "Special offers
postcard, back") you can create an address mail merge or create
separate labels to apply.
** For Jumbo postcards to Word Cards Holidays (Page
2) 'Valentines Day postcard.'
** You can even create your own template by using the Tables function
in MS Word.
** Avery also sells postcard formatted stock that can be designed through
Word's label program.
** More MS Word office templates for postcards are available at: [http://www.hp.com/sbso/productivity/office/direct_marketing.html]
Want to work more with postcards and see what is out
there? Try these options:
USPS: The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a postcard mailer
service that allows you to sign up to save postcards and mailing lists
online. You can prepare and send hardcopy postcards from the convenience
of your computer and not even have to make a trip to the post office.
Full-color, highlight color, and black & white postcards for about
the price of a first class stamp. You can customize a postcard and pay
online. They do the rest.
Newsletter: Go to: [http://www.ideabook.com/nlcard.htm] to view a
step-by-step process to create your newsletter as a postcard.
MS Publisher: Use MS Publisher Postcard wizard and tips from Assistance
on Microsoft Office Online to create and print your postcard.
Using postcards can increase responses to your program.
They are quick, easy, and economical. Once your design and format have
been created a postcard can serve as a fast response to your constituency
in marketing and promoting your program.
Give postcards a chance and have fun creating this new image for your
an EDU-VACATION - April 26-29, 2005
Training for managers of volunteers,
leading to a certificate, is being held April 26-29, 2005. Sponsored by
Washington State University, the Volunteer Management Certificate Program
will be held in Port Hadlock, Washington, in the shadow of the Olympic
Mountains. Topics include:
Management and Supervision
Diversifying the Volunteer Pool
The Internet as the Manager's Next
Interactive Case Models based on student process
is the focus of Learning Activities.
For more information, visit the website at: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer.
Mary Lou McNatt has many years of
experience working with volunteer programs, advancing our profession and
has a passion for introducing the advantages of technology to volunteer
programs. She was instrumental in obtaining Ivan Scheiers body of
work on volunteerism and putting it online. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.