How to Create Potent Public Products: Postcards

Permission To Rant Postcards

In our earlier post on The Holy Grail of Marketing we talked about the possibility of having your customers pay you to promote your services. Whilst this seemed like an outlandish notion, we suggested that creating public products is a simple way to achieve this.

One of the simplest and cheapest way to create a public product is the humble postcard. Whilst most of us probably have relate to postcards as a souvenir of a holiday, they can also serve as a powerful display of your idea. Here’s some advantages of postcards:

Simple Message

In an era of information overload, a simple and well-designed postcard can cut through the clutter. Think billboard – one simple image, a handful of words, one clear message.

Counter Email

We all receive too much email and too few special surprises in the mail. Select your audience and post them your card. Do it well and you’ll be talked about!

Private Display

Postcards make a great personal display of some future intention. They can be like someone at work displaying a photo of their friends or family next to their computer. You aim is to inspire the end user to put it on their fridge, their mirror or a wall near their work space.


There’s not many products you can create for under $100. Postcards are one of them. I go to Impact Digital in Melbourne and print 200 cards for under $100. That’s less 50 cents each. Others will do them cheaper. Simply be aware of quality. It’s needs to look and feel valuable. If it looks cheap and feels flimsy it will easily be thrown away.


Simply having your own postcard at a networking event or handing it out at a presentation will make you stand out from the crowd. Who else do you know that is doing it?


Do it well and your simple postcard may be kept on display for some time. I was chuffed to visit the office of a colleague who had participated in one of my presentations. My session culminated in giving out a postcard that captured my core message to each person. And, here it was! In her office, it was posted on her wall – six months later! Marketing mileage!


Postcards can easily be taken with you to events. They also lie flat. If your audience reads books, consider designing one as a book mark.

Can Be Sold

Over the years I have bought postcards that were not related to a holiday. Usually they had something I thought was really cool on the front. For instance, I remember a drawing of a cathedral that could be cut out and assembled into a 3D model. I loved the postcard and never made the model. Another idea is to create a series and sell them as a pack. Alternatively, put your postcard in a simple picture frame and sell it this way.

Trigger Action

Postcards are also a neat way to trigger action. Instead of a photo, provide some instructions for someone to complete a task. Recipe cards are a simple example of this. What do you help people achieve? Provide your ten steps for…
What will be on your postcard?

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