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Modern Postcard — Direct Mail Pioneer

September 2007 By Cheryl Adams
Managing Editor
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MORE THAN a billion postcards have been printed there, yet none are what most people would think of as typical postcards. And, that’s because the postcards created, printed and mailed from Carlsbad, CA-based Modern Postcard are anything but typical.

Forget “Virginia is for lovers” and “My friends went to Hawaii, and all I got was this lousy postcard.” The “greetings” produced at Modern Postcard are literally mini masterpieces with a higher purpose than simply keeping in touch.

Each and every postcard reflects a passion for photography, quality imagery and/or color. From product debuts and grand opening news to artist exhibitions, whatever message the card is communicating, whatever product or service the postcard is promoting, chances are you’ll get the point. Better yet, chances are you’ll buy (or buy into) whatever the postcard is selling.

Creative Postcards Sell!

How can a postcard advertiser be so sure?

There are several reasons why direct mail advertising with postcards works (as explained in Modern Postcard’s booklet, “7 Simple Steps to Effective Direct Mail Advertising”). First, with no envelope to open, vibrant postcards cut through mailbox clutter and allow customers to see the message right away. As a direct mail format, postcards also offer the following benefits: They’re personal. They’re versatile. They’re high impact. They’re cost-effective. They’re measurable.

And, here are some other interesting facts (according to several studies, cited in the “7 Simple Steps”): Full-color products (color on both sides) increased response rates by 45 percent; the average consumer receives 25 direct mail pieces each week, but only one postcard; and 46 percent responded to direct mail advertising in the past 30 days.

Not mentioned in the booklet: Modern Postcard is THE catalyst in transforming this simple greeting card into a powerful and highly successful marketing tool.

What started as a one-man operation in a one-bedroom apartment has grown into a company at the forefront of the direct mail industry, generating about $50 million in annual sales. Modern Postcard has 300 employees located in a 75,000-square-foot facility.

Yes, the company has come a long way in its 31-year history.

In the mid-’70s, company founder Steve Hoffman, a photographer by trade, realized there was a need within the real estate industry to provide high-quality photography of properties on the market (especially in Southern California, where property/estates cost millions of dollars). Hoffman soon began creating custom brochures for his clients and, less than a year later, relocated his growing business into a small office building in San Diego.

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