Wayzata, Minn.

In the world of direct mail, sometimes it feels as if the postcard format is on trial, defending its basic two sides against the prosecution's long letter, freemium, brochure, buckslip and reply. The letter package promises a whole entourage of elements buffering an offer, while the bare-bones approach of a postcard arguably loses the touchy-feely, hold-your-hand sell of a letter package. "I was against postcard use except for very retail-oriented transactions like notifying somebody of a dollars-off or percentage-off sale, or trying to drive traffic to

The self-mailer, including the postcard, has been around for decades, and it's often used in a straightforward manner to present a simple offer to a prospect, usually unpersonalized.

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