No matter how advanced our society is in terms of technology, postcards will never go out of style. It is because postcards are convenient and effective way of showing someone that you appreciate and remember them. In fact, modern technology has upgraded the way people send postcards. Instead of purchasingÂ a ready-made card at the store and sending them by mail, you can now send them quickly (featuring your own photo!) from your computer or mobile device throughÂ dedicated apps.
What are Postcard Apps?
Postcard apps are applications that allow users to send real postcards using their phone or computer. This is different from sending virtual postcards, which can only be viewed online. You are sending actual, physical postcards except you are doing it through the convenience of online shopping.
The tradition of sending postcards has been with us since time immemorial. Ever since the postal system was creating, people have been sending postcards to loved ones. Postcards have changed very little since then - the template is still a card imprinted with an image, and the sender scribbles a message on the card. Similar to ordinary mail, the postcard is sealed with a postage stamp and sent via regular mail. Postcards were used by everyone from soldiers who went to war, to tourists who want to write home about their travels.
With the prevalence of online stores where people can avail of products and services through the Internet, itâs nice to know that sending postcards is one of the many services one can get through online stores and mobile apps. Not only is it more convenient since you donât have to purchase a postcard and go to your local post office to send it, you also get more features in terms of aesthetics.
What does this mean? Before, postcards images were pre-printed, and you can only choose from the available ones. This means that you cannot really customize what image goes along with your postcard. Nowadays, postcards can be printed using your own pictures as background images. So if youâre relaxing at a holiday beach, you no longer have to search through available postcards to find a beach setting, you can simply have your own pictures uploaded and used as the background image.
Different Types of Postcard Apps
There are different kinds of postcard apps, depending on the platform that hosts it:
The first kind is postcard creation software that can be downloaded and installed in your computer or laptop. These programs are full-featured programs where you can upload images, add decoration, change the layout of the postcard and add effects for good measure. These programs allow you to edit and decorate your postcards offline, although majority of these programs require you to print the postcard yourself and deliver it, or take your saved work to a shop where the postcard can be printed out. However, some of these programs are made by companies who will print and deliver the postcards for you. Before downloading the program, see the fine print if it includes printing and delivery features.
Another type of postcard app is the in-browser app, also known as a postcard creator or postcard maker. With this option, you donât need to download anything. Simply go to the website that offers this type of service and the tools you need are already on the website. Most of the time, websites offering this service requires you to register an account with them. This is a great option for people who donât have their own devices. They can simply use any computer thatâs connected to the Internet, log into their account and send postcards from there.
Mobile postcard apps are becoming extremely popular these days, as most consumers of online services search for the things they need on their phones. You need to download the postcard app from Google Play or the Apple Store and you can use this to create and send postcards.
Why Use Postcard Apps
So why should you use postcard apps anyway, when the traditional way of buying your own postcard, writing your message on it and posting it? Also, there are virtual postcards that you can send someone over social media or email. You donât even need to print out virtual postcards which means you can send them to people for free. So why should anyone use postcard apps instead?
Simple - because it brings you the best of both worlds. By sending actual postcards instead of virtual ones, you are showing the recipient that they deserve the effort and that they have something that they can keep and store. Yes, you can always save virtual postcards but emails can get buried under several others, social media comments moreso. Thereâs just a certain charm to it - giving something that people can touch, re-read and even display. Since postcard apps allow you to customize your cards, itâs not impossible that youâll create something that people would want to save and put on display.
Sending actual postcards will never lose its allure, but it can lose the inconvenience and limitations that traditional postcard sending can impose. For one, busy people will always have problems sending postcards because for one, the post office isnât open 24 hours, and you need to spend a few minutes to actually put together your card. With postcard apps, even the busiest person can send someone a nice reminder of how appreciated they are. You can create postcards using the app easily on your lunch break, and even while on the elevator. Whatâs great is that you can always save your work so if you really are pinched for time, just save the project and continue it for later.
Aside from convenience, one great benefit of postcard apps is that you can really let your creativity shine. Before, youâre limited to whatâs available at your post office or educational supply store. Now, any picture can become the backdrop for a nice postcard message. Use a collage made up of your kidsâ pictures to use as a background for a postcard to their grandparents. That would make your postcard extra special that theyâd surely would love to keep.
How We Rank Postcard Apps
Here on BestPostardApps.com, we review and test postcard apps onÂ a regular basis, comparing features and sampling their layouts and templates. We believe that in this modern world, the tradition of sending postcards shouldnât die but it should adapt to todayâs technology. This is why we meticulously check each provider to weed out the bad ones and recommend only the best postcard apps for our readers.
In case youâre wondering about our research process, weâre here to share with you our methodology and the things that we feel are important when it comes to running a postcard app service.
- Provider History - How long has the app been around? Is it updated regularly with new features? Are the people behind the app reputable and trustworthy? As with any business, we perform a background check on the people behind the program to see how they handle important aspects like innovation and customer relations.
- User-Friendly Interface - Although itâs the newer generations that use online services most of the time, itâs the older generation who loves sending postcards. The appâs interface should be easy to navigate and links to different features should have visible icons and fonts.
- Ease of Use - Aside from a simple and clean interface, a good postcard app should make the process of creating and editing postcards as easy as possible. We particularly like apps that use the drag-and-drop option. Users shouldnât be looking through endless menus in order to look for the tool or option that they need. A three-step process in postcard creation is best.
- Features - For us, any good postcard app should have the following features: ability to use uploaded photos, photo filters, decorations, layouts, collages, fonts and stickers. A lot of postcard apps have these and more features for their premium members, but we give a huge thumbs up to apps that offer several of these features at no additional cost.
- Printing Quality - The materials used to print the card are also important. After all, it would be a waste for users who put a lot of effort into designing their card if it is printed on low quality paper. Most postcard apps use glossy paper, which is a must for us. Bonus points for companies that have options for laminate, luster or eggshell finish.
- Delivery timeÂ - This is the part where a lot of postcard printing companies. Imagine making a beautiful card, which is printed on nice glossy paper. Wouldnât it be such a waste is the recipient never got it, or got it very late? We also look into a companyâs delivery success. Out of the many cards they send out, how many reach the intended recipient and how long does it take to get there? If the card doesn't get there, is the company going to help you out?
- User Reviews - We look at user reviews, not only on the company website itself, but on other mainstream review sites. We look at BBB and social media pages for complaints to check how the company handles problems. Of course all companies get negative reviews and nothing ever runs smoothly. What matters is that a company responds and fixes problems promptly.
Just because we live in an era where everything is instant and virtual, doesnât mean we should forget traditions like postcards. These cards are simple tokens that can brighten anyoneâs day and it means a lot more if these are actual physical cards as opposed to virtual ones. With Postcard apps, thereâs no excuse as to why you canât take just a few minutes to send a loved one, employee, friend and coworker a postcard to show you care, not when you can do it with just a few taps or clicks.
So how much do these postcards cost? Well, for most, the process of creating, editing, adding photos and personalizing the look ofÂ your card is free of charge. You only pay money to have the card printed and delivered to the sender. The price to send a postcard is usually aÂ couple of dollars, euros or pounds depending on where you are sending the card. Local delivery may be cheaper than international postage.Â Many postcardÂ companies charge a flat rate for delivery, no matter how near or far the recipient is.
Some postcard apps have a free and premium membership. Free memberships give you freedom to choose between a number of free templates, seasonal layouts and stock photos, while premium membership allows you to use your own uploaded photos, use filters and unlock more features. Premium membership typically costs $2-$5, depending on the postcard maker.