ADOTAS – Handwritten letters may have been trounced in the age of email, but postcards are still a booming market with nearly 2 billion sent a year. Hippopost blends a postcard service with social media to engage brands and consumers in a way that marries traditional advertising, modern technology and the postal service.
The recently launched HippoMobile app allows BlackBerry users to create and send postcards (printed on recycled stock) based on pictures taken on their devices — on an advertiser’s dime. Grandmom can get a postcard of her grandkids at DisneyWorld taken with Mom’s BlackBerry courtesy of Coca-Cola.
The user chooses his or her favorite sponsor and in exchange gives a contact touchpoint to the brand — email, phone number, etc. The postcards themselves can feature just a company logo or even personalized offers to the recipients.
However, sales and marketing folks have found even more clever uses for the service. At the Toronto Auto Show, Mitsubishi staff used BlackBerrys to take pictures of potential customers and then used Hippomobile to send postcards of the pics to the leads. In the process they gathered email and mailing information for all the participants.
“Advertisers are able to connect with their target markets in the flow of their daily lives — while they are using services important to them, like their smartphones and Facebook,” said Donal Byrne, CEO and co-founder of Hippopost. “We let users select which brands they want to promote by letting them select which sponsor to feature, creating a very powerful mechanism to engage the user and the recipient.”