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AMiable Solution #486: YouTube Shorts: The Postcards of Direct Mail?



Find out how Shorts and postcards compare, and which ones you should be producing.

If your company creates videos and hosts a channel on YouTube, you’ve probably heard of—and even made—your own Shorts.


Unlike traditional videos, Shorts, as the name implies, are user-created videos with a time limit: 60 seconds. They’re quick, vertically orientated videos that can be taken and uploaded with a cell phone.


The benefit? Shorts have the potential to pack a powerful punch in a short time with minimal equipment.


In a way, they’re kind of the equivalent of postcards in direct mail.


In both cases, marketers have only a few seconds to capture their audiences’ attention and draw them into their message. Direct mailers achieve that on postcards with intriguing teasers, good use of white space, emotion-packed images, and clear headlines. Shorts creators do it with catchy tunes and captivating characters.


And like postcards, Shorts take less time than their longer counterparts, making them a good go-to for sending out messages quickly and affordably.


Where they really differ, however, is in the postcard’s ability to stand out.


You want your customers to find your Shorts on YouTube? Although there’s a huge potential audience, unless your targeted viewers already subscribed to your channel, there’s no guarantee that they’ll find, much less watch, your video.


Postcards, on the other hand, are nearly guaranteed. You can’t help but glance at the contents of a postcard just by picking it up, and if the postcard is designed well, it doesn’t take much to keep your attention until you’ve read, or at least skimmed, the whole thing. Shorts, even with their 60-second limit, carry the risk of viewers bailing before they’ve seen the entire video.


There’s no hiding a postcard’s message: there are no envelope barriers to break through, no wafer seals to rip open, and no links waiting to be clicked. A postcard’s message is simply there for your audience to see.


If you haven’t dabbled in marketing with videos and you have the personnel and resources to give it a try, we say, Go for it! The more exposure you can get for your organization, the better.


But don’t forget about the power of the short video’s printed counterpart, the postcard. Despite the evolution of technology and the broadening of consumer channels, good old postcards still pack a punch in their own right while taking it easy on the wallet.



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