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I’ve been using Postcardly for almost a year now, so I decided this was a good time to review this postcard sending service.
What it does
Postcardly turns your photo into a postcard and sends it physically to the recipient. You get to type your own text on the back of the postcard. Best of all, after setting up your account, you can do everything via email. Account set up only takes about 5 mins and then you’re done. Sending postcards takes less than a minute.
How it works
There’s no need to open a phone app or log into your account to send – I simply open my photo gallery on my phone, and using my regular email I just email the pic to my grandma at email@example.com . FYI – that’s an email address I’ve set up beforehand in my Postcardly account address book with the details of Grandma Beth’s proper name and address. Any text I choose to type in that same email is included on the back of the postcard as a message for her. The people at Postcardly print this out nicely on card stock. The photo is on the front and the message appears on the back in proper postcard format. Then they mail the postcard off to Grandma Beth’s physical mailing address. Simple as that.
It’s surprisingly cheap too. You can pick your plan – you can either buy a monthly subscription plan for a certain number of postcards per month, or you can purchase a set amount of credits to use within a year like I did. The price includes everything – the printing and the mailing, and works out to around $1 per postcard mailed within the US, and $2 per postcard for mailing overseas. Given the cost of postage, that’s an impressive deal since you’re also getting the printing and the personalized message included in the price.
I’ve used this service for sending both domestically within the US and internationally to family overseas. Here are my findings:
- Easy to use, no-mess, no-fuss. Unlike other services, you don’t have to use the phone app or the desktop login every time you want to send photos. Once your address book is set up, you can simply send using your usual email (gmail, yahoo, whatever) to the recipient’s special Postcardly email address that you have pre-set. Everything else from that point onward is handled for you.
- The sense of power is amazing! You can be on vacation and say “hey, let’s turn this pic into a postcard and mail it off!”. Within 5 mins or less, you’ve done your part of the work. This will really impress people.
- You can personalize your text as much as you want. For example, you can send the pic to Aunty Rachel with the text “Hi Aunty Rachel, here we are at the beach! See you when we get back!” and send the same pic to Grandma Beth saying “Grandma Beth – I think this beach is almost as nice as the one near you! See you in the fall.” This way, each recipient gets something specific to them.
- On the other hand, if you don’t want to be bothered writing 5 different email messages for the same pic, you can opt to send the same photo and message to multiple recipients by simply including all your recipient’s Postcardly email addresses in the “To” field of your email. eg. To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.
- Reliable. We have sent within the US and overseas, and never had a problem. The recipients are always thrilled to receive their postcard!
- Good security features in place. You can’t accidentally send to someone else’s Postcardly recipient (nor vice versa). It’s set up that it will only let you send from your email address to any of the Postcardly addresses in your account. If the sender isn’t your email, or the recipient’s address doesn’t match what’s already in your address book, it’ll give you an error message.
- Excellent family use options. You can specify other email addresses who are also authorized to send from your account. This is ideal if you’d like to add your spouse as an authorized sender, for example.
- You can request a preview of what the postcard will look like. Simply send an email containing your pic and message to firstname.lastname@example.org – within just a minute or two you will receive an electronic proof. You can do this even if you’re not signed up with Postcardly yet!
- Change or update your address book or account at any time. It’s so easy to make changes for example if a recipient moves and you need to edit their mailing address, or if you need to add a new recipient.
- When setting up Postcardly email addresses for recipients, I found that it won’t let you pick some of the ones you want to use because they are already taken. So you have to pick something else. For example, you might not be the only person desiring the address email@example.com for your granddad Jim. So then you have to get creative (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). This is not a big negative, since you never have to remember the recipients’ email addresses. This is because when you successfully make a new entry, Postcardly sends you a confirmation email to let you know the details. If you ever forget the recipient’s email address you can just look in your inbox for the Postcardly info.
- The postcards are mailed from Seattle. Therefore if your recipients are far from Seattle, then it can take a while for the postcard to arrive. If your vacation is just a few days, you may even arrive back before the recipients receive their postcards! This is not a big negative, since the postcards obviously have to be mailed from somewhere. I would rather it was somewhere more central in the US, but there you are.
Our rating: ★★★★★ 5/5
What makes Postcardly stand out from other services is its ability to do the sending using just email, without needing to open an app or log in to anything. It’s also much cheaper than other services.
If you like, you can opt to get fancy and create a collage etc using any photo editing app, and send that via Postcardly. This is great if you want to add in cool fonts, etc to really make it special and arty for the recipient.
Overall, I highly recommend Postcardly based on my experiences with it. You can find out more at the Postcardly home page.