How to send a postcard entry
I used to win HUGE prizes with my postcard entries (check my prize list to see some of them), but these days postal entry prize draws and comps are few and far between – so if you do spot one, make the most of it!
You can still find lots of postcard competitions listed in Compers News magazine, and a few on special boards within the Loquax forum and MoneySaving Expert forum. There are still postal entry routes for comps in some local magazines and papers, and kids comics and magazines are a good source. Big national publications like the Daily Express or puzzle magazines offer a choice of text entry or cheaper postal entry for some prize draws – people tend to presume the telephone entrants have a better chance of winning, but I still hear of holiday and car winners entering via the postal route.
For a postcard draw, you can send your entry on:
- a plain postcard (promotion address on the front, your details on the back)
- a picture postcard (promotion address on the right, yours on the left)
- a homemade or recycled postcard
You can still find free picture postcards at bars and restaurants, and I’ve found some quirky blank vintage postcards at car boot sales and on eBay. Most of the postcards I send are the front of old greetings cards, or homemade from brightly coloured card. I used to send giant homemade funny shaped postcards covered in sticky foam, googly eyes and all sorts of tat, but these days I imagine they would cost a fortune to send, and cause mayhem if they got stuck in Royal Mail’s machines!
How to lay out your postcard correctly is a question new compers often ask. Here’s how I write mine:
Tips for writing your postcard entry
- Write on the postcard with a biro or fine permanent marker so your details don’t go missing if your postman is out in the rain!
- Write your own address at an angle
- Tuck your postcode away in the middle of the text – this will reduce the risk of your entry being returned to you because the machine has scanned the wrong postcode!
- Save money by using a second class stamp (unless the comp closes the next day!)
- Stickers, doodles and fancy stamps can liven up your entries – I have success with these for local comps or smaller publications where the recipient is a real person sitting at a desk rather than a mailbag at a PO Box.
- Don’t forget to include the correct answer to the question (if there is a question!)
Some compers swear by using small address stickers on their postcards. Handling houses (big companies that handle the responses to promotions, usually via a PO Box address) probably approve, as it means less chance of errors, but smaller companies may be put off by such comping professionalism!
If there are a number of postcard entry draws in the same publication, sometimes you can send your postcards AIOE (all in one envelope) and just pay postage once for the envelope. It’s best to contact the magazine before you post your entries, to find out if this is acceptable – and it may move into the more expensive ‘large letter’ zone if it’s 5mm thick, so do check!
If you enter an entry form competition, you can either post your entry in an envelope or do as I do, and stick the form on a handmade postcard. Lots of compers will tell you about their successes with brightly coloured and gold envelopes and postcards. Most promoters if pressed will say it was a genuine ‘random’ draw, but us compers know better than that – I share some great stories on the topic of customising postal entries in my comping book “SuperLucky Secrets”!
Unfortunately the rising cost of stamps is a big consideration if you’re sending out postal entries. If there’s a price rise imminent, stock up on your stamps as soon as you can – and watch out for Superdrug discounts, they sometimes give you 5% off stamp books too.
Do you enter postcard comps? Ever won a big prize with a postcard? Let me know in the comments!