Send your first postcard with Campaigns

You can send one—or one million—mailpieces with our robust direct mail automation platform. The following demo and accompanying tutorial will walk you through sending your first postcard using our Campaigns tool, so you can learn to Lob!

Watch the demo

Try it yourself!

First things first! You must have a Lob account, and have payment details added if you want to send out mail.

  • In our "Developer" plan, it will currently run you just under a dollar for a 6"x9" postcard (inclusive of printing and postage). Payment information will need to be entered here (select the Billing tab in the left-hand menu navigation and click on Payments).

Prep work

You'll need two things at the ready to create your Campaigns: an Audience and Creative. We'll walk you through both below.


This is what we call the recipients of your campaign. To play along, you will an audience file; we've provided a sample for you to use:

  1. Don't change any of the header columns, but update the name and address data. (Sending to the East Coast? Some programs like to drop the leading zeros in your zip codes; a quick tip to fix a single zip: try typing a ' before the zip code.)

  2. And now the fun part: update the "nickname" and change the text under "message" to your own personal note to the recipient.

  3. Save as a .csv


Lob accepts static PDFs, and can also use HTML to incorporate dynamic personalization (via merge variables, represented with {{ }} in the HTML). We've provided a sample of each to create both sides of your postcard.

For the Front, we'll use a PDF

  1. Download this PDF file. This will be the front of your postcard; you'll upload it later.

For the Back, we'll create & save an HTML template

  1. Download this HTML file. this will be the back of your postcard. (If the thought of HTML makes you flinch, don't worry, you won't be coding.)

  2. The HTML will open as a web page, but you want to display the HTML so you can cut & paste it into Lob. Right-click on the page and select the menu item that allows you to view the source. (In Internet Explorer, the menu item is “View Source.” In Mozilla Firefox and Chrome, the menu item is “View Page Source.”)

    —If the file downloads, you can open the .html file in a text editor (we recommend the free tool Sublime Text) so you are ready to cut & paste.

  3. On the left menu bar of the Lob dashboard, navigate to HTML Templates.

  4. Make sure Live is highlighted.

  5. Click on ‘Create.’

  6. Name this ‘My_first_postcard_BACK’ and paste in the HTML. (You can open the .html file in any text editor to select all the text and copy over.)

  7. Click ‘Create’ to save.

  8. You can click 'Preview' to see how your mail piece will look; you will get a pop-up to input sample merge variables, in this case, you can type in anything to test it out (but when your postcard gets created, these will be pulled from your .csv)

  9. On the left menu, click HTML Templates to go back to the main template screen; you should see your Back template under Live templates.

You will need to have your .csv ready and both the PDF file and HTML downloaded to proceed.

Create Campaign! (Send a postcard)

When your prep work is complete, you are ready to create and send your first mailpiece in just four steps.

Step 1: Configure settings

Click Create Campaign from the Lob dashboard to begin the Campaigns flow. (You will also see this from Campaigns in the left navigation menu)

For our first postcard send, we'll fill in only those fields that are required, or those marked with * in the Campaigns tool

  1. Campaign name: We suggest "My first postcard;" a description is optional

  2. Select campaign type: Marketing

  3. Select mail type & settings: Select Postcard, 6"x9"

  4. Skip Send options, Postage preferences, and Campaign-level metadata as these are not required

  5. Click Next step

Step 2: Add audience

  1. Upload Target Audience: Upload the .csv file you downloaded and updated

  2. Map address variables: Lob automatically maps and formats your address to meet USPS requirements

  3. Click Next step

Step 3: Choose creative

  1. Upload your creative assets

    • Postcard front: Upload the PDF file you downloaded

    • Postcard back: Select HTML template; choose "My_first_postcard_BACK"

    • You will be shown only a basic preview after each upload; a true creative proof is available in the next step.

  2. An optional next step in Campaign creation is to Add QR code, but our sample postcard has one already included.

  3. Connect your creative to your audience

  • Map merge variables in your creative: Since we are using an HTML template to build a dynamic creative, Lob will match the .csv column headers to the merge variable names in the HTML template. You will see your custom nickname and message.

  1. Creative proof: The Creative proof will render a single mailpiece and includes merge variables, address block, Lob carbon neutral logo, and the indicia.

  1. Click Next step

Step 4: Review campaign

  1. Campaign settings: Review the campaign send details

  2. Target audience: Review the audience list

  3. Creative proof: Preview a mailpiece to ensure the campaign will render correctly

  4. Place order! Once your campaign is submitted it will be sent to the printer, then handed off to USPS for delivery. You can then track progress in your Campaigns dashboard.

  5. If you wish to exit the Campaigns UI, your Campaign will be saved as a Draft.

There is a cost for any mailpieces printed and sent. In our developer tier, rates are $0.924 per 6"x9" postcard. On our monthly subscription plans you can expect volume discounts in addition to access to more features; learn more here.

What's next?

Lob offers unprecedented visibility into where every single individual mail piece is from creation to delivery, and can provide notifications at each stage so that you can build downstream workflows and processes based on these alerts. You can also define, search, and slice and dice your mail piece data in any way you see fit, to better understand channel performance, attribution, and ultimately, ROI. Learn more about getting data & results here.

While it's a fun exercise to create a single postcard, the Lob platform is designed to be used at scale, and there is so much more functionality to explore and take advantage of. Dive in here!

If you need technical support or want more information (or a demo) on a specific product feature or direct mail use case, please reach out to us at

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