Hyatt Hotels Combines Facebook With Snail Mail

Chain tests utility-minded Postagram app

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Hyatt House is testing a Facebook-enhanced system called Postagram that prints postcards.

Through Aug. 15, the hotelier is encouraging guests to personalize up to two complimentary postcards via a Facebook app that's available on Postagram and Hyatt House's pages on the social site. 

In five steps, lodgers can add a photo and a 180-character message to the postcard before entering the name and address of a friend, putting USPS delivery into motion. It's an unusual blend of digital and old school direct marketing, ultimately serving as a branding vehicle when seen by the snail-mail recipient. The Hyatt brand is promoting the test via social media channels and printed materials in the rooms of the Chicago-based chain.

"We know what even a simple, 'Hi,' can mean when you're away," said Chris Walker, VP of brands for Hyatt House and Hyatt Place. "Postagram allows us to extend this relationship-building to our guests, enabling them to keep up with friends, colleagues and loved ones while they're on the road, which can often be tough to do."

Coppertone is another brand currently employing the Postagram platform, though the sun tan lotion is also using the tech vendor's mobile app—available on iPhones for the first time today—to push the postcards.

"Most direct mail is boring stuff," said Matt Brezina, CEO of Sincerely, which owns Postagram. "What we are doing is different because it's personalized. What's more, it's personalized by someone the recipient actually knows. It's not just from some company."

Beyond two-year-old Postagram, Brezina's San Francisco-based operation markets a handful of gifting-oriented mobile/web applications. Sincerely claims 2.7 million mobile users across apps like Popbooth, Ink, Sesame and Ship API. 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.