Businesses of all sizes eventually forget that customers are, after all, human. Customers have good days, bad hair days, and average days. Thanks to the increasing movement to go online, traditional ways of "wishing someone well" using greeting cards has almost become a thing of the past.
Yet, that's exactly what makes sending physical greeting cards so special today. Call it a blast from the past or a simple act of thoughtfulness but businesses certainly have a lot to gain from such an initiative.
Since you don't need professional expertise to design greeting cards (thanks to DIY design software and many other tools available for you to use), all you need now is intent and initiative.
So, can traditional greeting cards be used for business? Is it still a good way to nurture leads? Let's explore different ways greeting cards can be designed and used for your business.
Pamper your customers
Your customers are special and you got to treat them as such.
E-mail is now the norm and physical mail is special. Design specific greeting cards especially for your present customers - whether they purchased once or multiple times from you - and send them out using direct mail. Physical mail - we'd dare say even without research and statistics - gets opened much more than regular email. There's virtually no need to compete with other kinds of physical mail waiting in the mailboxes out on customers' yards.
What would you print on greeting cards?
Warm up to your prospects
- When capturing leads, develop a system to also capture birthdays, anniversaries, and other days important to your customers. Use this data to send out your custom design greeting cards on time.
- Send out greeting cards, "just like that" to tell them how much you appreciate their patronage, or buying a product recently, or for having trusted you with their projects.
- Send out greeting cards to say "thank you".
Potential customers need more than a reason; they need a connection. That's why you'd have to go out of the way for them. You'd collect leads - a large collection of tools, methods, and marketing practices (including traditional and digital marketing) can help you achieve all that.
Making that personal connection, however, isn't that easy.
With greeting cards, you can buy your ticket for walking that extra mile for your leads or prospects. Send out cards to them regularly not so much for "making the sale" but more so to gain their trust. Here are some ideas:
Let your employees know that you care
- Ship out custom designed greeting cards to let your prospects know that you are there for them if they need you.
- Include social media links on your greeting cards (and use qr codes) to help them connect with you after they receive your "We are delighted to have you onboard" cards.
- Let your greeting cards communicate the fact that you care for them and that you'd stand by to provide information when they need it. No charges.
Employees are your greatest, most enthusiastic, and willing affiliates (although they wouldn't have joined your official affiliate program, if any). They are loyal, they work hard, and they were (or still are) a part of the team that keeps your business alive. In short, they'd care for your business if you care enough for them. Northwest Airlines
succeeded and is profitable because they care for their employees. Enough said.
Link greeting cards to customer service
- Let employees know how much you value their contribution.
- Thank specific employees for their efforts and their commitment to projects.
- Send a greeting card to employees telling them that you care.
As customers open support tickets, call you up for more information, place requests on social media to have you help them to resolve issues, most businesses focus on closing these tickets and resolving problems. That's almost taken for granted since businesses have to do that. After an issue is resolved, however, here's how you can use greeting cards to your advantage:
Make greeting cards sell for you
- Send greeting cards saying "Sorry about the trouble. We owe you one" to customers who called to get help with a problem.
- Print out a message like "We hope we resolved your request. If you call us back another time, the dinner is on us".
- Maybe you could send in this message "Did you get the information you asked for when you called? We’d ring a bell in our office - and call your name aloud -- if you could tweet us to say "yes". Really".
Finally, can greeting cards sell? Yes, provided you are nimble enough with the designs and the content. While you'll send out greeting cards only to make relationships, you can use autosuggestions and slight nudges to make your greeting card recipients think about your business. Here are some examples:
- Design greeting cards normally (with no promotional content whatsoever) and have qr codes to direct your customers or prospects to avail special offers made especially for them.
- Buy their trust with low-resistance call to actions such as to call you back for availing offers, send in an sms for a sweepstake, or have them signup for a competition.
- Send out greeting cards to prospects or leads to wish them on holidays and create special holiday offers (that are really great deals) and let them take initiative to sign up through landing pages.
Greetings cards from businesses are almost unheard of. Very few businesses take the time or trouble to send out personalized greeting cards to their customers or prospects. Small businesses, thankfully, can also leverage the power of self-design using software available to create even more personalized messages for their own customers.
Given everything remains equal between two businesses, it's the business that takes the extra effort to get into the hearts of customers that'd walk with the deal.
Do you use custom designed greeting cards (physical) for your business? Do you think initiatives like these can take your business places? What do you think?