Greeting cards have been around in one form or another for hundreds of years. While most people send greeting cards out of habit for holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions, they can be used for many other purposes.
If you’re looking for creative ways to use greeting cards, try these 10 fun and practical ideas.
1. Soliciting funds for a cause
If you’re starting business, a non-profit organization, or heading up a fundraiser for medical expenses, you can use greeting cards to solicit funds and/or send out custom cards to thank people for their donations.
To use greeting cards to generate funds, send them out to people you know, to members of an organization you belong to (with permission), or through direct mail marketing campaigns. Try to get businesses to support your efforts even if you have to pay a small fee.
To use greeting cards as thank-you notes, include them with your crowdfunding prizes or send them directly to individuals and businesses who support your cause. Don’t forget about the people who support your cause in ways other than through financial donations. Be sure to thank those who support you with their time, advice, and donated resources.
2. Spreading positivity
Have you ever walked through a neighborhood and found notes with positive messages hanging from tree branches? It might sound strange, but it’s actually quite popular. Not too long ago, this form of spreading positivity was referred to as “glitter bombing” and today it’s just something people do to make others smile.
Custom greeting cards are an inexpensive, low-tech way to make people happy anywhere in the world. Just as some people hang happy notes from trees, you can use greeting cards to spread positivity around your neighborhood.
First, get a bunch of custom greeting cards made with a unique design and inspirational message. Be careful not to use copyrighted material. If you can spend the money, get a few different designs and messages printed.
Next, use the following methods to distribute your cards where they’ll be seen:
- Hang your greeting cards from random trees at about eye-level for both kids and adults. Kids might be the first to notice the cards, so don’t forget to hang them on lower branches.
- Place some cards in plastic bags (like newspapers) with a small rock to act as a paperweight. Toss the cards in driveways and on porches. Remember to make sure you’re not breaking any laws by distributing the cards. For instance, don’t place your cards in mailboxes because that’s illegal.
- Approach a local coffee shop to see if they’ll distribute your cards as a surprise in their customers’ pastry bags. If your cards aren’t commercial, you’ll find a business owner who will agree.
- Tuck the cards into books at the library or used book stores.
- Visit a coffee shop and leave a card at the table for the next patron.
- Place a card in the tip jar at a coffee shop or leave a card for your server when you visit a restaurant.
3. Personalized thank-you notes for clients
Clients always appreciate custom thank-you notes, especially when they spend a significant amount of money with a business. Sending a custom greeting card to say ‘thanks’ makes clients feel appreciated, acknowledged, and valued.
While you could get hundreds of thank-you cards printed in bulk with the same message inside, it’s better to get bulk cards that are either blank inside or have a simple printed signature from your business.
It’s always a good idea to write the content of your thank-you notes by hand. Your clients will appreciate the time and effort you put into writing out the card.
4. Soliciting new business via direct mail
Digital marketing has become so popular that many businesses have forgotten about direct marketing. However, direct mail is still an efficient form of marketing that any business can leverage. This method is so effective that some businesses, although few, exclusively use local direct mail marketing.
Why use greeting cards with direct mail? People like getting physical mail with substance. That’s why you’ll see marketing messages with bulky envelopes containing coins, plastic trinkets, and small metal keys. These items can be felt from outside of the package and generate a higher open rate.
Greeting cards are larger than standard “junk mail” envelopes and the thickness is enticing. If you’re going to launch a direct mail marketing campaign, greeting cards will help you get more opens and more sales.
5. Distributing discount codes that catch attention
You’ve probably bought something from Amazon or eBay and noticed the seller slipped in a business card with a discount code for a future order. Business cards are cheaper than greeting cards, but they’re also smaller and easier to miss.
Whether you’re trying to get new customers with a discount code or influence existing customers into an upsell, greeting cards with discount codes will catch more attention than business cards.
It’s probably not worth the cost to use greeting cards to generate purchases of a low dollar amount, but it’s definitely worth the cost to encourage bigger purchases.
6. Photography print promotions
Photographers can’t get enough exposure – pun intended. For most photographers, selling prints is difficult unless they’re great with marketing. It’s not easy to get your photography into a gallery or display to sell your prints.
One way to promote your work is by printing your photos on custom greeting cards. You can sell these greeting cards on your website and gift them to people for holidays, birthdays, or as a casual greeting.
Inside each of your cards, print your website address and contact info and let people know that full-size, high-resolution prints are available for purchase. That way, when someone loves one of your photos, they can buy a print quickly and easily.
7. Sending clients rebate vouchers for future services
When you have clients who spend good money with you, it’s good practice to give them discounts on future services. However, it’s impersonal to send clients future discounts through email and much better to deliver your discounts through the physical mail.
To make an impact with your future discounts, send your clients a custom greeting card that includes a voucher for saving money on their next project. They’ll appreciate the discount and the personalized card.
8. Thanking friends for a home-cooked meal
Sending thank-you cards to friends and family is a bit old school, but still relevant today. When was the last time you received a thank-you card in the mail for cooking a meal or hosting a small gathering for friends? It’s probably been a while.
Be the person who makes others feel good and appreciated for their efforts. A simple thank-you card can make someone’s day.
9. Sending cash in the mail
It’s not generally advised to send cash in the mail, but if you have no other option, greeting cards are a great way to conceal cash and even checks. The only problem is that criminals know people use cards to conceal cash and often steal envelopes that are obviously cards.
The way around this problem is to send your greeting cards via registered mail. According to the United States Post Office, registered mail is the most secure way to send mail as it’s processed manually and is protected by safes, cages, sealed containers, locks, and keys. You can also require that only the addressee or their specified agent can sign for the card.
The cost of registered mail depends on the declared value of the letter or package; as of 2020, the base price for sending registered mail is just over $12. However, if you want your card and money to arrive safely, that’s a small price to pay.
10. Bringing attention to a cause
Do you have a cause you’d like to bring more attention to? Are you organizing rallies, conventions, or festivals centered on a specific cause? Greeting cards are a fantastic way to advertise your events and distribute important information to the masses.
Greeting cards are the perfect size to share small chunks of information to get people’s attention and interest in your subject matter. If they want to learn more, they can come to your event or visit your website for more information.
Greeting cards aren’t boring anymore!
With ten new ideas for using greeting cards, you’ll have more fun creating them and passing them out to people you know. Whether you hand them out to clients, friends, or strangers, you’ll be making somebody’s day.