Showing gratitude, as well as respect and appreciation, goes a long way in cementing strong business relationships. You could call those characteristics the foundational pillars of success.
Not only is it important to demonstrate those qualities to customers. Companies must also express them to employees — particularly as competition for employees increases.
How? Greeting cards are among the most valued methods to display gratitude, respect, and appreciation. But not all greeting cards are equal, nor do they have the same impact.
Let’s look at how sending the right type of card matters and how you can integrate the process into your company’s standard operating procedures with help from Shutterfly Business Solutions.
Tapping into the power of greeting cards
You can use business greeting cards at many points in a customer/employee journey and for a wide range of reasons. Showing gratitude, respect, and appreciation is only the tip of the iceberg.
Here are some of the ways greeting cards can impact brand loyalty/affinity and Net Promoter Score.
- Surprise and delight
- Deliver offers
- Provide customer care
- Build content engagement
That list is just one set of examples connected to a single area of need. With strategic thinking and workflow integration, business greeting cards address many unique business and marketing scenarios.
Making your business greeting cards personal
Tailored, one-to-one marketing is always more effective than bulk/anonymous communications. According to Salesforce, 97% of marketers witnessed a rise in business outcomes as a result of personalization.
But how does personalization for business greeting cards work?
Every workflow is unique to your tech stack and operations. But we can cover some fundamentals. Let’s look at what a programmatic solution looks like. In this scenario, a company automatically sends a greeting card based on customer activities or triggers, such as enrolling, a birthday, or reaching a customer loyalty status level.
It all starts with your customer resource manager (CRM). Whatever data you want to trigger a greeting card should be found here.
The Shutterfly platform integrates with your CRM and constantly scans data for event triggers. When an event occurs, the platform creates a greeting card order.
Event triggers are where personalization can get quite deep. It can be as simple as a date or as complex as a unique sequence of purchases, visits, or information requests. There’s no limit to the level of detail or complexity of event triggers.
When an event is triggered, data passes from the CRM into the Shutterfly platform. That is where the greeting card is created, personalized to the recipient, and sent out for delivery.
Finally, Shutterfly Business Solutions provides reporting so you can see how many business greeting cards were sent and the reply/conversion rate if the card includes a CTA.
Shhh … here’s what business greeting cards really are
Most people never know the covert truth of business greeting cards. Well, here it is. Business greeting cards are direct mail in disguise.
Shocked? We understand.
Greeting cards feel special because people perceive them differently. But in reality, they are created, personalized, printed, and delivered using the same workflows and methods. Even costs are similar. Like templated direct mail, business greeting cards are templated and optimized for savings.
That explains why they are so effective at achieving so many different goals. Business greeting cards are every bit as flexible, adaptable, customizable, and personalizable as any direct mail piece.
Plus, direct mail is far more likely to be seen. The average person receives 107 emails, 62 display ads, and only two pieces of Direct Mail per day.
Now that you know the truth about business greeting cards, you can easily see the opportunity at hand. You can also set expectations for how business greeting cards should function within your workflows.
For example, make sure they:
- Fully integrate with your tech stack
- Easily provide executable print production
- Manage and align with your brand
Greeting cards are for old people and other misconceptions
Some people think greeting cards are for moms and grandparents. Those people are wrong.
While email, texts, and social media have made it easier to send instant greetings and birthday wishes, Millennials are sending more greeting cards than ever. In fact, millennials often opt for fancier specialty cards with personal touches to show they care.
And millennials aren’t just buying birthday cards either. For Valentine’s Day 2020, millennials invested more than $100 million in greeting cards. Unlike older generations, Millennials are far more likely to send cards for multiple life events and holidays.
Not only do millennials send greeting cards, but they hold on to them as keepsakes — unlike text and email messages that get quickly deleted.
As a New York Times research analyst noted, “there is still a cultural significance around receiving cards in the mail.”
When to send business greeting cards
Opportunities abound for sending business greeting cards. Shutterfly Business Solutions tends to divide the options into two distinct categories.
- Baby / Adoption
- New Home
- Milestones / Achievements
- Service Recovery / Apology
- Product Launch
- Renewal / Recapture
- Thank Yous
Three keys for successful business greeting card programs
Can you make mistakes with business greeting cards? Absolutely. Can you avoid mistakes? Definitely. Shutterfly Business Solutions has compiled a list of best practices that ensure companies get the most value and impact from a business greeting card program.
1. Use your data
- Your metrics should have seen a likely shift since 2020/COVID.
- Employ new metrics around campaigns and refresh your analytics.
- Focus on customer-specific metrics – sales per the same customer; margin per customer (not margin or sales overall or by channel).
- Use the data and sales to push marketing messaging in all vehicles further.
2. Focus on the customer experience
- Prioritize customers and their customer experience with expanded delivery options (or upgrades) and more robust customer service.
- The shift to customer-centricity is less about loyalty programs and more about customer loyalty.
- Companies need to pay more attention to customers and act accordingly – a brand must first show loyalty to customers and prospects before you expect the customers to show loyalty back.
3. Prioritize brand loyalty and customer loyalty
- Customer loyalty is more than essential now and going forward.
- Brand loyalty is an emotional state and not a transactional one.
- Loyalty doesn’t come from discounts but from a brand being loyal to customers.
Implement a business greeting card program with Shutterfly Business Solutions
For many companies, business greeting cards are an unexpected strategy for success. As we’ve discussed, they are versatile, highly personalized, and incredibly effective across demographics. It’s hard to consider a situation where business greeting cards wouldn’t have a positive impact.
As powerful as business greeting cards are, it is just one solution. Shutterfly Business Solutions has thousands more that are ready to deploy. Using our expertise, scalability, nationwide presence, and massive Shutterfly platform will maximize your communications.
Capitalize on Shutterfly Business Solution resources and workflows to solve your communication challenges.