There are many options in these days of electronic media for designing your own greeting card. For those with an inbuilt artistic flair this can be an easy task but for the rest of us we may need help from the experts. Certainly for the greeting card printing it is best to go with a professional printer especially if the cards are to be used for business purposes.
Greeting cards can range in style from formal to casual. The tone may be a serious message along with a special thank you to show appreciation for your customer’s patronage or they may be light hearted with a humorous undertone. Whatever the occasion make sure the message is portrayed in the most professional way.
Design your own card
A great solution if you are creative and artistic enough is to design your own greeting cards. If you are also computer savvy, produce the design electronically ready to submit to the printer. All you need to do is come up with a unique theme then use a painting software program to draw your idea. Add colours and background tones to bring the card to life.
Text can easily be placed anywhere on the front cover and for a message inside the card. Use the back cover to promote your business, add a footnote or your return address.
Search on line
There are many free software programs available on line offering templates for pre-designed greeting cards for every occasion. From Christmas and seasonal greetings to letting your customers know you have moved a greeting card is a simple yet effective way to keep in touch.
Digital scrapbooks have hundreds of ideas for greeting card designs and messages. Clipart has an extensive library of artwork that can be downloaded for free. The only difficult thing here is deciding on the image that’s right for your greeting. The use of photos can make the design process easier.
Use a graphic designer
Printing companies will be happy to work with you to create a design from your own idea or have the graphic designer do the whole thing for you from scratch if you are not sure what you want or where to start. Graphic designers have studied for many years to become adept in their chosen field, it stand to reason they know what they are doing better than you.
Greeting cards are a novel way to show your appreciation to your customers or simply keep in touch. Using a reputable company to produce your card for you, need not be overly expensive. You can help the process by coming up with your own idea to let the designers build on. Do as much of the preparation and layout as you can before presenting the concept to a professional printer for added savings. Designing is not for everyone though, so be sure to seek help when you need it, with the design and final printed copy.
Getting customers to sit up and take notice of your business can be as simple as putting the best promotional ideas into practise. Develop a theme for your brand name and use it to promote your business on everything from envelope to postcard printing. Here are four ideas to get you started.
1. Photo Posters
Bring the brand to life using photo posters. Save on design costs by having a photo ready to be enlarged. Use photo posters to decorate your shop or office space.
Posters can be used to advertise a sale or upcoming event. Take pictures of the products and bring them to life. Hairdressing salons could use photo posters with before and after shots. A photo enlarged and reproduced to high standards gives a quality look to the poster which will say much about your business.
Customer-controlled blanksThis is a great way to guarantee that your cards will be kept, thought about in the future, and reach more than one person. There is little opportunity for direct marketing with this form of greeting card printing, but plenty of branding opportunity for branding. DO you want to send out company cards for people to use at Christmas? Think of a quirky way to connect the company and the event, and you have a card which is valuable to three people all of a sudden - you, the person you give it to, and the person THEY give it to.
Sending them out to prospects to keep in touch, along with a product sample if possibleEmail marketing still hasn't rolled over and died, despite the advent of anti-spam legislation. This is because when it is permission-based, there is real value in sending a personal message out to your prospects to keep in touch with them. Greeting card printing is much less likely to be ignored than an email, though! If you keep the addresses of people that make inquiries, you can send out greeting cards at public holidays, or use them to let people know about an upcoming sale or promotion.
Giving them out with in-store purchases at Christmas, Mother's Day etcGiving out a card with 'Season's Greetings' for something that is likely to be a Christmas gift, or 'World's Best Mum!' in the lead-up to Mother's Day is a wonderful way to create value for your customer. It costs less than a 5% discount would to your store, but makes more of an impact because your store is saving them time and trouble. Add an envelope, and you have made a lasting impression!
As appointment reminder cardsUnfolded appointment reminder cards are most often used - however miniature folded cards can be placed much more prominently and are less likely to get lost in a wallet ... thereby reducing your number of annoying no-shows! They also give you space to start a dialogue with your customer, offer a discount or cross-promote your products. Greeting card printing companies generally have a range of sizes available - ask your sales rep.
As birthday cards for customers with a special birthday offerDoes your business keep a database with customer's birthdays in? Many do - the information may be collected as part of a loyalty program or other membership application, or be required for security purposes. If you have permission to contact your customers, sending them a birthday card is always appreciated. You'll probably be the only company they encounter that does so - great for memorability and branding!
Following up networking leadsComing back from networking events, you will most likely have a fistful of business cards and no idea how to make a lasting impression with them. Have your greeting card printing company create some generic, blank ones with your company information, and just tell them that you enjoyed meeting them. Always appreciated - very effective!
Customized invitations have the ability to add a touch of individuality to your event. No matter what type of event you are planning, invitations that you have planned and designed yourself are unique. They are definitely attention grabbers, and let’s face it – you want the people who will receive the invitations to read them! Often, with the rather generic type of retail invitation that is available in stores today, the recipients do not bother to do much more than glance at the front of the card before tossing it into a pile of junk mail, or worse, into the trash.
Don’t let this happen to your invitations. Put a little of yourself into the design and the copy as well. The friends and colleagues you will be sending the invitation to can’t help but pay attention to such a personalized design. Consider the fact that your invitations are really just the start of your party. They set the tone for the whole affair. Words and pictures, even the colours that are used in these invitations can make a difference in whether or not your event is a hit or a bust.
However, what if you are at a loss for words, and do not feel very creative when the time comes for you to sit down and plan what you want your invitations to look at, and the message that you want them to convey? It is not necessary to feel tempted to run to the nearest store and purchase a supply of boring invitations to use. It is also not a requisite to head to your local “brick and mortar” printing shop to see what their advice to your dilemma would be. This really is not a dilemma at all, for the only thing you need to know how to do is an online search.
An online search? What does that have to do with your problem with the invitations, you may be wondering. It’s quite simple. You are going to use your favourite search engine to find yourself an online printing company. You’re looking for a professional printer who is familiar with, or perhaps specializes in, greeting card printing. This works in your favour, as the more experience the printer has with all the various types of greeting cards, the better job he or she can do on your invitations. If a graphic artist is on staff at the online printing company you choose, so much the better! These professionals can take just the germ of an idea, bring it to fruition with photos or line drawings, verse or perhaps a bit of prose, and add colours to pull it all together.
Customized invitations for your event can be really easy to plan and execute when you work online with a printer. You can upload the photos you want to see on your invitations, see a prototype invitation to approve before printing, or make changes to your invitation right on the printer’s web site. For all of this convenience, you would expect to pay more, but you will be pleasantly surprised to find that having customized greeting card printing done can be very reasonably priced.