National Survey Reveals Birthday Business Greeting Cards Build Business: Hallmark Business Expressions Survey Shows Business Greeting Cards -- Especially Business Birthday Cards -- Matter to Customers

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According to a national consumer survey recently completed by Hallmark Business Expressions, the business-to-business subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., birthdays are the number one everyday occasion when companies send business greeting cards to customers.(a)

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This was a new undertaking for us, but we needed a program that would help strengthen the bond employees built with customers

    In fact, 69 percent of respondents indicated they received business birthday cards from a company with which they do business. Of those 69 percent, 47 percent indicated that receiving a birthday card makes them more likely to do business with the sender. Combining personalized birthday cards with an offer is even more effective. A total of 75 percent of respondents agreed a special occasion card, such as business birthday cards, with a discount during their birthday month would make them more likely to do business with the company.

"Birthdays are a natural opportunity for businesses to reach out to their customers with business greeting cards," said Marc Wagenheim, product marketing director for Hallmark Business Expressions. "Customers notice and appreciate when a company sends them business greeting cards and good wishes around their birthday. Our study confirms what our business customers experience--business birthday cards make a lasting impression and encourage repeat business."

Implementing a program using personalized birthday cards to build business is simple. The Busy Bee retail store in Springfield, Mo., has experienced significant return on investment after beginning their birthday card program two years ago.

"This was a new undertaking for us, but we needed a program that would help strengthen the bond employees built with customers," said Mark Rosen, president of the Busy Bee retail store. "We decided to send birthday cards to our top customers. We signed the birthday cards and included a personalized insert for $10 off the customer's next purchase of $10 or more."

"We weren't sure what to expect, but hoped customers would appreciate the card and redeem the offer. The results were staggering," said Rosen.

Within the program's first month, Busy Bee saw a 42 percent response rate from the Hallmark Business Expressions birthday cards. The program's success continued, averaging a 36 percent response rate for 2006 with overall sales increasing by 6.5 percent. In 2007, Busy Bee saw approximately 35-45 percent of customers who received birthday cards returning to redeem the $10 offer. And, though it wasn't the original intent of the program, Busy Bee registers a profit from the birthday cards it sends.

To use business greeting cards in a birthday program, Wagenheim offers two options.

"Businesses can order personalized birthday cards online at http://www.BusinessGreetings.com or Hallmark Business Expressions can develop a custom program, which gives anyone in an organization easy access to a pre-approved collection of business greeting cards and customization options designed to reflect the company's brand."

For information about a custom birthday program, call 800-603-0651. For more information about Hallmark Business Expressions and its birthday greeting card line, visit http://www.BusinessGreetings.com.

(a)excluding holidays

About Hallmark Business Expressions

Hallmark Business Expressions helps businesses cultivate relationships using greeting cards to communicate with key customers, prospects, employees and donors. Serving a wide variety of companies, from the Fortune 100 to small businesses, Hallmark Business Expressions provides distinctive ways to stay in touch and make a lasting impression. The company offers a full line of Everyday and Holiday greeting cards for businesses and a variety of personalization and mailing services at http://www.BusinessGreetings.com. The company also offers custom design services for customers who require a unique card to meet a specific business objective.

Created by the company that has helped people express themselves for nearly a century, Hallmark Business Expressions offers businesses that same knowledge and expertise in business greeting cards. Hallmark Business Expressions is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.

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Jessica Gardner
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