Greeting cards are a way of telling a person that you’re thinking of them. Whether in sickness, special occasions or just a simple thank you, its something that can help build relationships and maintain them.
Laurie Ash, affiliate of SendOutCards in The Woodlands, works with customers throughout the week on her own schedule to help them send out personalized cards and gifts. She offers ‘sales products and services’ and teaches her customers how to utilize the system.
Originally located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the company was started in 2003 by founder and CEO Kody Bateman. He initiated this concept for his older brother, Kris, after he passed away and vowed ‘never to allow himself to to not act on a prompting to reach out in kindness to those he loves before it was too late again.’
The company makes it easy for people to send out cards.
“When we show appreciation, people respond to that. Plain and simple. People like being recognized and appreciated. People still go to the mailbox hoping that something good is going to be there,” said Ash.
In contrast to greeting card companies, SendOutCards offers a convenient way of being able to choose your own designs, greetings and other features to put the full gift package together. Customers can also send them internationally.
“The ease of being able to choose a card online, drop in a photo, type in a personal message and choose a gift. The gifts are things such as brownies, caramels, cookies, stuffed animals and gift cards. The gift cards are from Starbucks, Target, American Express and Amazon. The customer can also send a Tim Horton gift card to someone in Canada,” said Ash.
“The customer does not have to get in the car, drive to a store, go somewhere else to buy stamps and then take the card or package to the post office. SendOutCards are also less expensive than most Hallmark cards.”
Sendoutcards has most of its card prices at $2.75 plus postage but others that are labeled “premium” are $3.75.
For businesses that want to build and maintain their relationships with customers its become an ideal way of appreciating them along with promoting the business.
Sommer Hausman, a real estate agent in The Woodlands, had a discussion with Laurie about what the company did and concluded that this is what her business needed.
“I realized it was something, not only that I was missing in my business but something I’d already identified as weak point of mine, staying in contact, follow-ups, personal touch,” said Hausman. “I liked that I could stay in contact, keep in touch, you know maintain that communication. The personal touch that I wanted to maintain in a simpler more streamline fashion.”
For Hausman the real estate industry is more relational rather than transactional. SendOutCards is a way for her to establish a good relationship with her past, present and future clients.
“I’ve gotten a call saying ‘hey thanks for the brownie’,” said Hausman. “I send them to referral partners, so if I have a lender or an inspector or somebody in my network I can send them or their office a card and some brownies, some cookies, whatever it is you know to thank them for sending me a referral and that’s pretty awesome too.”
Owner of Springwood Marketing Agency, Ashley Easterwood, recently set up an account with Ash for personal and business use.
“I met Laurie through a networking event and have met with her a few times and decided that while I really thrive on digital marketing many people do appreciate having a card actually sent to them in the mail,” said Eastwood. “So I’ve used SendOutCards through Laurie for both personal and business applications.”
“People are always super excited to receive their card or their card with a gift.”
The process is quite simple. Customers go online to the SendOutCards website and have their account set up. The customers can find a catalogue of the different card types online which include, “Just Because,” Celebrations, Holiday, Well Wishes, Build Your Own and many more depending on what you need.
The illustrations on the cards are made exclusively by the company’s own designers and artists. So all of their content is original.
Businesses in the area can now easily pick and choose their greeting cards on the website to help grow the community and improve their clientele relationship. It has become a small act of kindness that their customers appreciate.
“Imagine how it feels to have a personalized greeting card and maybe a small treat in the mailbox. It may be the only nice thing they've received in quite a while,” said Ash.