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Who doesn’t love getting holiday cards in the mail? Or any snail-mail that’s not junk or bills for that matter? Birthday, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Flag Day, Last Tuesday… the list is long and distinguished. You can find a greeting card for just about any occasion these days.
I used to enjoy going to pick out cards to send to people for various occasions. It was a nice little errand every now and then that I didn’t hate doing it. I liked taking a few minutes to look through a handful of cards, picking out the one that best conveyed the message I was trying to send for the specific recipient.
What’s going on, Hallmark?
Lately, though, it’s been more frustrating than joyful. I feel like the card selection has gone downhill while the card prices just keep going up and up and up.
Last Mother’s Day I bought a card for my mom, my aunt, both of my grandmothers, Chris’ mom, and his grandma. Chris bought me a Mother’s Day card as well.
For all seven cards, we spent something like $40. FORTY DOLLARS! On Mother’s Day cards! That’s not even including postage!
They were lovely cards. I wrote them all from Little Lyon Cub (I write most cards from her now, it’s way more fun that way). Everyone loved them and it was great. However, when we went through the checkout line and learned just how much of an investment these cards were, we both about lost it.
The first plan
We said, “that’s it!” Our family is getting generic, blank birthday cards with our own heartfelt (or comical) message written in. We bought a box of 12 blank birthday cards for the price of one “normal” card.
They’ll be more personalized and meaningful since the message will actually come from us instead of the industry. We’ll have the blank cards at home already, ready to go, saving us an extra trip to the store every time someone’s birthday is around the corner.
We liked the plan, and bought a pack of blank birthday cards and started using them. That plan is great for birthdays, but what about all the other holidays? Do we go with totally blank cards – blank on the front too – and turn them into whatever we need them for? We could do that… but blah.
The better plan
My aunt was watching Little Lyon Cub for us one weekend when Chris was out of town on a work trip and I had to work all weekend. A few days later we got a postcard from Little Lyon Cub telling us how much fun she was having with her awesome Great Aunt with her picture on the front.
It’s adorable (scrunchy face and all) and still resides on our fridge. See Exhibit A.
I showed Chris and got very excited because I knew that was the answer to all our prayers! Ok, maybe not all of them, but it did answer the mail in this particular case (see what I did there?).
We decided that instead of buying and mailing mass-produced cards for several dollars a piece, or using the blank cards and turning them into what we need, we’re now going to send 100% personalized postcards to everyone.
Store bought cards have a lovely and heartfelt message inside, yet they’re still very generic with the typical “love the Lyons” at the end. Boring.
The best part
Remember when I said the inspiration postcard from LLC is still on our fridge? That was months ago, and her smiling, scrunchy little face is still there staring at us every day. How many of the store-bought cards we’ve received in the last several months are still on the fridge? I’ll just say not many.
We do save cards we receive that have been written in and personalized, but they’re not immortalized on the fridge forever.
Side note- I’ll admit that when you have an adorable kid, and most of your card recipients are your family who also thinks she’s adorable, and live far away and love having pictures of her, it does make this plan a little easier. However, even if you don’t have a cute baby face to put on your postcards, I’m still willing to bet that the receiving end would rather have a personalized picture of your lovely face, or perhaps your fur babies, and note vice the alternative.
Consider the postcard a nice little time capsule for your family and friends. A great way to send pictures the old fashioned way and keep them forever, and actually look at them on a regular basis instead of being locked away in your phone or computer for all eternity.
Show me the money!
Ready for the icing on top of the cake? It’s way cheaper to send a personalized photo postcard or greeting card than the typical card. Allow me to demonstrate.
The company I’ve been using is MyPostcard. They charge me $1.99 to mail a fully customized (front and back) postcard, including postage! You can send an actual greeting card for $3.99! Use the code ZPTWVX to get a $3 credit (and I will too, thanks!). Who doesn’t love free money??
MyPostcard also has “specials” from time to time such as, if you buy 10 credits you get 5 free. Pay for 10 postcards (or greeting cards) all at once, and the balance lives in your account. When you send cards, pay for them with your balance instead of your credit card each time- because you already did that. You also get an additional 5 cards worth of credit for paying upfront.
I don’t buy 10 and get 5 free every time they send me an email with that special, because it’s often enough that I don’t use them quite that fast. However, when I know I’m starting to run low, I take advantage of the next “sale” to buy more credits instead of paying full price.
For $1.99 (well, really more like $1.32 with the buy 10 get 15 deal, which again, includes postage), I get my postcard pictures and message printed, addressed, and mailed (in the US or internationally). The whole process can be done in a few minutes in the app on your smartphone, or on the website on your computer.
For a fraction of the price of a generic store-bought card, I get a lovely, high-quality, personalized product. I didn’t have to leave my house, find a card, deal with traffic and check out lines at the store, end up buying 7 other things I didn’t really need, make sure I have stamps, etc. etc. etc.
Not only do I like it more, so do my recipients! This is a win all around as far as I’m concerned.
Is anyone else as excited about this as I am?
Leave your comments below, or send me an email (email@example.com). I’d love to hear from you!