With so many people choosing to send a quick electronic card or a brief message on a social media platform in their place, it would be simple to believe that physical greeting cards are a thing of the past. It is true that the way people give cards has changed, and as artists, we must adjust to this greeting card industry. Physical cards are still appropriate for many occasions and milestones, and recipients value them more when they receive them. The most common occasions that still call for selling greeting cards are birthdays, weddings, and thank-yous.
A few things hardly changed. There are two types of people who shop for greeting cards: those who read the cards before purchasing them and those who simply glance at the front cover before taking the card to the cash register. I belong to the first group; before choosing a card, I spend a good deal of time scanning, reading, picking up, and putting back each one.
People want the cards to have some significance for the people who receive them and hope they either burst out laughing or cry and want to hug especially on special holidays such as this upcoming Mother's Day. Here, we will outline a few of the various approaches you can use to sell greeting cards online.
Why Start a Greeting Card Business?
Greeting Card Market Statistics
Making and selling handmade greeting cards offers the chance to either supplement your income with a few extra dollars or start a successful business. Most small card shops fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Many people still prefer to give greeting cards to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions, and they are still very popular. The market for greeting cards generates $7.5 billion in revenue each year.
- The global Greeting Cards market is estimated to be worth US$ 7508.8 million in 2022,
- American consumers buy about 6.5 billion greeting cards every year.
- It is expected to reach a value of US$ 6530.4 million by 2028.
Low Start-up Costs
Your startup costs will still be significantly lower than with other types of small businesses, even if you choose to sell high-quality handmade paper cards.
Your work doesn't require much room in your home, and you can sell it for a low price online or at craft fairs.
It’s A Feel-Good Business
There is no denying that when people search for the ideal card, it is frequently to commemorate an occasion or to express gratitude for someone.
Whether it's to wish someone a "happy birthday" or a "happy Mother's Day," coming up with your own card lines is a way to transform your imaginative design into something that brings happiness into people's lives.
Let’s Plan Before You Start Selling Greeting Cards Online
You should identify a niche or special way to differentiate yourself in the greeting card market because it is a crowded one. You can make money off of this, but it will require time, effort, and research.
Spend some time planning before you start selling your greeting cards. A business plan is necessary. Planning ahead can help you stay on course, achieve your objectives, and steer clear of any unpleasant pitfalls.During the planning process, there are a number of factors you need to take into account. Where will you make sales? Whom are you trying to reach? What distinguishes you? These are just a few of the inquiries you must address as you create a business roadmap.
Here is our step-by-step guide to launching your own greeting cards business:
1. Determine Where You Are Going to Sell Greeting Cards
Making a physical location decision for where to sell your cards is one of the first things to do. Are you going to sell goods via your own online store, a controlled marketplace like Etsy, or small shops and craft fairs in your community? When it comes to selling cards, word of mouth and selling to family and friends will only get you so far. Finding the opportunities will be made easier by thorough research.
Online craft marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon's Handmade, Artfire, and numerous other specialized websites are multiplying. Anyone who has access to the internet can sell products online. Within these online marketplaces for handmade goods, opening an online store doesn't require any technical expertise. Etsy store creation is a quick and simple process. But to really launch your online business, you'll need to put in a lot of effort into creating fantastic product descriptions, taking excellent photos of your cards, and learning about search engine optimization and keywords. If this seems difficult, don't worry; the Etsy seller's handbook is an excellent source of information and will assist you in getting started.
Whatever option you choose, having your own online presence is key. Setting this up is not as difficult as it may seem.
- Greeting cards can be purchased at many retailers.
- Even gas stations carry a small number of cards.
- Plan ahead to find places where you may be able to get customers.
- Prepare a customer strategy before you create a large supply of greeting cards.
- You can make this business work by targeting customers and making cards that fit their needs.
Social media is a great place to get the word out about your handmade cards. Whether it's Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or another outlet, you have a tremendous opportunity to reach a wide group of people the world over.
2. Research the Market
A successful business requires more than just a little hard work and creativity. You must think of ideas for greeting cards that people will actually purchase. Market research can help with that:
The key is to determine your target market. The demographic of people who will purchase your cards is your target market. Your marketing strategy is to promote your product. You can define your prices and choose where to market your cards by knowing your target market. Your target market will be very different, for instance, if you sell cards that will appeal to hipsters as opposed to cards for a child's birthday.
3. Find Your Niche
What sets you apart from all the other card making businesses out there? What will make you unique? Look at the successful handmade card sellers on marketplaces like Etsy, and you'll notice that they frequently sell into a narrowly defined niche. In a crowded market, this is helpful. Consider finding a niche you can enter if you are concerned about competing in a very general market.This may be what makes you distinctive and establishes you as one of the only companies serving that market.
Remember that there are already a lot of handmade greeting cards on the market. You must provide something a little unique if you want to be truly successful. The market is overrun with handmade cards in many places. A "green" handmade card company where all materials are recycled, sourced sustainably, or where a percentage of sales go to environmental projects around the world is an example of a niche. Consider the things that motivate or make you smile as a great place to start when considering a niche.
Although you might think it makes sense to provide the most greeting cards, there are times when focusing on a niche market is the best way to make money.
To make your greeting cards unique and special, find a niche that makes use of your special skills.
You might also think about launching a greeting card company in conjunction with a particular holiday or event. You might want to concentrate on Christmas cards or baby showers, for instance.
On the other hand, you might want to design a line of heartfelt or humorous greeting cards.
4. Create your Brand
One of the first things to know is how fiercely competitive the greeting card market is, though it is possible for a new greeting card line to succeed. Determine the types of greeting cards you will be designing or writing and how they differ from what is currently available. This is the crucial first step. Additionally, you must determine your target audience and the viability of the market for the business card design you have chosen. It would be great if you could locate an original, untapped niche with lots of customers.
5. Invest on a Reliable Greeting Card Printer
The caliber of your cards and the cost of making them will determine your success when it comes to your finished product. Because you don't want to print too many and run out, or print low quality and never make a sale, this requires careful planning for a startup. (thereby printing too many). In addition, as you print more cards, your cost per card will decrease, increasing your profit margin on each sale. The best greeting cards are printed on premium paper stocks like eco-friendly recycled 13-point matte cover and 16-point gloss cover. Although greeting cards can be printed in almost any size, the most common sizes are 3.5 by 5 inches, 4.25 by 6 inches, and 5 by 7 inches. Keep in mind that you'll also need to order sized envelopes.
6. Set the Selling Price
You must decide on a price for your greeting cards in order to cover your expenses and turn a profit. You can price your cards using a very simple online profit margin calculator, which will aid you in getting started.
7. Build your Online Presence
Make your own website for greeting cards. You will have complete control over the marketing and design of your own website.
Create a memorable domain name. Display a range of cards on the website and invite visitors to make purchases there or in your Etsy store.
The best way to attract a lot of new business is to make it simple for customers to make direct purchases from the website.
8. Advertise your Greeting Card Business
It might be challenging to convince retailers to make a purchase from you or even to give you some rack space to sell your greeting cards if you're new and unproven. If you're having trouble, think about creating your own standalone display and consigning your greeting cards.
You should print promotional sales items such as brochures, sales sheets, letterhead, sample packs, and anything else that will help you demonstrate why your greeting cards are a good fit for retail stores. If you can't get any retail stores to bite (and even if you do), you should create your own online store to sell your greeting cards.
Advertise in regional periodicals and newspapers. Post ads with images of your playing cards.
Online, there are many places to buy ads. Think about purchasing ads on social media platforms like Facebook. You can provide coupons, link to your website, and link to your social media profiles.
9. Commit to your Greeting Card Business
Make sure you have the time to launch and run a card-making business when you are creating a business plan, which should include all of these planning components. Making a few cards for family or friends and managing a small business are very different things.
A key component of starting a prosperous card-making business is timely order fulfillment. Making cards is only a small portion of the time needed to operate a profitable card-making business.
The other facets of running a business that will consume the time available are marketing and promotion of the business, developing new designs, sourcing products, and administration. You'll need to budget more than half of your time for business-related activities. Consider how you will run the company if you decide to take a vacation, become ill, or need to manage particularly busy periods. Because of this, careful planning is crucial. It will assist you in avoiding any unpleasant surprises later.
7 Strategies for Creating and Selling Greeting Cards Online
1. Upload Designs to Print-on-Demand Sites
Advantages of Print-on-Demand Sites like Zazzle are:
- No financial outlay: This was a big bonus for me, as I wanted to make money–not spend it.
- No shipping: They ship the product after printing it.
- No questions from customers: They handle all customer questions. However, if you want to allow it, it is possible for a customer to contact you for a design request.
- No payment hassles: They handle all payments and pay the designers via PayPal or check, depending on your location.
- Ongoing sales: If your design continues to sell, you get a source of passive income.
2. Sell Hand-Crafted Cards on Etsy or Another Marketplace
There are many websites where you can sell the handmade cards you create. There will be expenses involved in creating the cards, unlike the print-on-demand websites I previously mentioned. However, despite the higher cost of producing each card, the profit is also higher.
The supplies you'll need to make your cards must be purchased. These could be empty cards, stamps, stickers, pens, or any other materials or embellishments you want to use on your cards.
Etsy is a great place to start if you already make cards but want to increase your market. Many people have used this website to market and sell their greeting cards with great success. There are other places besides Etsy where you can sell your cards. A list of additional websites is provided below. Some of them will be familiar to you, while others might be. To determine which of these is best for your company, read the terms and conditions.
Sites You Can Use to Sell Handmade Cards
Costs Associated With Selling Cards in an Online Marketplace
- Cards and craft supplies
- Monthly payments, listing fees, or sales commissions to your host site
3. Build a Website to Sell your Cards
The first step is setting up an online store on Shopify, whether you want to sell printed or handcrafted greeting cards online. With Shopify, you can alter your store's appearance using one of its more than 80 themes. To take your store with you wherever you go, you can also download the Shopify mobile app.
People will need to locate your website before they can purchase your cards. To improve your visibility in the search results, you'll either need to learn about SEO or spend money on a professional. You might find that doing this takes up more time than creating your lovely greeting cards.
4. Sell Messages and Designs to Existing Card Companies
As an alternative to selling your cards, you could offer designs, concepts, poems, and sayings to an established greeting card business. The most well-known is Hallmark, but they also employ their own writers and designers. Don't let this discourage you; many smaller niche businesses purchase from freelancers, paying them for the rights to the verse, card design, and/or message.
Get a sense of the types of cards being sold by visiting the websites listed below. Create cards that reflect their aesthetic, and if they appreciate your artwork, poetry, or message, you could make anywhere between $25 and $300. Typically, you'll be asked to sign a statement promising that your concept is unique and that you won't use it again. The business will own the right to use your design or concept.
5. Attend to Freelance Websites' Requests for Custom Greeting Cards
Responding to requests on freelance websites is the final choice. If you choose this path, your work will be based on a customer's specific request. Here, as opposed to the other options, your customer comes to you and provides you with an idea of what they would like. Even though these websites provide a wide range of unrelated services, independent contractors can succeed by designing unique birthday, anniversary, or holiday cards for customers.
Freelance Sites That May Have Requests for Greeting Cards
6. Partner with Artists or Photographers
Do you know any other entrepreneurs in the creative industries?
- You can collaborate with them to include their artwork or photographs in your cards.
- You can promote and sell the finished greeting cards together.
- You can highlight their work and provide customers with personalized artwork or photos.
7. Collaborate with Jewelry Brands
Did you know that extras on greeting cards make them more popular? You can partner with jewelers and include their handcrafted goods right on your cards.
It takes time to market your handmade greeting card company. Reach out to new markets and customers frequently for the best results.
Keeping up with trends and utilizing technology to your advantage are also helpful.
Top 5 Successful Greeting Card Businesses
Here are some of the top shops selling greeting cards where you can learn about their niche and how they build their online greeting card business:
It's a free online card and invitations that you can easily customize and download, print, or send. Pick from thousands of unique templates for occasions like birthdays, weddings, parties, new babies, holidays, and more.
Their cards and presents, which are accessible online and at retail and partner locations all over the United States, foster a special, shared connection between giver and recipient, making for a purposeful, imaginative, and enjoyable experience.
The source of unique, personalized cards and presents. Do it the Boomf way whether you want to thank someone, send a bridesmaid proposal, or simply celebrate a birthday. Even the most difficult crowds will smile when they receive one of our personalized cards or gifts, which range from the explosive Boomf Bomb cards to the incredibly sweet.
Caspari is a reputable publisher of exquisitely crafted and printed paper goods. For the past 70 years, they have built their reputation by reproducing the works of renowned artists and museums from all over the world. Caspari creates chic, vibrant table settings and offers everything needed to throw the ideal party for all of life's occasions, drawing inspiration from fine art, textiles, ceramics, and interior design. We provide a wide range of gorgeous items for entertaining and giving at reasonable price points because we think beautiful design should be available to everyone.
Their enduring Pop Up Cards are gifts in themselves and are made to leave an impression when an ordinary card simply won't do.
An enjoyable way to express your creativity and earn money at the same time is to run a handcrafted own greeting card business.
This kind of side business can be both a lucrative way to use your skills and a great source of income for your family.