re•solution tools: send out cards

February 28, 2014

One of my resolutions this year was to stay on top of sending out birthday cards to family and close friends. I was pretty good about it when I was younger, but definitely haven't done so well in the past few years. I would often remember birthdays but wait too long to buy a card (and was too embarrassed to mail one late!). I, however, love getting real mail and thus love sending cards as they are a nice little pick-me-up.

I thought about the best course of action to make this work. Should I just go card shopping on the first of each month and have the cards ready to mail? That can get pricy. Buy boxes of cards in bulk so I always have something on hand? I was seriously exploring this route, but I often discover that these cards rarely say what I'd like them to.

Finally, I remembered a resource - the one I was hinting at earlier this week. Thanks to a BNI connection, I had become familiar with a new-ish company called Send Out Cards. Basically, you can customize and mail cards right from your computer at the right time! This company uses the network marketing model (like Arbonne), so you will have to find a rep to sign up through (or I will happily refer you to mine because she i super sweet!)... this rep and the resources they share will be a godsend because the software does have a bit of a learning curve. I figured many things out on my own, but I watch the tutorial vids whenever I have time as it makes my experience so much simpler!

Here's how it works: each card costs a certain number of "credits," which you can buy a la carte or via a monthly plan. I chose a $10/month plan which allows me enough credits for the cards I need (and so far, I've had leftovers- thankfully they do roll over!) At first I wrestled with if I wanted to pay that for cards, but have you shopped the card aisle lately? Some of them are nearly $10 each! Yikes!

Plenty of images and styles to choose from.

The credits correspond with what you choose and how much customization you do - fewer credits for a simple postcard, more credits for adding your own photos or choosing larger cards. January was crazy for me, so I sent postcards because it was all I had time to fully figure out once I'd imported my contacts. By February, I had a few tutorials under my belt and felt comfortable creating traditional 2-panel cards.

You can customize pretty much anything. 

I love that I can make each card unique, but my favorite part is what makes this work for me - the shipping. You put extra funds in your account for postage and tell SOC approximately when to mail the card. So, if it's the first of the month, I would have them mail a card today if their special day was within the next week, but if it isn't til later in the month, I can specify another ship date so they receive the card at an appropriate time. No buying stamps or forgetting to drop the card in the mailbox! The only thing I have to do is remember the birthdays! I keep this simple by writing them all in my planner - each month I just see who is when and take care of business!

I sent out four cards for February birthdays and three friends texted me immediately to say thanks and give good feedback - I customized one and chose generic covers for the others. The site is full of templates, clip art, and fonts to choose from...or, upload your own photo! Once you get the hang of things, your membership is a huge asset!

Plus, I'm thinking....with all these leftover points, maybe I'll have enough snowballed to do all my Christmas cards through them! ;)

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PS- I had zero incentive whatsoever to write this. I'm just grateful that it has worked out so well for me!


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