It’s no secret that younger people send fewer physical cards in the mail than their older peers. But that doesn’t mean that Gen Z doesn’t send cards at all—in fact, younger people remain a growing demographic for the greeting card business.
Millennials have largely taken the credit for keeping the industry afloat in recent years, and Gen Z seems poised to take up that mantle.
That’s because, while the typical young person might send fewer cards than their parents did, all the letters they send tend to have special meaning. So, they're extra concerned with sending notes to their best friends on stationery that feels thoughtful and important.
Their willingness to pay for good greeting cards provides a key opportunity for stationery brands.
To reach a Gen Z audience, stationery brands just have to make their products as accessible as possible. Here are some strategies for reaching younger audiences:
Just because your core product is physical stationery doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to mix in digital integrations that can appeal to younger consumers.
One of the most interesting innovations in the greeting card business, for instance, is adding QR codes that let people customize their cards with photos and videos that are accessible online.
Hallmark, for instance, now lets people add QR codes that send the viewers to personalized videos they made.
It’s easy to imagine other greeting cards offering custom QR codes for a similar purpose. Maybe customers could even scan a QR code that sends them to a funny tweet or YouTube clip they’ve passed around in their friend group.
Anything that can cut down on the steps involved in the process of buying and sending greeting cards will certainly have special appeal to Gen Z users. Many greeting card companies have embraced digital handwriting technology.
Hallmark has a Sign & Send service where you can write out your message on a piece of paper, take a picture, upload it, and then Hallmark will print it onto your card and mail it directly to the final recipient.
That way, the greeting card still feels very personal, but customers used to online purchases and checkouts don’t have to deal with mailing a card themselves.
Younger buyers like brands that care about their communities and the environment. Making them feel like they're spending money at a company that will invest it back into the world will place your brand high on their wishlists.
One way a company can do this is by donating a portion of their proceeds to a cause close to their heart. Then, younger customers—despite parting with cash from their wallets—will feel invested in the brand.
The stationery company Paperlust, for instance, donates some of its profits to the organization One Tree Planted, which repopulates trees destroyed by palm oil and deforestation.
Gen Z buyers naturally gravitate toward greeting cards that have a sense of humor. Companies, therefore, might be tempted to tap into trending TikTok memes, stickers, and jokes to make funny cards.
However, they should keep in mind that the internet memes or jokes they use for their TikTok greeting cards—like dubbing a friend the TikTok Queen—can go from trendy to cringeworthy quickly, especially among Gen Z buyers.
That’s why brands should be creating greeting card designs that feel contemporary but have a longer shelf life than just a few months.
Referencing an ongoing TV series that is popular with Gen Z, like “Euphoria,” will almost certainly stay relevant even by the time the cards are produced and shipped out.
About 60% of Gen Z users visit TikTok regularly, and to reach these audiences, it’s important for stationery brands to build an active presence on the social media platform.
While the number of stationery companies on TikTok remains small, many have gained traction just by posting demonstrations of their products or by staging “reveals” of their newest slate of designs.
The Sommer Letter Co. has amassed 65k+ followers by posting videos of greeting card designs which can range from Christmas cards, cards for Mother's Day, to cards wishing the recipient good luck.
The brand also posts funny TikTok videos—like venting about people who use apostrophes in their card messages—and shop updates telling customers that best sellers are back in stock. Sommer Letter Co. also shares, on its TikTok profile, a link to its website where you can find:
The stationery company Critter Co., meanwhile, has 151k TikTok followers to its name. And when you do start your marketing push on TikTok, you should be ready to field customer inquiries on the app.
If you don’t have time to respond to monitor and respond to all customer inquiries, Chatdesk can do it for you starting at $99/month. We recruit and train U.S. based fans of your brand to actively respond to customer questions in the comments on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Brands who work with us see a 15% higher conversion rate on social. Schedule a demo with us to see how we can help you.