July 15, 2019 • Sarah Schwartz
Thinking of You Week 2019
The celebratory week is back for another seven days of stationery
Thinking of You week is not just a card-sending challenge, it’s a feel-good initiative with the power to nurture relationships and make someone’s day. Now in its second year, September 23 to 29, 2019, offers a slew of ways for card publishers, retailers and consumers to promote card-sending as we recognize those we cherish.
The true beauty of Thinking of You week is its versatility. While cards can and should be sent to friends and family, these very special seven days encourage anyone to be applauded and lauded, be it a favorite teacher, public figure, emergency room doctor, nursing home resident … who receives the cards is really only limited by the imagination. And it is up to those of us who work in the stationery industry to fan the flames of card-sending inspiration!
The sophomore year of the initiative brings not just the momentum gained from last year, but an abundance of fresh, engaging elements. The Greeting Card Association (GCA), which helps promote and organize the event, launched an open design contest for the 2019 logo — and the winning entry brings just the right note of correspondence-themed cheer to Thinking of You Week. The vibrant design is by Elizabeth Silver, a freelance artist and surface designer from Apex, North Carolina.
Once again, the US Postal Service (USPS) is supporting the event with a Thinking of You Postmark. Last year over 500 million residences across America saw the Thinking of You Postmark on first class mail during September.
Meanwhile, the site www.thinkingofyouweekusa.com is up and running, full of suggestions and inspirations for any lover of epistolary. Elements include a blog, an inspiration wall full of consumer insights of what the week means to them, plus tips for retailers and publishers.
A brand-new toolkit page is filled with ready-made and ready-to-download flyers, tip sheets, email banners, a postcard template, a mini-poster and even a press release that can be customized to suit specific needs. There’s even a Thinking of You Week badge to place on websites and invoices.
“Thinking of You” is just three little words, but the directions card publishers take it into is only limited by the imagination!
TIPS FOR PUBLISHERS
As the creators of the product that is sent from mailbox to mailbox, publishers are the true pioneers of Thinking of You Week. To that end, the GCA recommends that they consider doing the following:
- Send a postcard with all orders. This is an easy way to spread the word. Download the template online, or use the site to contact the GCA for ready-made postcards that can be picked up at summer shows or shipped directly to you.
- Spread and share the logo. Stamp it on invoices, put it on your website and e-newsletters. It’s one of many toolkit resources online.
- Link it. Include a link to the official website in your emails, or add the banner to your email signature.
- Collaborate. Align yourself with retail clients to present an in-store writing event or card-buying initiative.
- Go to School. Get involved with a local school to send letters to hospitals, nursing homes and service people. Or, send cards from your own company to any of the above.
- Offer a Promotion. Help more people spread good cheer by offering your clients a break. Retail clients could receive six free Thinking of You Cards with a $150 order, or you could include stamps for an in-store event or placing at the cash wrap. There are even in-store posters available — email [email protected] for more information.
TIPS FOR RETAILERS
As the conduit between publisher and consumer, retailers are the face of Thinking of You Week. These actions can help you make the most of your distinctive position:
Use the toolkit to create your own distinctive signage.
Posters of various sizes are available by contacting the email shown above, but you already have all the raw materials for a dynamic window display or in-store vignette — the cards themselves!
Use the banner and badge on e-newsletters, emails, in-store materials and publications … wherever there’s a spot for it.
Customize the press release to send out to your local media.
Organize an in-store writing event, and consider collaborating with nearby venues such as coffee shops or florists.
Hold a card-making competition and display the winners.
Give out free stamps with the purchase of a certain number of eligible cards, or hold a “buy three, get one free” promotion.
Schedule social media posts using imagery from publishers whose cards you sell.
Then there are steps everyone, regardless of industry role, can take. Follow and share social media content from @thinkingofyouweek, #thinkingofyouweek, #sendacarddeliverasmile and #cardstories on Instagram and Facebook. And, keep checking back at www. thinkingofyouweek.com for more tips and tools.