While social media, email, and texts allow us to send instant greetings, the global greeting cards market is still expected to be worth $13.4 billion by 2027. As this data reveals, greeting cards – despite the ever-increasing push for digital technologies – are still in high demand worldwide.
If you’ve ever dreamt about starting a small business with a big heart, selling greeting cards is perfect for you. Even though it may seem challenging at first, with Print on Demand, it’s way easier than you think – we’ll show you how, step by step.
In this article, we’ll show you how to start a greeting card business by covering all the bases: identifying your target market, writing a business plan, establishing a legal business entity, and a variety of other topics vital for the success of any new business.
Table of Contents
Create an Online Greeting Card Business in 8 Easy Steps
As eCommerce continues to make waves worldwide, there has never been a better time to start an online business. With the help of Print on Demand, people have leaped into entrepreneurship with awe-inspiring success.
It’s accessible to everyone, and we’re here to offer you all the information and tools you need to confidently embark on this rewarding journey.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience
Defining and understanding your potential customers is essential for your greeting card business to succeed. By doing so, you can focus on those most likely to visit your online store and buy from you.
To start on the right foot, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are my potential customers?
- How many of them are there?
- What are their attitudes, values, and interests?
By organizing your customers into different groups, you’ll be able to identify their unique needs better and tailor the greeting cards to their liking.
You can start your research by gathering information from social media, blogs, forums, product reviews, eCommerce marketplaces, and other online sources.
While it may seem difficult initially, there are plenty of simple ways to go about it. Here are a few of them:
- Identify industry trends and review customer feedback. Search for greeting cards similar to those you plan on selling. Analyze product reviews and the people commenting. Whoever they are, they’re your potential customers.
- Perform competitor analysis. Who is your competition? What do they sell? Who are their customers? What are their pain points, their problems, and their needs?
Analyze your competitors’ social media content: where, how often, and what they post. By identifying what they lack and don’t offer, you can fill that gap with your products, gaining a share of their customers’ wallets and hearts.
- Survey your followers. With social media, our networks are now our audiences. Start with the people you know, they might turn into potential customers.
- Create buyer personas. A convenient way to sum up your findings and insights you uncovered.
When building a buyer persona, create specific characters – for example, Small Business Pam or Enterprise Jim – personifying the key traits of your target audience.
With the help of this information, you can make better design decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
Step 2: Pick a Niche
With a greeting card business, finding customers won’t be too difficult – greeting cards have a universal appeal. However, by picking a niche, you’ll be able to sell more, spend less on advertising and enjoy reduced competition.
In a few words, a niche is a product that appeals to a small or specialized market sector. As simple as it sounds, choosing your niche can make or break your business – it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you don’t know what niche you’d like to pursue, follow your own passions. As long as there is a market for it, you’re good to go.
As in any business, doing research is vital. Here are a few ways you can go about it effectively:
- Research the market. An easy way to get a sense of what people are interested in is to browse Amazon, Etsy, or eBay. A good old Google search can do wonders, too.
- Identify what’s trending. With Google Trends, a powerful and beginner-friendly tool, you can determine the level of interest in any given subject.
- Analyze search results. Try Ahrefs, Semrush, or a similar tool to check what the most popular searches are.
While you can focus solely on everyday cards (Thank you, Wedding, Birthday cards, and so on), selling seasonal greeting cards for Christmas, New Year, or Mother’s Day is a great way to skyrocket your sales. In order to do so, follow the ebb and flow of seasons.
With a bit of help from our Holiday Sales Calendar, you’ll know exactly when to start preparing for the next big sales event.
Make Your Own Greeting Cards Today!
Step 3: Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a document that describes a business, its goals, ways, and means of reaching them, its operating model, and many other details essential to running a profitable business.
Typically, this plan should include the following:
- Executive summary. As the most important part of a business plan, an executive summary is a highly condensed version of your business plan, briefly explaining what you do, who your target audience is, and how you’ll achieve your goals.
- Description of your company. In a few words, a company overview should answer two questions: who you are and what you plan to do.
- Market analysis. A section for market research. It should include an overview of the greeting card industry, your estimates on how big the market is for your particular products, an analysis of your competition, and your projections for your business.
- Management and organization. A summary of the structure and team of your business, explaining how it’s run, who’s involved, and what their responsibilities are.
- Products. A section that outlines crucial details about your products. You should thoroughly describe them, compare them with similar products, explain your pricing strategy, and provide as much useful information as possible.
- Customer segmentation. An overview of who your customers are. For example, customers can be segmented demographically (age, gender, marital status), psychographically (values, desires, interests), behaviorally (actions, tendencies, hobbies), or geographically (country, state, city).
- Marketing plan. As a strategic roadmap, it should describe how you’ll organize, execute and track your marketing efforts.
- Logistics and operational plan. With the print-on-demand business model, this part is of little concern. You don’t need any investment, inventory, or storage space.
When you make a sale, the print-on-demand company does everything for you – printing, inventory, and shipping. This gives you the freedom to build your brand and work on increasing your sales.
- Financial plan. Typically, the financial plan consists of an income statement, a balance sheet, and a cash-flow statement. However, the level of detail required depends on your goals.
Without a business plan, obtaining small business funding can be difficult. However, if you plan on selling cards online using Print on Demand, no up-front investment is required – you only pay for a product after you make a sale.
Even if you never intend to pitch to investors, having a business plan is a great way to clarify your goals, go over ideas and decide on your next steps, avoiding pitfalls in the process.
If you’d like to learn more, our recent article – How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide – covers everything you need to know.
In addition, you can download business plan templates from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Step 4: Establish a Legal Business Entity
While registering a business is a straightforward process, legal requirements may differ from country to country: how and where you need to register depends on your business structure and location.
Each country, state, and city has different rules and regulations. To stay safe and out of trouble, we strongly advise consulting a qualified legal professional who can give advice specific to your business.
That said, typically, these are the main things you need to do when registering a business.
Identify and Choose Your Business Structure
There are several types of business structures, each, among other aspects, with their own costs, risks, and tax implications.
A brief overview of the most common types:
- Sole proprietorship. This structure designates one person as the owner. A business without a legal distinction between the company and the individual. Arguably, it’s the easiest to set up and manage. However, the owner’s personal assets are at risk.
- Partnership. More than one person owns the business. They all share risks and profits and contribute to the business through funding, property, and skill.
- Corporation. A corporation separates the owner from the business. While it’s more complicated to set up, owners are not personally at risk, except for rare circumstances.
- Limited liability company (LLC). This structure limits the liability for a company and protects your personal assets. A great option for single founders who are just starting out.
- Limited liability partnership (LLP). Similar to an LLC. The difference is that an LLP reduces the liability of multiple owners.
Each of these requires a different process for registration. To make the right decision, explore the most common business structures in detail, evaluate their advantages and disadvantages, and identify the one that best fits your needs.
After you make a decision, you’ll need to file the appropriate formation documents with the state.
Choose and Register a Business Name
When registering your greeting card company, you’ll need a unique business name to avoid confusion, so it’s best to start with brainstorming what makes your business stand out.
To come up with a winning business name, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Your brand. A good business name reflects your brand identity, clearly conveying what you do and what products you offer.
- Your customers. Use words that best describe your target audience or how your greeting cards will make them feel.
- Your searchability. Your business name should be memorable, unique, and easy to find on the internet.
If you need additional help, you can try your luck with business name generators that are easily accessible online. For example, Shopify’s business name generator is a handy tool anyone can use to generate a creative business name within seconds.
In most cases, by registering your entity name, you protect your business. This way, nobody else in the state can operate under this name, but keep in mind that there are exceptions depending on the state and business structure.
The U.S. Small Business Administration describes four different ways to register a business name.
Register Your Business
Whenever you’re ready to make it official in the eyes of the government, the necessary documentation will depend on your business type and location – check with local jurisdictions to find out what their specific requirements are.
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a thorough guide on registering a business.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The EIN identifies businesses for tax purposes just like a Social Security number identifies individuals. In short, it gives your business its own identity.
You can apply for an EIN on the website of the Internal Revenue Service.
Register for Taxes and Obtain the Necessary Business License and Permit
In most places within the United States, businesses have to pay sales tax and, potentially, other applicable taxes and legal fees. It’s governed at the state level, so each state’s regulations and procedures differ.
While we strongly recommend consulting a qualified tax professional, our article – Understanding Sales Tax With Printify – will help you better understand how it all works. If you prefer, we’ve also prepared a video.
Step 5: Design and Create Greeting Cards
With Printify, designing and creating your greeting cards is a walk in the park. Here’s how it works.
In our catalog, finding the right greeting card is easy. Whatever the occasion, we have something for everybody.
A few of our greeting cards:
If you’d like to design some for yourself, we’ve added their prices. However, if you sign up and start selling greeting cards with Printify, you don’t need to spend any of your own money, and no up-front investment is required. You pay for a greeting card only after a customer buys from you.
When you’ve chosen your favorite, our beginner-friendly Mockup Generator helps you design with ease. With a few clicks of a button, you can add text, illustrations, photos, or anything else you like.
As soon as your greeting card is ready, we’ll print, package, and ship it directly to your customer’s doorstep.
Make Your Own Greeting Card Today!
Step 6: Choose Where to Sell Greeting Cards
You have two easy options when selling greeting cards online: create your own store with an eCommerce platform or sell on an eCommerce marketplace.
A few notable mentions: Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, and BigCommerce.
With the help of these, you don’t need to build your own website from scratch. You can effortlessly customize your store with pre-built templates, add content, launch promotions, and manage everything a business needs.
While these platforms have many advantages, they take time to set up and have higher costs because the only way you can drive traffic is through marketing.
A few notable mentions: Etsy and eBay.
In an eCommerce marketplace, people simply list their products for sale. In a few words, all digital stores are hosted on one website.
Typically, they don’t take long to set up, their maintenance is easy, and their pre-existing customer traffic means they’re less expensive to run.
As with everything, they also have their drawbacks – less creative control, higher competition, and more rules.
Whichever approach you choose, your business success depends on it. With Printify, you can seamlessly integrate with some of the most popular eCommerce platforms and marketplaces:
If none of these work for you, try our Printify API. With it, you can connect your website, receiving the same benefits of automation our other integrations offer.
To learn more, our overview of eCommerce platforms and marketplaces explores their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, helping to make the right decision for your business.
Step 7: Set Up Your Greeting Card Store
While the steps vary depending on the sales channel you choose, typically, it’s a very straightforward process.
To gain the trust of your customers, fill out all of the required sections in as much detail as possible.
As an example, if you choose an eCommerce platform for your greeting card business, you have to set up everything a fully-fledged store needs:
- About page
- Contact page
- Product page
- Shipping, payment details, and other pages
Usually, these platforms come with customizable templates, so you don’t need any technical background. When ready, your store should have easy navigation, a fully responsive design, and high-quality visuals, providing a seamless customer experience.
With a bit of patience, anyone can do it. If you don’t have free time to spare, that’s all right – you can hire one of our storefront set-up experts to do all the work for you.
To learn from the best, our article about the most successful Shopify stores and their lessons provides a wide variety of excellent examples.
Step 8: Promote Your Greeting Card Business
Building a loyal customer base is key when starting a birthday card business or selling seasonal cards. After all, customers are the lifeline of any business.
A few time-tested ways to market a business:
- Social media accounts. With the help of social media, you can find, connect, and engage with your audience. Whichever social media platform you use, build a profile that reflects your business’s heart and soul.
Gaining new customers won’t take long if you post helpful content consistently and run hashtag challenges and caption contests.
- Email marketing. As an age-old marketing strategy, emails allow you to reach your customers directly. What’s more, 99% of people who use email check their inboxes every day, making it one of the best ways to promote your business.
With this method, you can easily remind your customers of upcoming holidays by sending promotional emails and enticing them with beautifully-designed greeting cards.
- Influencer marketing. In recent years, the use of influencer marketing has grown considerably. Collaborating with influencers is a strategy worth considering as an easy way to get the word out about your business.
If you’d like to work with influencers, our article on how to find an influencer for your business is a must-read.
- Content marketing. Whether you post on a Facebook page or an Instagram account, consistently delivering useful content is a surefire way to build trust, authority, and a loyal fan base.
In the world of eCommerce, competition can be harsh. You’ll be competing with other greeting card companies that want to succeed as much as you do. With that in mind, don’t underestimate the power of marketing, no matter how great your business idea is.
Starting A Greeting Card Business Has Never Been Easier
Printify is trusted by over two million merchants worldwide as a print-on-demand platform. If you ever want to start your own home-based greeting card business without any investment, we’re happy to help.
Anyone can start a successful greeting card business without worrying about inventory, packaging, and shipping.
With our network of more than 80 thoroughly-vetted print providers, you can reach your customers swiftly, wherever they are.
Whether you want to sell greeting cards, t-shirts, or hoodies, the Printify catalog is unrivaled in its variety, offering more than 750 high-quality products.
You can order as many or as few products as you like. A few birthday cards for your family? Sure thing. A thousand for your greeting card company? You got it.
Whatever greeting card designs you have envisioned, our free Mockup Generator can turn any idea into a reality.
The beauty of Printify is that no up-front investment is required. You only pay for a product after you’ve made a sale.
If you have any questions, our Merchant Support agents are standing by to help you with anything you need, 24/7.
Start Your Own Greeting Card Business Today!
How to Start a Greeting Card Business: Frequently Asked Questions
If approached strategically, starting a home-based greeting card business with Print on Demand can be a profitable endeavor. Your average profit will depend on your store’s popularity, pricing policy, and how much you sell.
In itself, the global greeting cards market is expected to be worth $13.4 billion by 2027, which means that societies worldwide still value the traditional way of sending greetings.
With Print on Demand, anyone can start a small, home-based greeting card business. Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for a free Printify account
- Create unique card designs with our beginner-friendly Mockup Generator
- Choose a sales channel that fits your needs
- Market your products and start making money
After you make a sale, we do all the heavy lifting – printing, packaging, and shipping – so you can focus on running your business.
According to the report on the popularity of greeting cards by the Greeting Card Association, these are the bestsellers arranged in order of popularity:
- Everyday cards. Birthday, Sympathy, Thank You, Wedding, Thinking of You, Get Well, New Baby, and Congratulations greeting cards.
- Seasonal cards. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards.
However, the list goes on. By keeping an eye on the Holiday Sales Calendar, you’ll always find an occasion to sell greeting cards for.
Whenever you price your products, explore the greeting card market and ask yourself the following:
- What’s the average price of greeting cards? Try to compare as many greeting cards as possible.
- Where are my customers located? You can lower your shipping costs and deliver faster by choosing local print specialists.
If you’d like to learn more about product pricing, our in-depth article – How to Price a Product for Ultimate Success – will help you set a price that’s just right.
Selling Greeting Cards: A Few Closing Thoughts
Whenever you’re ready to try a little more adventurous fare than a 9-to-5, starting a home-based greeting card business is a profitable opportunity you shouldn’t miss.
A quick recap of the steps you should take to start creating your own greeting cards:
- Identify your target audience
- Pick a niche
- Write a business plan
- Establish a legal business entity
- Design and create greeting cards
- Choose where to sell
- Set up your store
- Promote your greeting card business
While there are plenty of large greeting card companies, don’t be discouraged. If you choose a niche you’re passionate about, market your business right, and build a loyal fan base, they won’t be a problem for you.
With Printify, you’re free to go beyond the ordinary, design whatever you wish, and start a rewarding business without leaving your home.
Start Your Own Greeting Card Business Today!
Share the article