Posted on Leave a comment

Custom Business Note Cards—Why Didn’t We Think of That?

Custom-Business-Holiday-CardsOne of Cardphile’s best selling business holiday cards this past year allowed you to share your holiday wishes while showing clients who you are and what you do.

Our Office Triptych design allows you to customize the design with three of your own photographs – and many of you went to town. Some of you included team photos, and some of you went for product photos, or pictures of your office. From there, Cardphile did the color correction, coordinated border colors based on photo color, added little seasonal touches & logos on request, and—Voila! Great, custom business holiday cards ensued that helped you promote your brand while spreading holiday cheer.

Well, from the category of “Why didn’t we think of that?” came a great request from Jennifer W. a couple of weeks ago:

Could we modify their custom Christmas cards by removing the seasonal design elements and text, so they could use it for business thank you cards and congratulation notes all year long?Well, of course we could – and what a smart idea for a couple of reasons:

First, they had already invested a little bit of time and money in finding photos and setting up the original design, and we were more than happy to make the minor design changes that Jennifer was requesting for no charge at all.

Customizable Thank You Cards for Your Business Communications
Your Photos, Your Personalization

Second, keeping the original photos, while modifying other elements of the design, allowed them to continue to spotlight their brand and find ways to re-connect with clients and prospects throughout the year.

Developing a consistent brand image for all your business greetings is a great idea, and Jennifer gets the credit for this one! (We have a little thank you gift headed your way, Jennifer – hope you enjoy 😉

What have you learned from your customers so far this year?

Posted on Leave a comment

What is a QR Code and Why Do I Need One? 5 Things You Need to Know

  1. My QR Code is bigger than your Barcode.
    QR Codes are 2D—and carry data in both directions. So they can hold up to several 100 times the data held by an old fashioned barcode. They can contain all types of data too: alpha and numeric characters, language characters (Kana, Kanji, etc.), as well as symbols, binary and control codes.QR Codes Contain Layers of Data
  2. Beam me up, Scotty!
    Think of a QR Code as a way to “physically hyperlink” – to whatever you want. A quick scan with a smart phone and you connect offline print to mobile & online. A QR Code printed on your business card, tri-fold brochure, product tag or marketing postcard can initiate a call to your mobile phone, link to a special offer, website product page, online survey, or even your Twitter or Facebook account – the choice is yours!
  3. Give your printed business collateral some real muscle.
    QRCodeKidNot everyone is sitting at a desk or in front of a computer when reading a magazine or newspaper, but by scanning the QR Code in your ad with a mobile phone camera, readers can immediately find out more. Print QR Codes on business cards, brochures or product sheets – and you’ve built an instant bridge to guide visitors to any page on the web, where you can provide more detailed product information, offer a pdf download to their mobile device, show video demonstrations, testimonials or offer special promotions.
  4. Why are QR Codes important to you?
    Because your customers are on the move, and mobile marketing is the way to reach them. (According to this article last month in The Motley Fool, the Smartphone market is projected to grow 56% in 2011, an even faster rate than in 2010.
    Your customers are increasingly using mobile devices to learn what they need to know, at the moment they become interested—and QR Codes eliminate the need to type in a long or difficult web address or phone number. A quick scan and—zap! Your phone is ringing or your client is immediately learning more about what you want them to know.SmartPhoneGraph
  5. Strange but true.
    Although used primarily in printed marketing materials, a QR code can be scanned on your computer screen. Try it now – the QR codes in this article work – just scan them on your screen!

Step 1: Download and install a QR Code reader on your smartphone (see below).

Step 2: Use the camera on your smartphone to scan any 2D QR Code. The software will take whatever action has been programmed into the particular code.

Step 3: Have fun scanning QR Codes and discovering things. 

Resources and take-aways:

  • Most QR Code readers are completely free, and you can find a QR Code Reader here for just about any device. (iPhone users can just go to the app store.)
  • A word of caution. This is about mobile, so make sure that wherever your QR code leads—you’ve optimized the experience for mobile devices. Use applications such as Mobify or MoFuse to convert your existing site to mobile.

Ways to Use QR Codes:

  • Print a QR code on your product literature—link to a trade show demo or instruction manual.
  • Print QR Codes on your business cards—link to your LinkedIn page or website.
  • Print a QR Code on your next marketing postcard to announce a new staff member—and launch a webpage describing the skills she’ll bring to your firm.
  • Mail a Christmas card with a QR Code—and link to a video of the partners singing Jingle Bells!
Posted on Leave a comment

3 Tips for Business Thank You Cards—Good Manners Still Count!

Remember when Mom used to nag you to mail that thank you card after someone helped you out? Well, if your mother was a slacker in the manners department, we’re here to take her place! The world can always use a little more nice, and the business world is no exception. So don’t forget—sometimes it’s the little things that bring you the business.

3 Tips for Business Thank You Cards:

1. Don’t Type!

Your business thank you card should always be hand-written, hand-signed and hand-addressed. Since you care enough to say thank you in the first place, take the extra effort to select professional quality thank you cards, and then write your note by hand. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated and remembered in a world where many have forgotten their manners! (Here’s an earlier article if you want to learn more about how printed paper communications build a stronger connection than digital.)

2. Keep a Supply on Hand!

Save time and money by keeping a supply of thank you cards on hand, along with the stamps to mail them. It’s just like eating your veggies; you’re more likely to do it if they’re washed and ready to go. While you’re at it, have your return address printed on your envelopes—it’s elegant and appropriate for both business and personal use. One of our favorite tools for business use is Cardphile’s corporate logo, custom notecards. Personalized with your own logo, just the right size and suitable for any occasion, they’re an elegant way to promote your brand in business communications.

Evernote to Keep Track of Business Thank You Notes3. Keep Track!

Want to keep track of what you said? Evernote is a terrific tool for keeping a digital record of your handwritten thank you cards. The best part? Handwritten notes are searchable in Evernote—it’s magic! Just download the Evernote app to your smartphone, take a picture of what you wrote in your note, and email or upload the image to your free Evernote account – you’ll never have to worry about remembering what you said! For example, here’s a screen shot from my Evernote account: I could find this note in my account not only by searching for its label or tag, but even for whatever I can remember of the handwritten content – like “product pages” — how cool is that?!

Got a Suggestion for #4?

We’d love to hear how & when you use personal thank you cards to keep in touch with clients and business associates. Just let us know in the comments below and we’ll enter you in our monthly drawing for a free pack of Cardphile’s all purpose note cards with personalized envelopes to match.

Posted on Leave a comment

Corporate Holiday Greeting Cards and Small Business Marketing 2011

Holy moly – it’s 2011!

Cardphile-Customer-Service We do have to apologize for being out of the picture for a few weeks, blog-wise, but to be perfectly honest – the fur flies around here for the last 2 months of the year. Every single one of us pitches in wherever needed to make sure that your custom, personalized holiday greeting card designs from Cardphile are printed with care, quality checked, folded, strapped and shipped to you on time – so your business Holiday and Christmas cards look fantastic!

Customer service is also hugely important to us: one of the few rules at Cardphile is to respond to you quickly, and in person – whether you prefer phone or email. It doesn’t matter whether you only need a quick call or require specialized support in creating the perfect corporate holiday card, we make it a priority to keep in touch with you. Customer service at Cardphile is not just about keeping our sales promise; it’s also about making friends with you, answering all of your questions, and even tweaking your artwork or logos if that pesky designer who created it is nowhere to be found!

Our team is rested and excited to be back and kicking into gear on some great new ideas for marketing your small business in 2011; we’ll have newly designed greeting cards for architects, engineers, and all kinds of manufacturing and small business markets.

Stay tuned for more to follow on Cardphile’s print marketing and graphic design services for small and midsized business. And be on the lookout for a little competition we have coming up – you could win a chance to work with a Cardphile Greeting Card Expert to customize your 2011 holiday greeting card for free!

2011 is off to a great start, and we’re excited to help you freshen up your print marketing materials so your business will shine. Tell us what you need!

Posted on Leave a comment

Holiday Greeting Cards for Architects + Wind Turbines?

Photo © Tim Hursley

At Cardphile Greeting Cards, we have some cool stuff designed and built in our own backyard. Like this recently completed green building in Portland, designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF) with lots of eco-bling!

We love the Skystream turbine array on top – apparently it’s not that easy to put wind turbines on a building and not drive the occupants crazy, but Skystream has figured it out – nicely designed too.

And not that we’re bragging, but Cardphile began sourcing windpower for our design and production studios many years ago. You can rest assured that all the custom corporate holiday cards for architects and personalized engineering holiday cards you’ve been sending to your clients have been sustainably designed and printed with the highest recycled paper content available.

Posted on Leave a comment

Cardphile Delivers Your Greeting Cards Through Wind, Ice & Snow!

Ever tried driving on ice in Oregon?

And did we mention that we have a lot of steep hills around here?

A bit like a nice layered cake, here’s what happens in Portland when you attempt to move a car on top of:

  1. Cold asphalt
  2. Warmish rain
  3. Colder rain
  4. Slushy ice
  5. + Snow on top – it’s so exciting! Take a peek at driving on icy hills in Portland.

We do have a winter storm headed our way before Thanksgiving, but never fear: at Cardphile, neither snow, sleet, ice nor Oobleck will keep us from getting your holiday greeting cards shipped out in time for the holidays!


portland ice and snow
Find Free Pictures at
Posted on Leave a comment

4 Client Communication Tools That Work

The Professional Services Management Journal, PSMJ, can be a great resource for professional firms and their marketers. In particular, of course, we appreciated their mention of the value of the “two-minute” touch (including a hand written note to your clients).

In a nutshell:

  1. Schedule weekly calls for active projects.
  2. Assign one primary contact to pursue feedback.
  3. Ensure your project manager is keeping a to do list and checking things off.
  4. Make frequent “touches” – and a hand written note card is the perfect vehicle.

Goldilocks would approve—Cardphile has the perfect solution for your note card dilemma. Our custom, corporate logo note cards sport your own full color logo on the front, and are just the right size for a short note of thanks, appreciation or congratulation. We call them client communication tools, but you might call them business thank you cards.

Client Communication Materials

Posted on 1 Comment

5 Reasons to Send Real Paper Greeting Cards to Clients

Printed Cards Instead of E-Cards
Printed Holiday Cards Make a More Substantial Impression Than E-Cards
  1. e-Cards are known virus carriers and therefore filtered by most business email servers—they don’t even reach the inbox of many of your customers and vendors.
  2. When was the last time you “deleted” a real greeting card you received in the mail, without even opening it?
  3. Contrast: While your competition may be sending ” e-Greeting Cards” to express their appreciation… your traditional, personalized holiday greeting cards clearly demonstrate the greater value you place on the relationship.
  4. Deeper personal connections lead to stronger business relationships; and Paper leaves a deeper emotional footprint than digital. (see the data below)
  5. Cardphile’s Corporate Holiday Cards are designed and printed in the US, using only FSC certified papers and recycled content up to 100%. We also made the choice, well over 6 years ago, to source all of the power for our design & production facilities from 100% clean wind power farms in Oregon—we’ve been “green” since before it was fashionable!

The Details:

One of our long time customers, a mid sized architectural design build firm, asked us recently whether they should try sending e-Cards to their clients in place of real paper holiday greeting cards, and whether Cardphile could supply them.

So we were completely thrilled to be able to share this great article we just discovered: Paper leaves a deeper emotional footprint than digital.

It includes a link to an interesting case study by Millward Brown, a UK marketing firm, detailing their research. Guess what?  “real” printed media generates more emotion than virtual, thereby leading to more positive brand association.

So if you’re really serious about building good relationships with your clients, vendors, and prospects, don’t fill their in boxes with more emails to file. Instead, create a lasting, and enjoyable, impression by mailing them a high quality, unique, and personalized holiday greeting card.

Whether you’re looking for construction law greeting cards, holiday cards for architects, or just really interesting custom Christmas cards for business, we love to help your message stand out.

At Cardphile, every single design we make can be personalized with your thoughtfully written holiday greeting for free. Create even more of a lasting impression when you include your full color logo or printed signatures. And if you’re looking for custom holiday cards, we do that too!

Your overall marketing program should include personalized corporate holiday cards for your clients and vendors. Cardphile has 100’s of unique & non-denominational holiday greeting card designs, suitable for recipients of any faith, so you can express your best wishes to all.

People remember, paper—not pixels!