How to: Make Sales Outside of the Big Occasions!

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We all know that having designs for the big occasions is the most hard-and-fast way to ensure that you maximise your sales figures overall, but what about those times when there isn’t a big occasion on the horizon?

First of all it’s best to ensure that you’ve got at least one design for all of the non-seasonal occasion categories – people have babies and get sick all year round!

Next, make sure your Birthday cards are up to scratch. Birthdays are the one occasion which nearly everyone buys for at some point each year, even if it’s only for their nearest and dearest! Making sure your cards are on point for this occasion is key, as this will help to maintain your sales across the quieter periods.

Get sorted for the next big occasion, even if it’s still a way off. You should aim to have your cards uploaded around 2 months prior to an occasion date (earlier for Christmas!). Getting them up early means you’ll make more sales in that initial period before the collection grows, and have a better chance of allowing your designs to gain popularity.

Think about buying seasons for occasions such as Wedding and Anniversary. Whilst cards for these occasions are bought all year round, there is a marked increase in demand from May – October every year, as the summer months bring more weddings (and by default, more anniversaries!). Make sure you’re prepared well in advance by getting your designs uploaded by April at the latest, adding to your collection or refreshing some old designs by using the ‘Update’ button to change a small element on the artwork.

Another thing to try, particularly with Birthday designs, is tapping into trends in order to increase sales by targeting specific customers. By using your designs to play upon a popular theme (think Game Of Thrones, Star Wars or Gin), you’re more likely to catch a customer’s eye, and this will give your perennial designs more chance of being chosen and help to boost those sales. In addition, if you’ve had a good seller for a seasonal occasion, is there a way you could adapt this design or concept for a Birthday or Love card? This can be a great way to create cards around themes which you know customers are already interested in.

Finally, you can also use a slight lull in sales to spring clean your profile, to push out the older designs which don’t sell, and ensure you’re ready for the next occasion. This is the perfect time to make any changes, as you’ll be able to assess your profile with the experience of the previous occasion, and get it all prepped and primed in time for the next! Use this handy guide to find out our top tips for doing this.

 

 

Mother’s Day Sharing images

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We’re back with some handy sharing images for you to drop your card designs into and share away! Right-click or ctrl + click to download them, then use the programme of your choice to slot your own designs in. Make sure to link through to your profile when you share!

See below for ideas on how to caption them:

Make sure your mum knows how much you love her with one of my Mother’s Day designs from @thortful!

Give Mum a token of your appreciation with my card from @thortful 

Ralph Waldo Emerson got it right when he said that ‘men are what their mothers made them’! Show Mum some love with my card from @thortful

Mother’s Day is coming soon! Make sure Mum isn’t disappointed: get this design @thortful

They say home is where your Mum is! Remember to send her a card this Mother’s Day: get this one from my @thortful profile

 

Just right-click or cmd + click to save!

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Your Yearly Upload Schedule

thortful Yearly Upload Schedule

Just right-click or cmd + click to save!

 

Get organised and get ahead!

We’ve put together a handy little calendar to keep you on track. Check when you need to be uploading your occasion designs in order to stay ahead of the crowd, and make sure that your cards are right there in front of customers when they start searching.

We’ve given you the key dates to start uploading for each of the main seasonal occasions and the cut-off for having them ready to go.

And pssst…! Those early uploads are MUCH more likely to get chosen for a press feature too 🙂

 

Introducing Keepsake Cards

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We’ve had some fantastic, funny (and a tad cheeky!) cards added to our catalogue lately, and this sparked an idea from our CEO Andy… Why send a card to a friend for them to throw away after a matter of days? With so many brilliant designs, wouldn’t it be great if you could give them something to carry around with them, spreading the word about thortful and building your brand awareness wherever they go?

thortful are launching a new add-on to cards, to make them last that little bit longer and mean that little bit more: Keepsake Cards will give customers the option to make their card into a handy notebook for the recipient to keep!

The Keepsake Cards will contain around 50 sheets of premium 120gsm paper, which can be lined or plain, and will feature any message which the sender chooses to add on the inside cover. The same high-quality card stock will be used for the printed design and the same information will be featured on the back, highlighting your brand name and bio (just like on your cards!).

Keepsake Cards Victoria Black Hate Least no text smallWhat’s the idea behind Keepsake Cards?

We think that it’s a real shame that beautifully designed, carefully printed cards are left to sit on a mantelpiece for just a week or so before they’re usually thrown away. We believe that your designs are so great that they are worth keeping – and we think our customers will agree!

Why is this great for you?

This is a unique product which isn’t available anywhere else! We think this will be a great way to give thortful another unique selling point and give buyers all the more reason to choose thortful over other brands out there! More customers for us means more people admiring and buying your designs, and of course this means more of those industry-leading royalties for you 🙂 And what’s more, when customers choose your Keepsake Card they’ll be giving you valuable brand exposure wherever they take it!

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Things to note:

  • We will be launching Keepsake Cards in time for Valentine’s 2017, so expect to see your cards being bought as a Keepsake version early next year.
  • We are still working on the envelopes for these special cards, but we are hoping to offer thortful grey ones which are slightly larger and sturdier.
  • Whilst we will only offer the Keepsake option for both portrait and landscape oriented cards, we will only be offering lined paper for portrait designs, as we can currently only support it in this format.
  • You won’t need to change your design templates, as we will simply copy the ~5mm along the left-hand side of the image file, and print this along the spine (see our mock-up below!).
  • This means that your current designs will be printed exactly the same as your cards on the front and the back, but with beautiful notebook paper inside!

Keepsake Card Mockup 1

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See your design as a Keepsake Card!

As one of our valued creators, we’re going to be giving you the opportunity to purchase one of your designs as a Keepsake Card for a discounted price ahead of our launch (and you’ll still get your 50p royalty on this purchase – think of it as an EXTRA discount!).. We’ll let you know when the systems are in place to produce Keepsake Cards, and give you the full details on how to get your hands on one early next year.

Got Questions?

If you can’t find the answer here then drop us an email on team@thortful.com.


The Small print:

Have a licensing agreement which will interfere with offering your design as a Keepsake Card? Not to worry: you can choose to opt any design out of the Keepsake Card option – just drop us an email. We’ll also be building in a button below each card on your profile, so soon you’ll be able to control this yourself.

Collections: How to Use Them to Market Your Cards!

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Our thortful collections are a handy tool for customers to create lists of cards and share them with their friends. However, not only are they a fun feature for customers, but they can be useful for you as a creator too! Read on for some top tips on using collections to market your cards…

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First things first, here’s how you create a collection and add cards to it:

Log in and click on the heart icon at the top of the page.

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Here you’ll see any collections you already have, including your Favourites.

Note: your Favourites will always be a private list, only available for you to see. You’ll need to create some new collections to share with customers! 

Click the Icon to create a new collection:

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Name your collection – something clear, catchy and appealing – and add a short description of its purpose or theme.

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Next, add to your collection. Find a card you want to add to a collection, then click the small heart icon below the card.

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Simply click on the collection you want to add the card to.

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You also have the option to add a card to a new collection at this point. Just click the option to ‘Create new collection’.

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Go through the steps above to create a new collection.

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Make sure you make your collection public, so that people can find it! Once you’re done, click ‘Create collection’ and get adding more cards 🙂

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Now that you’ve got the basics, have a think about different collections you could create to market your cards: how can you group them together? We suggest that you create collections based around:

  • Occasions (e.g. Birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day)
  • Specific recipients (e.g. Girlfriend, Husband, Dad)
  • Themes (e.g. Humour, Dogs, Cats)

The most important thing is to make your collections relevant to both your customers and the style of your cards.

Finally, once you’re happy with your collections don’t forget to start sharing!

Hot Off the Press: thortful in Woman’s Weekly

Woman's Weekly - 3rd August 2016

‘Until now, the only way to customise a greetings card online was to upload a photo or change the words on the template. But new company thortful.com has taken the personalisation to another level, by allowing people to upload a handwritten note. Simply download the app from the App Store and follow the instructions. And unlike its competitors, thortful gives 50p from the sale of every card back to the designer who created it, which means it’s fast becoming the preferred platform for innovative, new talent. So, next time a text message won’t cut it, keep thortful.com in mind as an easy way to get a heartfelt message to a loved one.’

 

Woman’s Weekly Magazine

Circulation: 293,718

Featured on: 3rd August 2016

thortful Greetings For Wedding Season

We know that thinking of something special and heartfelt to write in a wedding card is often a difficult task, especially when you want it to reflect your particular relationship with the person who will be receiving it. As wedding season is in full flow, we’ve sourced some really great one-line-wishes to get you started: so you can write the perfect thoughtful message in your perfect thortful card!

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FUNNY WISHES

  • “Thanks for the free booze! Best wishes on a long, happy marriage!”
  • “I predict cute babies.”
  • “You two make this ‘love and marriage’ thing almost seem worth trying. Just kidding—you look so happy, and I’m so happy for you!”
  • “Love is all you need… stick with that crap and you’ll do great!”
  • “You may be married, but you don‘t have to grow up! Congratulations on your wedding!”
  • “No amount of wishes or luck will protect you from the life of slavery you are about to start as a doting husband. Congratulations!”

WISHES FOR FRIENDS 

  • “Of all the big life events we’ve celebrated over the years, today tops the list. Congrats!”
  • “May you bring each other as much happiness as your friendship has brought to my life — and more!”
  • “Congratulations to the two of you: I’ve never been so excited to inherit a new best friend!”
  • “You’ll always remember this day. Hope it’s even more beautiful and perfect than you’ve been dreaming”
  • “I hope through the years you become even better friends and share every possible kind of happiness life can bring.”
  • “It means so much to witness the joy of your wedding day. Congratulations to you both on finding the perfect person to share all your days with.”

WISHES FOR FAMILY

  • “Lots of love and happiness to you both on this exciting and joyful day for our family.”
  • “I’m so thankful to have a sister/brother/son/daughter like you, and so happy to add be gaining an awesome new brother/sister/son/daughter to make more happy memories with!”
  • “Lots of love to the best sister/brother in the whole world and your new partner for life. May you have a marriage full of love and happiness!”
  • “What a wonderful day for our family, and especially you two. May the joy you feel today last a lifetime.”
  • “Today, we add one more member to our family, and we couldn’t be happier. Best wishes to you both.”
  • “I/we feel so many emotions on this day, but most of all, I’m/we’re happy you’ve found someone wonderful to share your life with. “

GENERAL WISHES

  • “We’re thrilled to be celebrating with you! Let’s get this wedding party started!”
  • “Here’s a little something to start your life together.” (Use this if you’re including a gift.)
  • “May your wedding day be filled with love, laughter and happiness (not to mention lots of fantastic pressies)!”
  • “Wishing you the best today and always.”
  • “Best wishes for a fun-filled future together.”

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And if you’re still searching for that card that sends the perfect message, take a look at our diverse selection of engagement and marriage cards on thortful.com. Now to enjoy that open bar…happy wedding season!

A Cup of Tea With…Hoppy Bunnies

If you caught some of our excellent Instagram takeover by Lucy Player from Hoppy Bunnies over the weekend, you’ll have been treated to a glimpse of those cute little critters she illustrates! We sat down for a cup of tea with Lucy and asked her for the lowdown on where the idea for bunnies came from, her creative inspo and the design process…

Lucy Player: the genius behind those cute little Hoppy Bunnies!

Lucy Player: the genius behind those cute little Hoppy Bunnies!

Your cards are based solely around cute bunnies – what was the inspiration behind this?

It all came about from a project I worked on at university… We’re talking 8 years ago now, which is a little scary! As part of my graphic design degree we had to do a typographic piece, creating our own fonts. Out out this came the Bunny Rabbit Alphabet, which started my whole little obsession for drawing bunnies! 

What comes first with your designs – the pun or illustration?

It can vary – sometimes a bunny pun will hop (sorry, I can’t help myself) into my head and that dictates the illustration. But now I’m focusing much more on the greeting card market, I tend to think more in terms of occasions, and how to tailor a bunny character to it… to be fair, replace ‘Happy’ with ‘Hoppy’ for most occasions and you’re on to a winner!

Where do you seek inspiration?

The internet is a wonderful thing, let’s face it. Having so much creative work at the click of a mouse – be that on Pinterest, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, or sites like thorful, Folksy and Not On The High Street, it’s so valuable to see what other designers and makers are up to, and what new trends are emerging. 

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Look on the sites mentioned above, generally! But sometimes you just need to get out the house with a notebook and a pencil, and scribble away without caring about the outcome. A good brainstorm or a chat with a friend can always help get ideas flowing. 

Lucy's bestselling Wedding design!

Lucy’s bestselling Wedding design!

What’s your best-selling card?

The Hoppy Couple wedding card tends to go down quite well, and I’ve recently worked up designs for same-sex marriages, too.

Can you give us a sneak description of what you’re working on next?

I’ve always got a little list of card design ideas on the go that I’m gradually working my way through, but I’m also looking to expand out of cards and in to more prints and gifting… watch this space!

Whose work do you admire?

I’m a big fan of The Old English Co – just really simple typographic pieces that have a lovely tone of voice. And Alison Hardcastle has such a good way with colour, simple shapes and wonky lines. And finally, Crispin Finn have an amazing range of 2-colour designs which just ooze cool.

What’s your favourite social media platform to showcase your designs?

I’m a bit obsessed with Instagram – I have accounts for my personal life, the Hoppy Bunnies, and my graphic design business – each has their own purpose and their own following. It’s just a great visual platform, both to be seen, and to see others’ work.

Tell us a good joke…

What’s the first sign of Madness? Suggs walking up your driveway… (sorry, such a ‘dad joke’, and probably goes over the heads of anyone born post-1990!)

Lastly, what exciting work plans do you have on the horizon?

I did my first trade show this year at Progressive Greetings Live, and it went so well that I’ve booked in again for June 2017!

Discover the full range of Hoppy Bunnies cards here!