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Review: Hallmark Card Store

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Review: Hallmark Card Store

Hallmark logo

Photo from Hallmark.com
I had the perfect opportunity to review Hallmark’s online card printing store when I was tasked with creating and sending invitations to a family party celebrating my nephew. Normally I would scour the Web and research online card stores but since time was short, I chose a name-brand store that fit all of my criteria. I needed this done quickly and it had to look professional.

Pros

  • Time-savings: I was able to choose, personalize, address and stamp the invitations within an hour. They were printed and mailed out directly from Hallmark within two business days
  • If, like me, your handwriting has been described as “chicken scrawl” and “serial killer-esque,” professionally printed invites and envelopes are a life-saver.
  • The option to personalize an invitation or card with a photo or picture of your own creation.
  • All of my addresses are now consolidated in one spot and I can use them again for my holiday cards or a future mailing of party invitations, save-the-date cards or a “new address” announcement.

Cons

  • Too many photos cards. I’d like to have more choices of elegant cards showcasing art or beautiful seasonal prints – not the ability to send a picture of my dog.
  • Address book functionality lacks the ability to group your contacts into categories like “work,” “friends” or ”family.”

How to Use the Hallmark.com Website

Step 1: Build Your Address Book
There are two options to organize your address book, upload your contacts directly to the site, or ask your contacts them to enter their own addresses:

Upload
I already store and organize my contacts in an Excel workbook, so I chose to upload to the site directly from Excel. Hallmark accepts uploads from the following programs.

  • Apple Address Book
  • Entourage
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .cvs files)
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Outlook Express (PCs only)
  • Windows Live Hotmail®
  • Yahoo!

In addition to addresses, you can import your contacts phone numbers and email addresses.

Address Book Builder
Hallmark provides an application called Address Book Builder. This allows you to send an email to your contacts and asks them to enter their information directly to into your online address book.

Step 2: Create Your Invitation
After I had the addresses sorted, I searched for cards appropriate to the occasion. Although there were limited options, the cards I found were high-quality and I quickly chose the perfect invitation. The design process has three steps:

  1. I chose a color and font for the invitation and entered in the details of the party.
  2. Next I was asked to proofread the invite to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  3. Finally, I was prompted to view an example of the printed envelope.

Customer Service

At this point I decided to call Hallmark customer service. In my on-screen view of the envelopes, there appeared to be an extra space in between the first and last names of all of the guests. A customer service representative answered right away and assured me that was just the view on my screen and that there would be no extra spaces between names on the final product. She gave me her phone extension and name in case I had any more questions.

Step 3: Send Your Invitations
Hallmark gives you three options to ship your invitations:

  1. They will send you the printed invitations and blank envelopes so you may address and stamp them yourself.
  2. They will send you the printed invitations with pre-addressed and stamped envelopes.
  3. They will print, stamp and send the invitations to your guests directly.

I was happy to let Hallmark do all the work and chose option 3. The invites got rave reviews and the only thing left for me to do was to wait for the RSVPs.

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