American Greetings creates greeting card app to attract social customers

CLEVELAND - The typewriter, newspapers, vinyl records and phone booths have all been victims of technology. Could the greeting card be next?

The U.S. Postal Service says 24 percent fewer cards were mailed between 2002 and 2010 due to changing demographics and new technologies.

“I don’t send too many cards in the mail anymore,” said Molly Janosek of Westlake.

“A lot of people just look at a card and just pitch it,” said Jason Schultz of Brunswick.

It seems that texts, Facebook and e-mail are all taking the place of paper cards.

“We do most of ours online,” said Janosek.

American Greetings is now using that technology to change the way we stay connected.

“We want people to be able to send a card wherever they’re at, any time,” said Kelly Ricker,  American Greetings Executive Director of Product Development.

The Cleveland, Ohio, company created a new app called “Just Wink,” which lets you personalize a card, then send it via text, Facebook or email for free.

“All the things they normally do with a paper card we wanted to give them the same options with the digital experience,” said Rob Matousek, Brand Director, Just Wink.

American Greetings latest technology allows to find and personalize a card on your phone, which they’ll then print it, and mail it anywhere in the world for under $3.

The “Just Wink” line is noticeably different. It’s geared to those 18-34 who may not normally send paper cards.

“The thing for this generation - they want the card to sound like something they would actually say,” said Matousek.

That meant a crash course for card writers on how “Gen Y” is talking.

“It’s been really tricky, but when you hit it, they respond in a big way,” said Matousek.

The result is a product that pushes the envelope.

“You’ve got some cards that say things on there that are a little bit shocking for a greeting card program,” said Ricker.

There may be new digital options, but some occasions still call for a paper card.

“Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, birth of children,” said Ricker.

And regardless of how much technology changes, some people plan to stick with sealing envelopes and sending cards.

“I’m still old school.  I always get them for my whole family,” said Katie Lee, of Bay Village.

“I personally like having cards to keep, so I always give people cards, because they’re so cute,” said Elexis Wells of Garfield Heights.

Regardless of whether you stick with the old school paper card, or these new digital options, staying connected is easier than ever.

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