Article | Business Relationships

Make it a Happy Valentine’s Day: Three Tips to Help You Connect and Grow your Professional Relationships

Daryl Forkell
Appreciation & Hearts Hero Image
Appreciation & Hearts Hero Image

When most people think of February 14, their minds go straight to couples and romantic Valentine’s celebrations. With its reputation as the day for love and passion, many businesses overlook Valentine’s Day as a timely opportunity to connect with employees and customers to show they care.

Don’t miss this chance to develop relationships. Send Valentine’s Day Cards with Hallmark Business Connections. It’s an easy way to show customer or employee appreciation, and it’ll boost your business during what can often be a post-holiday-season lull.

This February, keep these three simple tips in mind as you reach out to your key stakeholders with bulk Valentine’s Day cards:

1. Seize the Opportunity

Don’t let the boxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses fool you. Valentine’s Day is a holiday rich with meaning, and many more companies should embrace it to create a positive business impact. Why? Because it’s a perfect chance to surprise the people who mean the most to your business with an unexpected message of appreciation.

It may seem odd at first, but there are plenty of ways to participate in this holiday while keeping things professional. Consider sending a valentine of customer appreciation or sharing a sweet note of encouragement for the good work your team members have done.

The iconic Hallmark brand is uniquely positioned to provide this kind of creative marketing that will have those close to your business feeling the (professional) love. Just like you rely on Hallmark cards to strengthen your personal relationships, you can also use them to deepen emotional connections and build lasting loyalty in business.

Research suggests that customers pay more attention to messages surrounding Valentine’s Day for the simple reason that few businesses use this holiday as a touchpoint. Many businesses send typical direct mail but doing something unique like sending Valentine’s Day cards will demonstrate your company’s sincere appreciation—and marketing savvy. If you want to stand out, send professional valentines.

2. Create A Memorable Moment

In today’s fast-paced world of social media and digital marketing, people and businesses send fewer greeting cards and other forms of “snail mail” than ever before. And while Instagram, TikTok and other media platforms are undeniable forces for business development, sometimes, a digital message just won’t do.

STAT 64 percent

64% of people say greeting cards make them feel special (vs. 15% for emails and 5% for texts).

SOURCE: USPS mail data

Physical cards offer a tactile representation of personality, emotion and tone while making the recipient feel valued. An email, text or social post can easily get lost in the tech clutter, but brightly colored envelopes stand out in mailboxes and generate more excitement than a typical letter or business card.

Furthermore, in February it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. When colder weather and cabin fever have people eagerly awaiting spring break, nothing puts a smile on someone’s face quite like a heartfelt Hallmark card.

According to USPS data, 74% of consumers would like to receive more greeting card mail from businesses, and of those, 72% prefer a Hallmark card to a non-Hallmark card.

Sending a card, especially a Hallmark greeting card, can go a long way toward creating authentic emotional connections and making sure your message is seen and taken seriously.

You didn’t just send me a card, you sent me a Hallmark card.

Card Recipient

With younger generations, the benefits of direct mail can be even greater. Digital natives who’ve grown up online and attached to screens have begun showing signs of tech fatigue, making them a prime audience for direct mail.

STAT 50 percent

50% of Millennials ignore digital ads vs. only 15% of Millennials ignore direct mail.

SOURCE: USPS mail data

Trends show Gen Z and Millennials are increasingly seeking out more traditional communication methods that offer authenticity and tactile experiences, such as the resurgence of film cameras and handwritten cards and letters.

If you want to be noticed, opt for an old-school marketing outreach tactic.

3. Be True and Authentic

At Hallmark Business Connections, we believe that professional relationships deserve to be celebrated just as much as romantic ones. Here are our top tips for boosting your business on Valentine’s Day with your employees and customers.

Most companies may assume Valentine’s Day is primarily a time to think of consumers, but you can also seize the opportunity to communicate with employees. Celebrating Valentine’s Day with your team doesn’t have to look like red and pink decorations covering the breakroom (though, most everyone loves cookies and cupcakes with heart-shaped sprinkles!). Acknowledging this holiday at work can be as straightforward as a festive card of appreciation.

A simple message of gratitude can go a long way toward making your staff feel appreciated and encouraged—which creates win-wins for employees and the business.

STAT 76 percent

Regular acts of appreciation can increase employees’ confidence in the company vision and leadership by 76%.

SOURCE: Harvard Business Review

78% Red Icon

78 percent of employees say being recognized motivates them in their job.

SOURCE: Gallup State of the American Workplace Report

Regardless of your audience, it can be difficult to find the right words for a professional Valentine’s greeting, but Hallmark is here to help. When reaching out on behalf of your business at the most romantic time of year, make sure to keep things purely professional.

If you worry a Valentine’s Day card may feel too heavy for your brand and relationships, we recommend keeping the message lighthearted. Consider funny Valentine’s Day cards, just be sure jokes still feel appropriate. Not sure humor is the best option? Lean on simple messages of appreciation and gratitude instead of L-O-V-E.

Looking for more advice and inspiration? Check out our article for more tips: Valentine’s Day Messages for Your Customers.Plus, use our personalization features to take advantage of message starters from real Hallmark writers that will get you inspired.

If you’d like to plus up your appreciation message, consider including a call to action. This will be different for each organization, but it should always be appropriate for your audience and the occasion.

For a retail company, that may look like a discount code to make customers feel appreciated with an offer for savings on something they can buy for a loved one. Alternatively, a health insurance provider could remind members they’re valued with a thoughtful Valentine’s message that encourages self-care and wellness.

And don’t forget, the single most important advantage you have with current employees and customers is how well you know them. Over the years, you’ve developed relationships and you know a lot about the people who support your business. Make messages personal when possible and consider unique ways to use the data you have.

Final Thoughts

No matter how you reach out, don’t let February go by without taking the opportunity to connect with customers or employees. You can stand out from the crowd and create a memorable experience with a greeting card campaign—and keep it purely professional with a message of gratitude and appreciation.

This Valentine’s Day, let Hallmark Business Connections help you grow relationships with employees and customers

Shop now for Valentine’s appreciation cards from Hallmark.