Hallmark and Walgreens Collaborate to Offer a Personalized Brand Experience

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Through custom-created greeting cards by Hallmark Business Connections, the B2B subsidiary of Hallmark, Walgreens was able to deliver messages of gratitude from its category manager Emily Miller to her most loyal customers.  The initiative sparked loyalty and appreciation and created a big impact on campaigns to date.

Hallmark’s B2B division partnered with Walgreens to generate $1MM in incremental sales by engaging with customers in a personal way and raising the bar on its well-known loyalty program – Balance Rewards.

“Walgreens collaborated with Hallmark to take action on key customer insights and data that would give customers a highly personalized, heartfelt customer appreciation message and offer from Walgreens,” said Miller.

Miller said she wanted to demonstrate the loyalty and appreciation of shoppers who buy Hallmark cards at Walgreens and ultimately create within them “loyalty beyond reason.”

“Through cross-functional and cross-company collaboration, the goal was to connect more deeply with Walgreens Balance Rewards members by acknowledging their loyalty to buying Hallmark cards at Walgreens,” said Miller.

Tressa Angell, President of Hallmark Business Connections said receiving a Hallmark card from a company feels very different from receiving other marketing communications.

“Understanding the genuine nature and true essence of what Miller wanted to communicate made it easy for the Hallmark team to translate her desire to connect more deeply and genuinely with customers into a Hallmark card,” said Angell.

Angell said in an effort to build upon the Hallmark’s card natural ability to convey a personal sentiment, Hallmark reproduced Miller’s handwriting for use in the personal message, her signature and addressing.  A bonus-point offer based on the purchase of Hallmark cards was included inside the card.

The offer was redeemed at a higher rate and Miller received hundreds and hundreds of thank-you cards back from customers.

“When a company creates a customer experience that moves the customers so much that they take the time to hand write thank you notes back to the company, you know you’ve created a program that is successful in both marketing and customer experience,” said Miller.

Miller added, that the initiative also created some great relationships for her. Through the campaign she met a 90-year-old man from San Antonio, Texas.

“After receiving my thank-you note, he handpicked hundreds of cards of my home state of Illinois from his vintage postcard collection and mailed them to me,” said Miller. “We sent cards back and forth a few times, and now we talk on the phone several times a month.  It’s an amazing feeling to have that kind of relationship with a customer.”


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