Hallmark and the U.S. Postal Service Launch Postage-Paid Greeting Cards

Barcoded envelopes and scanning technology innovate the card-sending process

Feb 17, 2011, 07:00 ET from Hallmark Cards, Inc.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hallmark and the U.S. Postal Service introduce PostagePaid Greetings — a line of "everyday" and seasonal cards that already include postage. Just sign, seal and send.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110217/CG49902)

"In this busy world of ours, Hallmark and the Postal Service want to help make connecting with loved ones a little bit easier," said Rob Bensman, vice president of strategic alliances at Hallmark. "PostagePaid Greetings provide you with everything you need. All you have to do is add a personal message."

Hallmark Postage-Paid Greetings feature the U.S. Postal Service's Intelligent Mail barcode on the front of the envelope. When the cards are processed at a Postal Service facility, the barcode automatically indicates to the Postal Service the postage is paid. The postage is treated like a Forever stamp, and its value will always be equal to the price of a standard First-Class stamp, regardless of when it's mailed.

"We know card-sending is an important tradition and receiving cards is as meaningful as it ever was," said Paul Vogel, president and chief marketing/sales officer, U.S. Postal Service. "We are pleased to work with Hallmark in a way that honors this tradition while providing consumers with added convenience afforded by advanced technology."

More than 200 varieties of everyday Postage-Paid Greetings will be sold in Hallmark Gold Crown stores, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, CVS and other Hallmark distribution locations. Seasonal cards will be available starting this Easter season. Postage-Paid everyday cards can be purchased for $3.99, and seasonal cards will range in price from $2.69 to $3.99. For more information, visit www.hallmark.com.

About Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people express what's in their hearts and spend time together — a privilege few other companies in the world enjoy. Hallmark greeting cards and other products are found in more than 40,000 retail outlets in the U.S., including the network of flagship Hallmark Gold Crown® stores. The brand also reaches people online at Hallmark.com and on television through Hallmark Hall of Fame original movies and cable's top-rated Hallmark Channel. Worldwide, Hallmark offers products in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries. This privately held company is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is led by the third generation of the founding Hall family. Visit http://corporate.hallmark.com for more details.

About U.S. Postal Service

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 150 million residences, businesses and Post Office boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $67 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world's mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 29th in the 2010 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

SOURCE Hallmark Cards, Inc.