A Beginner's Guide To Life Event Marketing

A father and a mother, who is pregnant, smile as they watch their son play—enjoying one of life’s smaller moments.

Businesses of all sizes and industries can benefit from life event marketing. Some of the businesses that use life event marketing and find it the most impactful come from industries where trusting relationships are core to acquiring and keeping customers. When real estate agents, insurance agents, financial advisors and other sole proprietor-type relationships follow a plan that includes easy and effective ways to celebrate, mourn and acknowledge life’s most precious moments, it is not only a marketing strategy, but a vital part of business planning.

Having a plan that includes easy and effective ways to celebrate, mourn and acknowledge life’s most precious moments is not only a marketing strategy, but a vital part of business planning.

Life Event Marketing Builds Customers For Life

Quite simply, life event marketing connects you with your most important customers, influencers and prospects at times when something momentous is happening in their lives. There isn’t a defined set of life events, but common ones we recommend acknowledging are customer birthdays, retirements, weddings, births, graduations, anniversaries, the purchase of a new home and the loss of a loved one. Some would even include special holidays as life events.
Business relationships at the level of trusted advisor status, like financial services insurance, real estate, banking, and tax services, often have an advantage over other business relationships; they have life event knowledge. From birth dates to death notices, these professions get to know more about their customers and clients. Not to mention that those one-to-one business relationships also usually come with the trust to become friendly on social media, opening the door for even more life event intelligence.
In the real estate industry, Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Real Estate and author of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, advocates a 33 touchpoint plan to build and keep customer relationships. No doubt that the success of Keller Williams in the past decade has been firmly impacted by individuals following this plan. 
Cue the acknowledgement of customer life events. Life event marketing can be both planned and spontaneous to fulfill the touchpoints you need to be the trusted advisor your customers want.

Through a normal course of business, customers share life events with us. The tool empowers employees to enrich human moments and build memorable experiences. -Erica Penner, KCP&L

Create a Contact Plan with Greeting Cards

When executing life event marketing, you need to be prepared for both planned and unplanned milestones.  

Be prepared for planned life events, such as birthdays, customer anniversaries and home anniversaries, as well as unplanned, such as loss of a loved one, hardships, weddings, retirements, graduations and new baby.

Here are the best planned life events to incorporate into your contact plan:
Customer Birthdays: At the beginning of each month, bulk order birthday cards and send to those customers who have a birthday that month. It’s okay for the card to arrive early but be cautious of cards arriving after the birth date. We provide both assorted birthday card packs and bulk birthday cards (which can be digitally personalized, mailed and shipped!) to fulfill your plan. 

Say happy birthday with this simple, modern card featuring a cupcake and a multicolored dot pattern. SHOP NOWCelebrate their birthday and remind customers that you’re a fan of them with this multicolored pennant style card. SHOP NOWUse this natural backdrop on a card that says “Here’s to another great year of you” to celebrate birthdays. SHOP NOW

Customer Anniversaries: Every year, recognize the date or month that they first became your client or customer. They’re sure to be impressed when you remember this date each year . Explore our assorted anniversary cards or bulk anniversary cards to get started. 

This sophisticated card features a calligraphy-style Happy Anniversary set on a slate background. SHOP NOW This anniversary card allows you to personalize the cover by adding a personal message and your company name. SHOP NOW Celebrate your customers’ anniversaries using an elegant card with gold foil accents. SHOP NOW

Home Anniversary or New Home Purchase: If you work in real estate, banking, lending or property insurance, knowing this date for your customers gives you a big reason to send a card. Additionally, stock up on new home cards or home anniversary cards (also known as housiversary cards) so you’re ready to celebrate when your client closes. 

Congratulate your customers on their new home with this card that says, “Happiness to you in your new home.” SHOP NOWIllustrated homes in various styles decorate the cover of this card along with the words “Happy Home Anniversary.” SHOP NOWA house outline with the words “Happy Housiversary” over it make this card a great way to connect with customers. SHOP NOW

Ideally, the planned campaigns above can be executed by pulling a list of the right customers once or twice per month (instead of daily or weekly)—an easy task for an assistant or marketing manager. Develop an execution process with your team to ensure you never miss one of these important dates.
Recognizing unplanned events can be just as impactful (if not more). Keep greeting cards on hand to sign and send at the right moment. Many of our customers stock up on the following greeting cards to guarantee they have just the right card to send at just the right moment:  
  • Customer Sympathy Cards
  • Care & Concern Cards
  • Wedding Anniversary Cards
  • Thank You Cards
  • Congratulations Cards (for weddings, retirements, graduations and more!) 
  • New Baby Cards
Great news! To make life event marketing easy on you, we’ve built this life events assortment pack that includes cards for all of these unplanned events. Simply purchase this pack and then send cards as needed! 

This life event assortment pack contains 75 cards that cover all the bases, so you’ll always have the right card. SHOP NOW

A Starter’s Guide to Life Event Marketing

If you are new to life event marketing, here’s a quick guide to get you started:
1. Build your plan. 
Come up with your touchpoint strategy. Whether it’s Gary Keller’s 33 touchpoints per year or just three to five simple card touchpoints, build one that is sustainable for you and your business. What’s your goal and how will you get there?  Which of your touchpoints will be life event based?
Hallmark’s Recommendation: Send these five cards to your clients this year: 
2. Stock up. 
Always have the right card in your desk drawer. Order life occasion assortment packs created specifically for business use. Our collection includes the perfect blend of personality and emotional engagement for your business. 
3. Strategize with your team. 
Get your team together to design how you will systematically execute both planned and unplanned touchpoints. We recommend: 
  • Marking your calendar for time to execute planned touchpoints once or twice per month.
  • Methodically review social media for knowledge of unplanned life events and then immediately write a card and make a phone call, send an email or both. Picture the way you would be most impacted and then act on that.
See What a Hallmark Card Can Do
Give life event marketing a shot—and use Hallmark cards to pull it off. It’s amazing what a card can do. See below for real feedback business card senders receive from their clients. 

Feedback from customers who received a life event card includes: “It made my day,” “No one has ever done that for me. I am going to send her a thank you card back” and “I received the card in the mail and I thought to myself, ‘How did she know I needed this?’”