Barcodes Replace Stamps
Not much has changed since Hallmark began printing Mother’s Day cards in the early 1920s. With the exception of say, voice-recorded messages, greetings cards themselves have remained a constant, untouched by decades of technological progress. This year, however, Hallmark has implemented barcode technology to make sending Mom love a little simpler.
Mother's Day is the third-largest card-sending holiday in the United States; 139 million cards are exchanged annually and this year some of those come with a barcode. New for Mother's Day 2011, Hallmark is offering Postage-Paid Greetings — a line of cards that come with a barcoded envelope that take the place of postage.
"Mother's Day is an opportunity to pause and celebrate the perfectly, imperfect moments we share with mom 365 days a year — moments that make motherhood and life meaningful," said Molly Wigand, Hallmark writer. "By offering Postage-Paid Greetings and other innovative cards, Hallmark is making it easier for consumers to celebrate these meaningful moments."
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. There are more than 90 Postage-Paid Greetings specifically for Mother's Day and more than 200 "everyday" and seasonal Postage-Paid Greetings ranging from $2.69 to $3.99.
Of course, if you’d rather hand-deliver your message, there are still over 900 ‘old school’ Hallmark Mother’s Day cards to choose from. The choice is yours, just be mindful: you can no longer excuse a tardy card with, “I couldn’t find a stamp.”
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