In the US, about 6.5 billion cards are gifted every year. Greeting card affiliate programs are how stores recruit an independent salesforce on a budget to help drive sales with performance-based marketing.
Commissions can be earned regularly because it’s always someone’s birthday, or anniversary. Know the buyer market though because a bulk of the sales are seasonal right after Christmas when shoppers stock up on what they need when the discounts are the deepest.
If you want to target the consumer market, the audience is primarily female (80%) and most will buy more than one card in the one session. The males, as you can imagine, they’ll be buying to prevent the nagging.
Another market is the business supplies of plain greeting cards to graphic designers. Also in the B2B space are print services, and you can find some print houses with affiliate programs too.
One retailer listed below sells direct to consumer with the affiliate program paying commissions per sale, AND per lead for wedding invitations because those are a bulk order with a big spend. If your lead goes onto buy, you can get up to a $100 kickback as a bonus.
It pays to be in a billion-dollar industry and with so many niches to cater to, there’s a lot of angles you can take with your marketing and events happening every month.
The most popular categories for card sales (in order) are:
- Thinking of you
- Get Well
- New Baby
For seasonal sales, the most volumes sold are for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Easter, Thanksgiving, and St. Patricks Day. Galentine’s Day cards (Feb 13th when women celebrate female friendships) have increased in popularity too.
In the higher-priced categories are boxed cards and eco-friendly cards. Speaking of sustainability, one option is to sell ecards, however, as those could be downloaded and emailed for free, ecards are deliberately left off this list to keep the sole focus on printed greeting card affiliate programs.
- Gift and coupon websites can take advantage of the early year sales when people take advantage of steep discounts on greeting cards to stock up on the ones they know they’ll need in the coming year. During the January sales, deal finder websites can get a huge influx of traffic.
- If you want to go narrower for bigger order values, build a niche site around greeting cards for multiple recipients. These can be thank-you cards for after a party, wedding invitations, and announcement cards. Any occasion that can have one design and one message can be put into a greeting card, printed and mailed.
- Similar to the announcement card idea that logically leads to an increased order value, you can do the same in the B2B space by targeting greeting cards towards business owners or network with procurement groups or CPOs (Chief Procurement Officers).
- If you run a site showing people how to make money from home, you could teach them how to make their own greeting cards using the software you’re promoting.
- Blogs and stores centered around sustainably sourced products can recommend eco-friendly greeting card companies.
12 Greeting Card Affiliate Programs
- The Gallery Collection
- Greeting Card Universe
- Pearl Mountain Software
- Leanin Tree
- Day Spring
- Current Catalog
- Paper Culture
- Office Depot
- Love Pop Cards
1. The Gallery Collection
The Gallery Collection by Prudent Publishing have been in the B2B printing business since 1929 so they’re likely the longest-running independent publisher of business greeting cards.
The greeting card affiliate program for the Gallery Collection can be ideal for HR managers, business procurement groups and small business owners.
For more targeted promotions, you could take advantage of their industry categories for greetings cards suited to specialist fields such as health greeting cards which would be suited to personal trainers, wellness coaches, and dental practices.
As the Gallery Collection are a B2B supplier, custom greetings with personalized imprints have a minimum order requirement, usually around 25 units minimum.
The affiliate program is managed by Commission Junction, pays up to 10% commission, and uses a 45-day cookie.
Sign up or apply at CJ.com
Moonpig.com is an online retailer where customers can order and send personalized greeting cards. The company was founded in 1999 by Nick Jenkins, a former commodities trader. His windfall came in mid-2011 when he sold Moonpig.com to the owners of Photobox for £120 million.
If you were in any doubt of greeting cards being profitable, let that sink in. £120 million and that’s pounds. Not dollars.
That merger was an important turning point for Moonpig because before the acquisition, they were a UK only store. Now, they’re in the US and Australia, but despite their large inventory of products, only the greeting cards on the US store are eligible for commissions.
To acquire customers, both Photobox and Moonpig run affiliate programs.
The Moonpig affiliate program is run on the Affiliate Window network for the UK and the US and the Australian affiliate program is listed on the Commission Factory network.
Affiliates earn from 5% to 10% depending on the promotion method. Cashback sites can earn 7.5%, publishers 10% and if you want to use discount codes, they’ll pay a 5% commission with the cookies set to 30-days.
- Australian affiliates can apply through Commission Factory
- The UK and US affiliate program is managed by Affiliate Window. UK affiliates, sign up here,
- To promote Moonpig in the US, sign up here.
3. Greeting Card Universe
Greeting Card Universe is without a doubt the world’s largest online store for greeting cards. They’re powered by over 5,000 freelance design artists and now have an inventory of 600,000+ cards spanning 11,000 niche categories for cards covering all occasions.
The company have print houses in the US and in the UK. The UK covers all European countries and cards posting to the US, Canada and other countries ship from California.
The affiliate program is managed by the Avantlink network, pays up to 12% commission, and uses a 120-day cookie. There is deep linking functionality so you can link directly to product pages.
Sign up at Avantlink.com
4. Pearl Mountain Software
Pearl Mountain Software have been around since 2006 and specialize in graphic design software.
The Greetings Card Builder software may be something worth considering for teaching others how to design their own greeting cards for resale. The software has a 30-day free trial, although the images will be watermarked.
The software comes with pre-made card templates that can be edited, text changed and images altered. All the basic things you’d need an image editor to do.
There will be other more robust software programs around but most are now cloud-based, so this is likely one of the few greeting card design studios that’s still selling for a single license fee.
The affiliate program is managed on the Avangate network and pays up to 75% commission.
Sign up at Avangate.com
Moo started in the UK in 2006 and has grown into an international brand best known for quality prints. The caveat is pricing because they are not the most affordable.
The greeting cards they print are done on high-quality card paper and designers can add custom branding to the reverse of the cards. The bulk of their business is printing both greeting cards and business cards. If you’re in either of those markets, the Moo affiliate program may be a good fit.
Where it’s most likely to be beneficial for affiliates are for course creators teaching people how to start and run their own greeting cards business, such as setting up an Etsy or Shopify store, promoting the software, then making a recommendation for Moo to print the cards with a logo added to the reverse of the card to help with business branding.
The affiliate program is listed on Commission Junction for US affiliates only with other regions covered by the Affiliate Window network.
The commissions are different for each country so check when you sign up what you’ll earn and how long the cookies are set for.
On Commission Junction, US affiliates have 45-day tracking cookies, but the UK and Australia on AWIN.com are using 30-day cookies and paying a flat-fee per new customer rather than a percentage of the sale.
- US affiliates can sign up on CJ.com,
- For the MOO Australia program sign up here.
- For the MOO UK store, sign up here.
6. Leanin Tree
Leanin Tree specializes in fine art greeting cards. They were established in 1949 originally only selling Christmas Cards via mail order to farmers and ranchers in the Western US from Boulder in Colorado.
The brand take pride in their family heritage, have a fine art museum at their HQ in Colorado and all their designs are done by independent artists and photographers, with verses added by their in-house verse writers.
The affiliate program would be a good fit for blogs and websites focused on environmentally friendly greeting card suppliers. Since 2000, Leanin Tree switched to wind-generated electricity for its lighting, and they are also a Certified Green Printer.
The affiliate program is privately run, pays 8% commission with tracking cookies lasting 10-days, and payouts are paid daily.
Sign up at Leanintree.com
7. Day Spring
Day Spring was founded in 1971 as a Christian greeting card supplier for Christmas cards. In the years following, they expanded into new categories, maintaining their sole focus on cards for all occasions with Christian messages that spread the word of God.
In 1999, they were acquired by Hallmark Cards and remain the leading supplier of Christian greeting cards in the US today.
In more recent years, they have expanded their products to cover Christian gifts and home decor. There’s over 7,500 products on the store to promote.
The affiliate program is managed by Commission Junction, uses a 30-day cookie and pays 13% commission on all sales.
Sign up at CJ.com
8. Current Catalog
Similar to Leanin Tree, the Current Catalog started out with mail order from their small print house in Colorado selling postcards to ministers as a fundraiser.
The company grew from there into more printed product lines including recipe cards, greeting cards for all occasions, and other print products.
The online store expanded to be a one-stop gift shop covering everything from greeting cards to gift wrap, to ID labels to put on kids’ school bags, so asides from gifts, it could also be an additional affiliate program for parenting or homeschooling website.
The affiliate program is managed by Rakuten Marketing, pays a 3% base commission, and uses a 90-day cookie.
To apply, sign up or log in at Rakutenadvertising.com and search for “Current Media Group LLC”.
9. Paper Culture
Paper Culture was founded in 2009 to serve an under-served niche in the print industry. The Eco-Warriors.
People who care deeply about climate change pay premium prices for items that are manufactured with low carbon emissions and only using recycled materials.
That’s the niche for Paper Culture. Those who care about climate change and playing their part to solve it. The greeting cards are all made with recycled paper and for each order placed, the company plant a tree.
Another selling point of the store is a free design consult before placing an order. The cards are customizable, which includes uploading photos to print onto the card templates and the message on the card.
A design consultant works with the customer pre-purchase to make sure the card design is what they want.
The price points per card are between $1 and $3 and they have designs for all occasions including invite cards.
The affiliate program is managed on the ShareaSale.com network, pays up to 10% commission, uses a 120-day cookie and a datafeed is provided too.
Sign up at Shareasale.com
Char4u.com is an online oriental store of Hong-Kong based Character Design Limited that focuses on Chinese gifts, arts and crafts, and wedding stationery as well as greeting cards for Chinese New Year and the traditional red envelopes that are gifted at Chinese weddings.
A unique service they provide is Custom Chop carving done by their own engraver and there are also translation services available for several languages including Chinese, Korean, Japanese characters, or customers can choose to have western letters.
The affiliate program is run privately and pays a 10% commission unless you use a coupon code that lowers the commission to 5%.
The terms aren’t clear about how long the affiliate tracking cookies last as they state “During that visit to our website or any later visit,” but they don’t state within what duration so that could be an oversight or it could be a lifetime cookie.
The Chinese-American population is roughly 1.5% of the US population so there are millions of people in America that could be interested in some of their unique gifts and Chinese New Year cards.
Sign up at Char4u.com
11. Office Depot and OfficeMax
Office Depot is a well-known brand and that usually helps affiliates because customers are already familiar with the brand and what they do. It is right there in the name.
What isn’t so obvious from the name is that they sell greeting card supplies. For those teaching people how to sell greeting cards online, this is another supplier you could include in your rolodex of trade suppliers with the added incentive of no minimum order units.
The affiliate program runs on the Commission Junction network, uses a 30-day cookie, has deep linking functionality, and pays 5% on card stock, 4% on inks, or if you sell the print service, you’ll earn 3% commission on those sales.
To apply, log into CJ.com and search for Office Depot and OfficeMax or advertiser ID 3635222.
12. Love Pop Cards
A twist on origami is kirigami. Rather than making shapes by folding paper, kirigami involves folding and cutting.
The founders of Love Pop learned about kirigami while studying to become naval architects. Where most crafters would do the folding and cutting, these guys mixed things up. They used technology intended for shipbuilding to design, fold and cut paper, automating the process of kirigami.
The technology and uniqueness of the cards won investment from the Shark Tank series in 2015. Since then, Love Pop has grown into a multi-million card manufacturer and supplier of premium 3D cards with a design for every occasion.
The affiliate program is listed on the Shareasale.com network, pays up to 20% commission on first orders and 10% on repeat orders, and uses a 30-day cookie. For custom wedding invitations, they pay $0.50 per lead with a bonus of $50 to $100 based on the final sale.
Sign up at Shareasale.com