July 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

Hallmark greets mobile messages

Hallmark`s new mobile app allows consumers to instantly send mobile greetings from their phones. The app is free, but messages cost 99 cents to send.

When you care enough to send the very best, sometimes you just can’t wait. And so greeting card retailer Hallmark Cards Inc. has launched a mobile app that allows consumers to instantly send mobile greetings to friends and family from their handsets. The app is free but messages cost 99 cents to send.

“Millions of people rely on cell phones as part of their daily routine of connecting with others," says Mike Adams, Hallmark mobile manager. "With Hallmark Mobile Greetings, consumers can creatively connect right away over everyday moments and occasions like a shared joke or words of encouragement. We are taking the skill Hallmark has of helping people connect and are bringing it to the mobile world."

Users can download the free app by visiting mobile.hallmark.com. They also can retrieve the app by texting the keyword hallmark to 44255 to receive a text message with the link to download the app. Additionally, users can send messages from their handsets without downloading the app by visiting Hallmark’s mobile site.

Fees for the greetings are added to consumers’ monthly phone bills. Senders are only charged if the recipient opens the greeting. Standard data rates, such as Internet access fees, may apply, Hallmark says.

Senders can select from more than 500 mobile greetings in the following categories: Just for Fun, Birthday, Thinking of You, Love, Holidays, Characters & Collections, Congratulations and Business Greetings. Hallmark, No. 131 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, plans to add more categories soon. Senders also can add a personal message of up to 125 characters to their greetings.

For now, users can send greetings from select Internet-capable phones on Sprint, AT&T; and Alltel networks, as well as from some phones on a handful of regional networks. T-Mobile and Verizon will be added soon. Hallmark, says. The app does not yet work with Apple Inc.’s iPhone, but works with several versions of Research In Motion’s Blackberry smartphone. Hallmark says the app will soon work with iPhones.


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