You can now create your own Hallmark birthday greeting with Alexa!
If you’re like me, you sometimes forget to send cards until the last minute—which means it’s too late to get there by mail!
Alexa’s partnership with Hallmark means you can surprise someone with a personalized voice card made at the last minute (though you can also plan ahead!)—and you can even customize it with your own voice and images.
Here’s how to do it…
It looks like a lot of steps, but I promise it’s worth it!
- Open the Alexa app
- Tap “More”
- Tap “See More,” then “Blueprints”
- Click the “All” tab on the top menu bar to find more options
- Tap “Hallmark Birthday Greeting”
- The home page will give you a quick overview of how it works, and a sample Hallmark Birthday Greeting. Click “Pick a Theme” in the blue box at the bottom to get started
- Pick a card image you like. This will be the first slide they see when they open their card
- Follow the prompts to customize your greeting, and choose which type of message you’d like them to hear: an Alexa message or a recording with your voice
- If you want to send an Alexa message you can continue on the app, but you’ll need to use a computer to make a personalized recording
To send an Alexa Message in your Hallmark card…
If you opt to send an Alexa Message in step #8 above, this is what will happen…
- There is a text box with the preset script that Alexa will say. The text is different depending on which card image you select, but you can also customize it. Just put your cursor in the text box and edit as you would a text message.
- Below the text box, Alexa will show you the image, and the text that will be displayed with the image when you send it. Again, you can keep the original Hallmark text, or edit to customize.
- Repeat these same steps for all 3 slides. At the end, you have the option to add a new slide. You can also delete the last two slides and make your card a single slide; just hit the x in the upper right corner of each slide section.
To send a personalized message in your Hallmark card…
If you opt to send a personalized message in step #8 above, this is what will happen…
- Audio recording is not available in the Alexa app, so you’ll need to go to blueprints.amazon.com on your computer browser to do this. When you open the page, scroll down to the Greetings & Occasions section and click the badge that says Hallmark Birthday Greeting.
- Tap “Pick a Theme,” which will take you to a page of card-face options. Click any one of these to get started.
- On the slide page, you can select “Personalized Recording” and the page will change, bringing up “Record Custom Audio” with a microphone icon. Tap the microphone and click the green microphone to record your message, up to 15 seconds in length.
- When you’re done recording, hit the red microphone button, then click “Done” on the popup. (You can also hit Discard and redo the recording.) Save your custom recording with whatever name you want.
- You can click to change the slide image. This brings up a pop-up page with more image options. Or, to upload your own image, click the white box with the + sign, on the upper left, and upload any image from your computer. Click “Update” to save.
- As your last step on this slide, edit the text to the right of the slide, which will be superimposed over your image. You can also delete the existing text if you want to leave it blank.
- Repeat for the next two slides. Or if you only want one slide as your card, click the x in the right of each slide section to delete the slide entirely.
When you’re ready to send your card, follow these steps
After you’ve completed your message, you’re ready to send! Now it’s time to follow the steps below:
- Name your card. Note: This is the name you give to the command, i.e., “Alexa, open Lisa Birthday Card,” so keep it simple. Then tap “Next.”
- Alexa will create your card, so you can share it! You can test it by saying “Alexa, open ‘card name.’” When you’re ready to share, hit the “Share” button. (On the desktop version, copy the link and send it in an email or text.)
- The recipient gets a link to the card. To open it, they have to click to enable it, then say “Alexa, open ‘card name.'”
Pro Tip #1: It may take a bit of scrolling to get to the tab. Don’t get distracted by all the other cool things to try, or you’ll miss their birthday again!
Pro Tip #2: The visuals only work if the recipient has an Alexa with a screen. But even without a screen, they can hear the voice message through Alexa.
Pro Tip #3: The boxes will only allow a set number of characters, but they don’t say in advance how many; you will just be unable to write more once you reach the limit.
Pro Tip #4: When you hit Share, the app will ask you if the skill is intended for use by kids under the age of 13, as part of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Click Yes or No as fits.
Pro Tip #5: Your saved cards will be stored in the Alexa Blueprints, under the Your Skills tab on the top menu of the home page.