This time of year, you want to send holiday greetings to all your clients and business contacts, but it’s time-consuming to handwrite notes, stuff them in envelopes, address them and mail them. Not to mention the fact that it’s a waste of natural resources.
But are electronic cards (“ecards”) yet to the point of replacing the snail mail version of the holiday card? Are they as good? Let’s see what folks are saying on Twitter.
Does an Ecard Really Show You Care?
When I asked my Twitter followers, “Ecards are eco friendly. But do they have the same message as a physical card?” @KyEkinci said no. Many feel that sending ecards is disingenuous and lazy. Putting in the extra effort to mail a card via the postal service shows you’re really thinking about the recipient. And to Ky’s point, an ecard is just one more thing clogging up your inbox.
Customization: Can It Make Ecards More Personal?
Ecards have gotten much more customizable in the last few years. Look at Elf Yourself as a great example. Or Weschler Ross, which custom designs holiday ecards for clients, such as this one for U.S. Trust (autoplay music alert!). These days, you can add your staff’s images or your company logo to tie it in to your business branding. Ivana Taylor (@DIYMarketers) says that the customizability of ecards is a selling point, and that you can use them in addition to paper cards.
Have We Gone Completely Digital?
We’re becoming a digital society. We have “friends” online we’ve never met. Some of us never speak to our clients on the phone or in person, but instead opt for email and social media interactions. That being said, are we really accustomed to digital cards in place of more traditional ones? @RobbinsInt thinks so. Like anything, it’s a slow progression toward ecards becoming more mainstream.
Ecards as Marketing
Many companies are finding ways to get others to send cards with their branding on them (see Office Max’s Elf Yourself example again). @Scope, a U.K.-based charity that supports people with disabilities, has a collection of ecards that are free to send. Each time an ecard is sent, Scope’s network of awareness grows.
Lego, too, is getting in on the action of ecard marketing. Its current campaign says the company will donate one toy to Toys for Tots for every free ecard sent. So far, more than 380,000 toys have been donated.
Conclusion, at Least in Canada
What do you prefer? An ecard that doesn’t cost money or trees to send, or a traditional paper card that shows the sender cares? @DATopTalent seems to think that paper cards are here to stay. At least for now.