It finally came. That dreaded first holiday card of the season. I know I should welcome it with open arms, but I can’t get past the gentle reminder it sends: Get your butt in gear and get your own cards done.
Faster than a flying reindeer, my holiday card project is at the top of my To Do list, knocking the others tasks way, way down. Have I ordered my cards? Is my mailing list up-to-date? Have I bought stamps?
In business, it’s even more urgent to get your cards out earlier than later. Your clients may take extra time off during the holidays. You don’t want to miss them, and you definitely don’t want to be the card they open in January. Very embarassing.
This year, after much thought and research, I’ve decided to abandon the traditional paper greeting card and send out e-cards instead. Why, you may ask? Well, I have a bunch of reasons.
Granted, paper cards are pretty. Some would say nothing beats receiving a card in the mail. But I say the gratification only lasts a few minutes. I’d also say I get as much gratification receiving an e-card as I do receiving it through the mail. Plus, what the heck do you do with the stack of cards you receive? Make a pretty wreath? Sure, Martha.
Here are my top 6 reasons for deciding to send out e-cards this year.
- They’re good for the environment. (This is my ultimate, number one reason!)Canadians are expected to buy 185 million Christmas and New Year’s greeting cards in 2011, according to the Gift Packaging and Greeting Card Association of Canada. Imagine how many trees we’d save if we sent fewer paper cards.
- You can express your creativity. As a kid, I loved making my own cards. They’re so much more personal when they had my creative stamp on them (no pun intended). There are so many web-based tools to help you express yourself in your e-card. The tool I’ll use is Smilebox … oh and there will be music and with my card!
- You can support a worthy cause. Many charities are now including e-cards as a way to fundraise, especially those that have traditionally offered paper greeting cards. Charities such as UNICEF (USA) http://www.unicefusaecards.org/ and the Salvation Army (http://www.sacollectables.com/greetings/index.php?cmd=images&cat=1&PHPSESSID=ebd34cd2739c8d80c329d0baf50de990 offer e-cards.
- A lot of people are doing it. According to the Greeting Card Association an estimated 500 million e-cards are sent each year, worldwide.
- You’ll save time and money. Multiply the number of cards you’re going to send by the postage you’ll pay (you do the math) and that’s how much money you’ll save. Now, imagine not having to print labels, affix to envelope, seal envelope and make your way to the mailbox. That’s how much time you’ll save.
- They’re versatile. You can share your e-cards via email or through your online channels such as Facebook, blog or website. You can print them (if you must). You can save it to a digital frame (have it loop during the holidays, how cool would that be?) Or, you can burn it to a DVD and save it forever.
Note: As I was writing this I received an e-card from one of my vendors. No joke!
What type of card is your business going to send this year? Are you even going to send out cards? Leave your comments below.