With the holiday season almost upon us, I’m guessing that your company will have already sent out cards – and maybe even a gift – to your customers and most-important prospects.
The popularity of internet cards, so called “eCards”, continues to rise as both consumers and businesses abandon the traditional greetings card to help save money – and the environment. Many prominent companies and organizations have gone the eCard route – notably the Royal Opera House, the Shell Foundation and Cancer Research UK. eCard sales are growing in excess of 250 % per year, as sales of paper cards continue to fall.
The newest generation of eCards allow the sender to embed sound and video, making the final product ever more compelling. People choose to send eCards rather than paper cards based upon practical reasons. The savings in time, in postage, in paper and in printing. It’s also seen as being more environmentally-friendly.
But sending someone seasonal good wishes has nothing to do with practicality.
If practicality was all it was about, you’d send the recipient an email. Or phone them. Or text them. Or post a message on their Facebook timeline.
Sending someone a card – a real, printed card with a personal handwritten message – shows that you care. That you, your company, your organization is not a faceless giant (or minnow) but a group of individuals.
It shows that your organization realizes that people don’t deal with companies; but that people deal with people. It’s not the act of sending out a seasonal message that’s the important bit. It’s that someone has cared enough to do it.
An eCard, by comparison, is an impersonal, bulk-emailed piece of communication that holds no emotional value with the recipient. It’s little more than (turkey-flavored) spam.
Yes, it’s an easy way to save money. But so is flying economy class for that business meeting. Or getting a Chromebook instead of a MacBook Pro. Or walking to the diner around the corner instead of ordering room service.
Or maybe your company sends out eCards because it’s less of an effort?
In which case: Guess what? It’s not about you.