Traditional Christmas Cards Vs The eCard

In the Red Corner…Traditional Cards….in the Blue Corner…e-cards!

It’s that time of year again, no not Christmas but the month when America celebrates National Cotton Candy day. Just kidding, of course we’re talking about Christmas. We all want to be seen to be taking part in the season of goodwill so we start thinking about sending Christmas cards to our current and prospective clients.

Sending Christmas cards to current clients is a great way to remind them of your brand and show them that you value their custom. Used for prospective clients, they can introduce your brand ready for further promotional activity in the New Year. They can simply be a gesture of goodwill or you can even include an exclusive offer or promotion codes to be used against your products to boost your December or January sales.

So, we’ve taken a closer look at the age old (well as old as the internet) decision of whether e-cards are more effective than sending traditional Christmas cards. We’ve outlined the benefits of both so that you can make your own mind up on which is better for you and your customers.

Before the internet, its hard to remember a time we know, the only way to send your Christmas cards was through the post. This entailed a level of organisation as the cards needed to be individually written, stamped, addressed, sealed and put in the post and don’t even go there with the Royal Mail price hikes! To make sure they arrived in time they have to be posted a good few days (if not weeks) before the big day. So, surely e-cards take all this hassle and stress away and provide an easy alternative way to send Christmas cards on mass and in most cases completely free.

E-cards are so easy too, even the most technophobe of computer users will be able to put together a great e-card.  Just add images, your company logo, some copy, if you like you can add interactive media through really simple Flash programming and the most important ingredient, the subject line. This is so key as it’s what fundamentally encourages the recipient to actually open your email or not. For existing customers, if you build up a reputation year on year for sending funny or creative e-cards then they may even be eagerly waiting your email!

If you find a new client at the last minute or remember an existing one you’ve left out of your mailing list then with e-cards you can simply send them a card at the click of a button rather than worrying about postal times. E-cards are often free and even if there is a fee attached to them then this is typically much less than the price per card of sending a traditional paper card. You can usually choose from a number of templates or have your own branded e-card designed which means it’s all ready to go the next year so you don’t have to spend time or money on a completely new design. No doubt we’ve all sent or waited to receive something that’s been lost in the post, so of course with e-cards there’s no danger of this but it does mean if you forget someone you can’t use the ‘it got lost in the post’ excuse!

So you might be thinking, if they’re faster, cheaper and guaranteed to arrive then surely we should all convert to sending e-cards and get with the times?

Well, there are a few things that traditional cards can achieve that just can’t be paralleled by e-cards.  They’re much more personal to receive and when everyone else is sending e-cards you can stand out from the crowd to show you’ve gone to the effort of handwriting a card. You can show your customers that you value their business and have gone to the time and effort to send them a ‘proper’ card. Also emails are easy to ignore or assume are spam, with a traditional paper card they’re much harder to ignore and more often than not bound to be opened. Plus you could choose to send Christmas cards where the proceeds of sales benefit a local or national charity to show your customers that you’re thinking about the wider public and really are getting involved in the business of goodwill.

Finally, in our recent article about the benefits of direct mail we talked about the impressive statistics on direct mail and how extremely effective it still is. Well, a traditional Christmas card, sent to prospective customers, falls under the direct mail umbrella so all the evidence we discussed previously still very much stands. Check out our article HERE.

So, we’ll leave it to you to make your own mind up on whether sending an e-card or traditional Christmas card is best for your business and the demographic your target customers fall into. *SHAMELESS PLUG WARNING*Whichever route you chose you’ll need to get your hands on either potential customers email addresses for e-cards or business addresses for potential customers. And, as luck would have it here at Smith’s Clarity Solutions we’re a leading B2B Data List provider within the UK. We can help bridge the gap between you and your potential customers so get in touch today to discuss your data needs.