Surprising Benefits of E-Cards

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We send approximately 250 cards at the holidays every year.  The recipients are a mixture of business contacts, friends, family, and others.  For many years we produced the traditional family or kid photo as the centerpiece of the card.

This year I just could not face it.  It has long ago evolved into my task with some help from Val, but none from the boys who would rather get a couple of shots at the doctor.  Take the picture, process it, negotiate approval, threaten obstreperous teenage behavior, outsource the printing, then the writing, sealing, mailing torture.

For several years I have noticed a repressed annoyance with using  the US mail, while everything else in my life has gone digital.

Repressed, because it was somehow cheating.  There was a Catholic sense of the need for a bloody purge over hours of writing, licking, and sealing to make the cards genuine.  Without penance how could there be joy?

Fortunately, I am only married to a Catholic and recognized it was time for my inner Calvin to move us into the 21st Century with an e-card.

I knew what I did not want – no music, no video, something that took as much effort and time as opening a regular card.   Music is terrible in a business setting.  I once opened an e-card while multi-tasking in a boring meeting. It announced itself to the conference room with Jingle Bells.

Over the course of a couple of days I scanned through various e-card services until I found a quiet card that opened in two clicks off an email from Jacquie Lawson’s service (supporting a startup small business entrepreneur back in Blighty versus mega-holiday retailers).  It took about 2 seconds and there was no envelope to recycle.  One click launched the card, the next click opened the fake envelope individually addressed to a cheery holiday scene.

What I was not expecting was about 50 responses back via the reply feature.  In addition to rekindling a friendship or two dormant except for “old school” holiday cards, I also had a dozen business contacts write back with almost all of them asking me to call in the New Year to catch up.  Instant feedback.

E-cards – I am totally sold.

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