It is no longer necessary to send paper cards, stuff envelopes, hand write addresses and use postage. Most people you do business with have email and many prefer to save a tree in this day of “green” and “sustainable” and the eCard is the perfect way to do that.
The top 10 things to consider before you jump into the eCard concept:
1. Organize the email addresses and make sure they are accurate. Consider a staff/family list separate from business.
2. Consider keeping track of those you send eCards to. Many crm systems have ways to do that.
3. Is your audience able to open flash animation or are they more like a fixed image crowd? There are different types of eCards and depending your audience, they may have issues opening flash. Also, flash does not work on all devices!
4. Do you want to make a donation to a charity and make mention of that as part of the eCard? For instance, you can make a donation to the Red Cross (NY Chapter needs it!), for instance and tell all that in lieu of candy and gifts you have made a contribtution.
5. Take a picture of your team/family and include that in your eCard.
6. Do a video and include that in your eCard.
7. Include music in your eCard. Many of the free eCard services include music, but of course, that is something else to consider.
8. Select a reputable service and do some research to insure they are not just a spam-like system. In other words, if they get all of your email addresses of friends and colleagues, be sure they are not going to create problems by putting those folks on spam lists.
9. Test the card out first! Be sure you test whatever you send to anyone. Most of the email services, like MailChimp, ConstantContact, VerticalResponse, etc. have a way to test, before you push the button.
10. If this is your first year to do an eCard, maybe you should start out simple. A nice message, and an image of the holiday season or a wish for a great new year, may be all you need. If you opt for that method, be sure you embed the image and DO NOT attach an image or .pdf card. That is just annoying and nobody can open this stuff across all of the devices they may use.
Here are some of the more well-known and reputable eCard providers:
What are you doing this year for holiday acknowledgements? Are you paper or electronic yet? If electronic what service are you using to send your eCards or are you doing it in-house?