The Evolution of Holiday Cards

December 20, 2009

I believe in sending paper holiday cards. Yes, me. I send dozens and dozens of emails everyday. I instant message with my closest of friends. I text business associates. However, when it comes to sending holiday greetings, I send a card.

In the last few years I have received more and more e-cards. Some, I have to admit, are very well done, complete with beautiful flash animation. I don’t want to seem ungrateful when I receive holiday wishes, but these computer-based greetings seem a little lazy. Someone is a marketing department is busy creating the perfect greeting but, the sender doesn’t really have to put much effort into sending. There is no personal touch. I do appreciate good cheer and usually thank the sender if it was sent from a person and not a catch-all email address.

This year I have noticed a new trend that is very disturbing. I have received “holiday cards” from people and companies that I have never heard of or have done business with. These “cards” that have been clogging up my inbox are really nothing but mass marketing under the guise of a greeting. Some of the emails that I have received have even described the service or product offered by the sender. I am sure that many of the senders do not realize the negative message that they are sending. I generally delete promotional emails that I did not opt-in for. Since these are designed to be holiday cards, I generally read them. However, I do not plan to do business with a company that does not respect the privacy of an email address. Sending this type of spam is very similar to telemarketing and not the way to begin a relationship. Just because it is easy to hit the send button does not mean this is an effective way to communicate with a prospect or client.

I understand that some people want to be “green” and do not like to send paper cards. For those individuals, I suggest making a phone call or sending a personalized email with a note. We don’t always have to wait until December to tell people that we appreciate them. Send your friends and business associates messages throughout the year to thank them for the relationship.

Sometimes a digital message is okay. To my readers, have a wonderful holiday and fabulous new year!