Holiday Marketing Tip #1: E-Cards are easy, but might not convey what’s necessary

Oct 7th, 2015 | Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief, Uncategorized

Not enthusiastic about signing a stack of printed holiday cards and thinking that an electronic one will suffice this year?  You might want to consider the following:

If your only relationship with someone is a digital one, an e-mail card may work, according to what little research there is on this topic.  If the recipient is critical to your business or referral network, or a flesh-and-blood personal or professional friend, a standard card, signed and with a personal note, is going to be the best choice, in our opinion. Lawyers who feel signing traditional cards is burdensome should do fewer but do them well, and perhaps use an electronic card for the relationships they feel are less important.

More than 80% of all correspondence is now electronic, so it makes sense that we should want to express our Christmas wishes by the same means we express ourselves year round.  That’s one reason why e-mail cards are so popular.  The drawback of an e-mail card is its brief lifespan.  “It has just about as much impact on the recipient as the jokes, political musings, and urban legends sent during the year,” one national business columnist recently wrote, adding “The recipient is likely to give it just a few seconds of his or her time before hitting the delete button.”

The benefits of a signed traditional card sent through standard mail?  Longevity and personal impact.  “In a sense that card contains your DNA,” according to one Wall Street Journal article we found.  That’s true because you must hand-sign it and include a personal note or greeting showing you thought about the recipient and your relationship.  It might be just a little bit of you, but it’s still more personal and says more about the value you place upon your relationship than the digital approach.

This was recently confirmed by two researchers at Purdue University.  They observed: “Personal letters may still be preferable to email communication in a number of contexts. This includes, but is not limited to, letters of complaint, travel correspondence, and holiday cards and letters.  Letters can create different impressions on readers when compared to other forms of correspondence. Given that letters take a greater effort to write and to send, they often create the sense that more time and concern went into them.  This can, depending on the context, highlight the degree of disappointment (as in a letter of complaint), or the intimate sense of community between the reader(s) and the writer (as in holiday cards and letters).”

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