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The holiday card: print vs. digital

by | Oct 1, 2012 | Expertise

It’s that time of year again. The first few days of Autumn always bring thoughts of the holidays coming upon us—and always sooner than we expect. There is no time for “last minute shopping” when it comes to sending out a Holiday Card to your clients, employees, and business partners. The time to get started and plan is now. But the perennial question from most of our clients is… print or digital?

I love a nice holiday card that comes in the mail. You get to open it, see the beautiful art, feel the paper, and then set it up on a shelf to view for days to come. It’s also nice to perhaps have a personal note that was written just for you, that wishes you warm holidays and a great new year. We often think of interactive as something digital, but with a printed card you need to interact more than you do with a digital card. A printed holiday card is personal, engaging, and permanent.

On the other hand, we have created some really cool digital holiday cards. Cards that have wonderful animation with holiday theme music and multiple rotating messages. The options for art, video or animation are somewhat limitless depending on the format and platform you host your digital card on. And you can track to even see if the receiver actually opened it, and how many times they viewed it. While it may not sit upon a shelf in your office, it can be opened multiple times and also forwarded to colleagues—a bit of social media holiday magic that a printed card can’t pull off.

Comparing the outcome of the two options can be debated all day, but here are few things to consider before making your decision:

Printed Cards

  • If your budget is limited, you need to consider printing and postage costs.
  • Your mailing list may be large enough that you need a mail house to send it out for you, which will also incur costs.
  • Scheduling needs to be considered to include enough time for printing and mailing.
  • Is your mail list good and up to date? Nothing is worse than having cards returned and then having to scramble to figure out the new address to resend.
  • Do you personally sign? Have the entire staff sign? Is there time to do this and pull it off correctly?

Digital Cards

  • You may save on printing costs and printing time, but if you want animation and other bells and whistles, the budget will need to be increased and more time will need to be put in the schedule.
  • Do you have the knowledge, or a tech team in place, that is capable of sending this out to your list?
  • Are you familiar with size requirements for file size, and do you have a place to host the files?
  • If you are doing animation you will need a landing page for the viewer to go to. Does this feel like too many steps for the viewer to get to your card and message?

These are just a few of the main points to consider when planning your holiday card this year. Contact us and we can discuss more and talk about the options. Whichever route you go, I know the visuals and messaging will be on target and special in its own way.

Of course I would love to open an envelope in early December with a special note from you written in a beautiful card. But then again, some cool animated falling snowflakes with holiday music would put a smile on my face as well.