A greeting card is an illustrated, folded card featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment. Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or other holidays, they are also sent to convey thanks or express other feeling. Greeting cards, usually packaged with an envelope, come in a variety of styles. There are both mass-produced as well as handmade versions that are distributed by hundreds of companies large and small. While typically inexpensive, more elaborate cards with die-cuts or glued-on decorations may be more expensive.
Hallmark Cards and American Greetings are the largest producers of greeting cards in the world. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that one billion pounds are spent on greeting cards every year, with the average person sending 55 cards per year.
Standard Greeting Cards:
A standard greeting card is printed on high-quality paper (such as card stock), and is rectangular and folded, with a picture or decorative motif on the front. Inside is a preprinted message appropriate for the occasion, along with a blank space for the sender to add a signature or handwritten message. A matching envelope is sold with the card. Some cards and envelopes feature fancy materials, such as gold leaf, ribbons or glitter.
Photo Greeting Cards:
In recent years, photo greeting cards have gained widespread popularity and come in two main types. The first type are photo insert cards in which a hole has been cut in the center. Your photo slides in just like a frame. The second type are printed photo cards in which the photo is combined with artwork and printed, usually on a high-end digital press, directly onto the face of the card. Both types are most popular for sending holiday greetings such as Christmas, Hanukkah & for baby showers.
Personalised Greeting Cards:
Websites using special personalisation technology, such as Moonpig, allow consumers to personalise a card which is then printed and sent directly to the recipient.
Musical Greeting Cards: Modernly greeting cards have been conceived which play music or sound when they are opened. They commonly have 3D handmade birthday cards which play traditional celebration songs such as Happy Birthday To You.
Electronic Greeting Cards:
(also called E-cards) Greeting cards can also be sent electronically. Flash-based cards can be sent by email, and many sites such as Facebook enable you to send greetings. More recently, services have launched which enable you to send greetings to a mobile phone by text message. Many of these electronic services offer open or anonymous chat, to enable further discussion.
Pictures and printed messages in greeting cards come in various styles, from fine art to humorous to profane. Non-specific cards, unrelated to any occasion, might feature a picture (or a pocket to paste in a personal photograph) but no preprinted message.
Even if you forgot to send your best client holiday greeting and only have a day or even hours left, you can still do it last minute because ecards can be sent almost instantly. All you will need to complete is the layout and message before you press the send button. Thereby, saving time, money and still providing a warm touch to the client..
One of the biggest advantage of e cards over traditional cards is the degree of personalization. Your options are virtually endless and limited to your imagination when it comes to adding a personal touch to the cards. Often, some people add unique photos of their employees and office and a nice personal message depending on who the card is going out to.
Another benefit of sending out e cards used for businesses is that it is easy to target them to different clients and make them more relevant. Obviously, you should try not to send the same card to all your business clients and customers because they have different preferences and you have had different experiences with each. Targeting the business with a good personal memory you have both had is always a good idea.
Some of the advanced targeting software will actually allow you to sort out business peers in groups and individual basis, helping to make sure you maintain a good relationship by sending out cards relevant to their preferences.
Reputation is one of the most important aspects in any business. The fact that you are taking the time to include your client, and that they are receiving a professional, while personal, message from you will yield a large return on your investment.
Of course, one of the biggest advantages of sending ecards is going green. It is well known that green businesses have an edge over non-green businesses as being environmentally responsible. For many businesses, it is now essential for their brand image. By sending out e cards to businesses will let them know that your business is making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.