Comparison: Print Card vs. Digital E-Card – Which is better for my business?

When you’re trying to decide which route to take for your business’ holiday greetings, there may be some confusion between which style is the best choice: traditional print cards or contemporary e-cards. There are many factors that can play into your decision including what kind of content you require, what delivery options are available to you, and what your budget is. To help you decide, we’ve given you a comparison breakdown between print cards and e-card in terms of their content, delivery, and cost.


At their core, both print greeting cards and e-cards provide the same thing: pleasing graphics and a personal message. Print cards typically have a front cover graphic or photo, a templated inside message, and space to write your own message. Basic business e-cards offer essentially the same, template images and text. The content can be taken a step further when you move into custom print cards and premium business e-cards. Custom print cards allow you to choose the exterior graphic and photo, and have custom printed text on the inside. Premium business e-cards allow for customization to their existing templates, such as using your logo, your own or stock photos, editable text, and . Some vendors even offer a choice of a variety of music and sound. Custom premium business cards are another story, as they allow for complete creative control with building a brand new design from the ground up.


Print holiday e-cards, as I’m sure you know, are delivered by mail. Each card needs to be signed, packed into an envelope, addressed to the intended party, and mailed off. Depending on how many cards you’re sending out, the amount of work for preparing and delivering print cards can be substantial. Business e-cards are sent through e-mail, with either the e-card embedded in the e-mail message, or a link to click to launch the e-card. The e-mails can be sent through a client such as Outlook, or typically, with the use of an E-mail Delivery / Marketing System. The E-mail Delivery System can be your own in-house solution, a 3rd party vendor that you’ve used in the past, or your e-card vendor’s system. These systems would use compiled e-mail contact lists to blast out the e-card e-mail in a single or multiple batches. E-mail delivery of e-cards allows for an efficient, instant delivery, that yields a great per-unit delivery cost.


Speaking of cost, the per-unit price may be the biggest difference when comparing print to e-cards. With print card, there is usually a per-card cost, that decreases as the volume of the order increases. So for example, on greeting card site PrintForLess (, with the minimum order of 250 cards, the cost is $266, so about $1.00 per card (and in other words $1 per person). If the quantity is increased to a typical business order size of about 5,000 recipients, the cost is approximately $1,680, or about $0.31 per person. Keep in mind that these prices do not include the cost for you to then mail the e-cards out to your recipients. So the per person cost will have an additional $0.50 – $1.00 added to the previous totals. On average, expect to spend somewhere between $1 – 2 per person, depending on the amount of recipients you’re sending to.

E-Cards, on the other hand, are typically more cost effective. They often have set base pricing if you are e-mailing the e-card yourself, or pricing based on number of recipients if you would like the vendor to send out the e-mails. So for example, the average base price of a templated corporate e-card is around $1000. So if you’re sending out to 5,000 people, there would be a $0.20 cost per e-card sent. And of course, the more recipients you have, the smaller the per unit cost is. This per unit savings is likely the single largest reason why many corporations and businesses have decided to use e-cards in recent years to replace traditional print card greetings.