What is a Business or Corporate E-Card?

You probably know of e-cards – digital versions of print greeting cards that you may have received during the holidays, or on a birthday from a friend. What you may not know is that increasingly, businesses, organizations, and corporations are using e-cards for everything from making internal announcements, to thanking customers for their business. This is because e-cards are not only effective new communication tools, but are competitively priced, and have the ability to be a natural extension of a company’s branding and marketing. As such, business e-cards have become a legitimate medium for businesses who want to embrace these new technologies, while effectively use their branding, and being efficient with their communications or holiday greetings budget.

Like e-cards in general, business or corporate e-cards come in different styles, and range in quality and price. These styles include static e-cards, dynamic animated e-cards, and video e-cards. While these styles have differing technologies, they all have a common goal: to deliver a message while representing the company’s branding and image. For a static e-card, this is accomplished through a single image that is embedded within the body of any e-mail. This image can contain anything from a company’s logo and colors, an illustration, or a photograph, along with a greeting message. This style is the simplest on the business e-card spectrum, and thus, the least expensive. While its simplicity can be seen as a virtue to some, it may be a drawback for those seeking more dynamic, eye-catching options.

For those who desire more complexity and “wow-factor”, modern animated and video business e-cards offer it in spades. For the animated variety, these Flash or HTML5-based e-cards allow for complex animated graphics, images and text, all while incorporating a company’s logo and color corporate color scheme. Along with the visual aspects, animated e-cards can include audio – whether using a popular song, stock music, or sound effects. This gives another element to engage the recipient, and often, the audio works together with the visual aspects to produce an effective multimedia presentation. Video business e-cards are closely related to animated e-cards, as they offer much of the same: animation, images, branding, and text, but in the format of a video file. This video format is the preferred delivery method for some, as it allows for solid compatibility across a range of personal computers, as well as more content access options, such as being able to post the video to YouTube or embed it on a company website. For all media-rich e-card options, whether animation or video,

Beyond the creative aspects, the main reason why e-cards have become such a viable option for businesses is simple: the cost. Typically, the cost per unit for a business e-card is a fraction of what the cost would be for its print counterpart. The reason for this is because business e-cards are usually produced for a set base price. So if a business is sending to either 100 recipients, or 100,000, the cost is constant and does not change. This allows for higher value and lower per-unit cost the larger a sender list is. This per unit value becomes even more enticing when the efficiency of delivery is factored in. As business e-cards are e-mailed rather than physically mailed, the amount of work put in to deliver the product is significantly less if a business had to pay an employee to package, label and mail hundreds, or thousands or print cards. With an E-Card, a company can use their existing e-mail databases to populate sender lists, and send the e-cards to thousands all in one blast. The recipient then receives the greeting instantaneous wherever they are in the world, there is no disruption of message due to mailing times or misplace / lost mail.

What would you typically spend on print cards?

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