Do you qualify for a printed card?
I have been receiving a mixture of electronic holiday cards and printed cards and it has left me thinking, What factors determine which type of card I receive?
When I make a choice between sending a card via print or electronic usually it is based on time. Do I have the time to send out the full-blown printed card or is it more important to get an acknowledgement out? Thinking that through, is that the right criteria for the choice? What determines the right medium to use? Is it different for professional contacts? Clients? Employees? Friends? Relatives? Is there a chart needed to determine the right thing to do?
After conducting a number of futile Internet searches on the subject, I have come to the conclusion there is no protocol associated to this topic. There is plenty of information on the etiquette of sending printed greeting cards, including information from Emily Post & Martha Stewart. I even went so far as to ask Hallmark through its website if it has or knows of protocol for electronic cards.
Perhaps our industry should create and market the protocol, in essence, take the bull by the horns. This might be a very helpful thing when selling printed cards and mailings to clients. It is always nice to point to something official. Even add a case study that accompanies it. Bottom line is that when someone does a search for the appropriate etiquette on the Internet, the printing industry’s definition should be the first result. It should be an honest and useful tool.
I didn’t give up on the search with Hallmark. My next step was to seek answers using LinkedIn. Luckily there were a number of threads around the subject and I was quickly able to ascertain that while no one had a definitive rule, most people preferred printed cards vs. electronic cards.