Want to send Season's Greeting Holiday eCards this year? Whether you're the owner of a small business, an administrator for a large company or a marketing department or agency, there are several major topics that need to be addressed when designing a holiday eCard or choosing an eCard service. Here are the questions that come up most frequently when researching how and when to send end-of-year holiday eCards.
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There are two types of 'holiday senders,' and when to send your eCards depends on your intentions.
If you are sending an eCard for a specific holiday, then you'll want to send your eCards immediately preceding the holiday or occasion. (Recommendations based on CorpNote user data is in the table below.)
Most holiday card traffic, however, falls into the category of 'Season's Greetings' or 'End-of-year greetings' messages, that are generally non-secular or multi-secular wishes that portray a company-wide greeting, either to employees, or more often to customers, clients and friends. While some companies send Thanksgiving eCards as their year-end greeting, the holiday card season actually starts right after Thanksgiving.
For us, holiday card inquiries start as early as August and September, when companies are planning their 4Q strategies. Membership has historically climbed in the beginning of November, and many users have their end-of-year eCards ready (designs selected and company-approved, email address lists cleaned and entered) and scheduled to be sent the Monday people return to work after the Thanksgiving break.
Aside from the actual well-wishes these eCards can communicate, there are certain business/marketing benefits to sending end-of-year greetings, which are strengthened if the eCards are sent early:
Since CorpNote allows you to create and schedule an eCard to be sent any day in the future, you can create your eCards any time of year and choose exactly which date you want your eCards to be sent.
For people sending holiday-specific eCards, our recommendations on when your card should be sent/received are as follows:
Thanksgiving cards should arrive Monday morning – Wednesday morning preceding Thanksgiving Thursday.
Thursday, November 26
General "Season's Greetings" eCards
Season's Greetings cards can be scheduled to arrive the first Monday after Thanksgiving, which for this year is November 30, 2015.
Preferably Chanukah cards should arrive on the first day, but can be sent any time during the holiday. If the holiday falls on a weekend, then cards can arrive the preceding Friday or the first Monday.
Sunday, December 6 – Monday, December 14
Christmas cards may be sent any time the week before the holiday, right up to December 25th.
Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Kwanzaa cards are sent up to 5 days before the holiday, right up to December 26th.
Saturday, December 26 – Friday, January 1
New Year's cards can be sent between December 26th and January 1st.
Friday, January 1
(New Year's Day)
With CorpNote an effective holiday eCard campaign can be planned for about $45, which is the cost of 3 months of our service. You can spend more or less based on your needs, but that cost probably will apply to 85% of our holiday users this year. Here's what that includes, and where you may wish to deviate.
Our Individual Membership costs $14.99 per month. In order for someone to view your eCard, your account must be active. Most holiday campaigns (based on the timeline we recommend) will cover 3 months. Here is our suggested timeline and associated activities:
Month 1: Open an account around October 20th. Get familiar with it – send yourself and your management team some eCards to see how it works. For example:
(Individual membership includes unlimited use of all these features, so you may as well get the most for your money!)
If your company needs to approve the eCard design or message, then you'll have lots of time to design the card, send it to your team and make final changes.
Here's another good reason to start planning early. If you're not happy using CorpNote for your holiday eCards, our Individual membership has a 10-day money back guarantee. You won't be out a dime, and you'll still have time to pursue other holiday eCard alternatives.
Month 2: November 20 – December 20. With your Holiday eCard approved, you can spend some time cleaning up and importing your contact list. CorpNote lets you copy and paste email addresses directly in the "to:" window, but you'll probably want to create a CorpNote address book, minimally with first name, last name and email address. (This lets you 'auto-insert' people's first name at the top of the card, like "Dear Albert, Dear Betty…")
Company names and birth dates/anniversary dates can be imported at the same time if you'd like to continue using CorpNote for other occasions throughout the year.
Once your eCard is finalized and your addresses are imported, you can schedule your eCards to be sent. As we mention in the section above, When should I send my Holiday eCards?, you can schedule your eCards to be sent automatically on a specific date that you choose. As soon as your eCard are sent, you'll be able to see who picks them up and when, as well as how many times the eCard has been viewed.
Month 3: December 21 – January 20. Right before the Christmas holiday, you may wish to see who's viewed your eCard, and resend it to anyone who hasn't. You can do this easily from within your CorpNote account.
You can also use our "direct link" feature to post your holiday eCards to your company's social media channels, using our built-in templates and instructions for Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus, and even post it on your company's public website. (Don't forget to tweet a link to your company's holiday greetings on Twitter, too.)
Since most holiday eCards are viewed during and after the holidays, including a couple of weeks into January, you will want to check who's viewing your eCard during that time. You have the option to cancel your CorpNote account at any time if you feel you no longer need it. (We'd like nothing more than to keep you as a year-round customer, though!) To cancel your membership, use our online form a few days before your billing due date, and we'll remove you from our auto-pay system.
There are two ways people share or post eCards on social media – posting a link to an eCard on their own social media pages, and posting a card to someone else. Each media channel (E.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter) has its own methods and capabilities. Regardless of the differences, the process is basically the same.
The first thing you need to do is create an eCard and send it to yourself. This lets you proof-read and view the eCard in a browser, exactly how others will see it. If you need to make changes, select "Save a Copy and Edit" in your CorpNote account and resend. Once it's perfect, it will appear in your "Sent Cards" bin.
There are two ways you can share your sent eCard…
First, any time you send a card with our system, you can share it via a 'direct link'. All you need to do is go to your CorpNote 'Sent Cards' page and click on the 'Direct Link' button. You can then copy and paste that link into an email or share that link in social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Second, you can go to your CorpNote 'Sent Cards' page and click on the 'Social Media' share button. You'll be presented with a full-size preview of your eCard along with options to share the card on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. If you are signed in to your social media account, you'll be presented with options to post on your own page, send to a friend or post to a professional or special interest group to which you belong.
All CorpNote eCards can be color coordinated to match your company branding, and can contain the following information:
Over the years, 'animated' eCards developed into the industry standard for the consumer electronic greeting card industry. Online companies like Hallmark, American Greetings and Blue Mountain went head to head creating animated greeting eCards for every imaginable life event. For years, the industry standard technology for displaying animated eCards has been Adobe Flash, which lets you create eCards that display in a web browser containing motion, sound and music and interactive buttons.
While animated eCards can be catchy and cute, many corporations take a more conservative approach. Our eCard sending stats tell us that there is an even split between companies: some want to send animated eCards, and others want great imagery and branding without all the "Flashy" bells and whistles. CorpNote currently allows our customers to send either. In the case of non-animated eCard designs, members can upload up to 36 photos or images of their own to be used as the picture in non-animated eCards.
Another twist in the quandary over whether to send animated or non-animated eCards has been the rise in the number of people who view their email and browse the web using iPhones, iPads and Android-based mobile phones and tablets. Unfortunately, FLASH ANIMATION IS NOT VIEWABLE ON APPLE iOS DEVICES AND NEWER ANDROID OPERATING SYSTEMS. As a result, people sending electronic holiday eCards need to consider this limitation when deciding on whether to send non-animated eCards that everyone can view, or animated eCards that require playback in a Flash-enabled PC or Mac web browser.
How does CorpNote deal with the animated eCard vs. non-animated eCard dilemma? If a CorpNote Member sends an animated eCard and we detect a device that doesn't support Flash, then a static image of the eCard is displayed with a subtle message that lets the viewer know they can view the animation on a different device.
There are basically two methods for sending and viewing an eCard:
Each method has its limitations (see the chart below). Your decision on which method to choose can be based on your target audience, the type of eCard you want to send and whether you prefer the convenience of email delivery over the more robust display capabilities of a web browser.
Comparison of the benefits and limitations of
"Display in Browser" vs. "Display in Email Inbox"
Display in Browser
Display in Email Inbox
Additional considerations when choosing Email Inbox Delivery:
CorpNote can provide custom artwork or company-branded animation to make this year's holiday eCard unique and unforgettable. We only do custom artwork for our CorpNote customers, and if you're considering a custom design we'd rather hear from you sooner than later. You'd be surprised at the last-minute requests we get! Call us at 609-406-1665 M-F 9am to 5pm EST.
CorpNote – Online Greeting Cards, Invitations and Surveys – is an advertising-free membership service designed for businesses who want a cost effective way to build their business using email and the web. CorpNote was established in February, 2004 and has delivered hundreds of thousands of eCards internationally. CorpNote's clients range from established Fortune 500 corporations to small business proprietors, clubs and non-profit organizations. For more information please call 609-406-1665, Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm Eastern Time, or contact us via our website: www.CorpNote.com.
"I use these cards just for the New Year. I love the service and I hope that folks who received my cards are signing up for CorpNote as well. Thank you." ~ Carolyn Cohen, Cohen Research & Evaluation, LLC View more Testimonials
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