Every year, marketers send me a slew of holiday wishes. Some take the form of your basic holiday card signed by staff members, others send logo-bearing coffee mugs and such, but most send out a pre-stamped corporate-branded card. I admit, I'm a sucker for the old school hand written cards, but I value the thought in whatever form. It is nice to hear from my marketing colleagues when one of us isn't frantically trying to meet a deadline.
Since I edit EContent, it isn't a huge surprise that this year I was deluged with eCards. It is actually more surprising that I've only received a few in years past. Like many econtent initiatives, eCards seem a relatively inexpensive way to reach out to a large number of favored customers and members of the media so I expect I'll be seeing a whole lot more in the future.
Unfortunately this year's round of eCards suffered from many of the same ills other marketing econtent does--from things like not thinking before you hit the send button to a lack of personalization. But what was most unimpressive about the way eCards was the fact that all but two of the twenty I actually opened were nothing more than advertisements for the companies sending them. You might think, oh this was just random people sending advertisements with "Season's Greeting" in the subject line, but no. Alas, these were emails sent to me under the names of marketing people with whom I work on a regular basis. After enduring minute-long commercials in several cases, I simply stopped opening any holiday eCards altogether. What's going on in the minds of marketers to think that I have the time, much less the inclination, to watch commercials while I patiently wait for a holiday greeting?
I'm suggesting that all b2b card-exchange is altruistic. Far from it. But I think the wise marketer needs to think a bit more before hitting that send button. Is this message about trying to sell me something? Or are you using this as an opportunity to make contact with me (or even a potential customer) in a non-sales way, a way that will impart good will that is then associated with your company all year long?