9 interesting facts about Christmas cards

They’re sent every year either by post, given by hand or, more often nowadays, sent digitally. But how many of us know where Christmas cards originated or why it’s beneficial to send out corporate holiday ecards?

xmas tree (lights) on the black background

xmas tree (lights) on the black background

  1. Civil servant Sir Henry Cole and his artist friend John Horsley are credited with the invention of the Christmas card in 1843. Around 1,000 were sold at a shilling a time.
  2. A few years after the first card was made, the UK Parliament passed the Postal Act which allowed people to send letters and cards for just a penny.
  3. Early Christmas cards rarely showed the religious or wintry scenes we see today. Instead they tended to be flowers, fairies and exotic designs.
  4. It wasn’t until German printer Louis Prang started mass producing cards in 1875 that they became popular in the US. Until then, they were considered a luxury that only the rich could afford.
  5. The most expensive Christmas card in the world was sold at auction in the UK city of Devizes. An original of Cole and Horsely’s card fetched £20,000.
  6. 45% of all cards sent are for Christmas but only 15% are bought by men.
  7. An estimated 50 million is raised for charities by selling their Christmas cards each year.
  8. Conservation charity Woodland Trust has collected and recycled more than 600 million Christmas cards and planted over 140,000 trees, the equivalent in carbon emissions of taking more than 5,000 cars off the road.
  9. While digital ecards have been around since 1996, the explosion of web and smartphone technology means that they are now more widely used and available in an array of different formats, from simple postcards to flash animation and video.

Sending e Christmas cards for business gives you a number of advantages over the traditional way of posting them out:

  • It’s easier and cheaper to send and you can reach a wider audience.
  • It’s less work for people in the office who can be better employed doing something else.
  • Holiday ecards for business are a greener option than their paper and card counterparts. That means your carbon footprint is lessened.
  • They can be targeted for individuals and are more likely to be opened by the right person. Most business mail gets opened by PAs or mailing staff and is rarely seen by the person you meant it for. With a corporate ecard it goes straight to their e-mail box.
  • You can play around with the design and make it more personalised for your business and it costs a lot less than having designers and printers work on a hard copy.
  • Corporate Christmas ecards can also be sent out at a specific time. You can arrange your timing to have the most impact based on your customer demographic, even link it to an upcoming promotion. With hard copy Christmas cards you are at the whim of the postal service.

The Christmas card is now more popular than ever and the ways to send them are ever more varied. For businesses hoping to have less impact on the environment and become more focused and personal with their client or customer base, corporate ecards provide the best of both worlds – a message of goodwill delivered straight to someone’s pc or smartphone.