2020 has been an awful year thanks to the coronavirus outbreak which devastated lives and families while forcing many of us to rethink how we can stay in touch.
If physical contact is out for this year with many of us having to socially distance, what about cards? Christmas cards, greetings cards and business cards; are they off-limits for 2020? The truth is, no one knows but for many, they may well be and you’ll have to adapt.
So, what can you do? eCard Shack is here to help you send greetings to family, friends and customers easily in 2020. We’ll discuss the alternatives to traditional cards – ecards – as well the other factors that could push many to use virtual cards this year.
Read on to find out more about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting traditional card sending and why ecards could be your answer…
As we’ve seen and are still witnessing, a huge portion of 2020 has moved to the virtual and digital arena – work, banking, dating, meeting friends, movies and much more.
Platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow for you to virtually meet face-to-face with your friends and clients easily. These are a great way of catching up, discussing plans, new business or reacting to urgent situations. Just think of the number of quizzes people have been involved in on Zoom this year.
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The same goes for online shopping. With stores closing or limiting numbers due to social distancing, online shopping and eCommerce has skyrocketed. Online shopping traffic grew 108% from the beginning of April to May in the UK, surpassing 2019 Black Friday traffic every day, according to marketing data platform PriceSpider.
Traffic on May 3rd alone grew to record levels of 233% when compared to an average day before lockdowns were put in place. Categories, such as food and drink, health and beauty, hardware and consumer electronics saw an increase of up to 589% compared to the same time last year. Meanwhile, traditional retail is expected to see a loss of $2.1 trillion globally.
US Postal Service
As you may have seen on the news, the US Postal Service is in the middle of a crisis and has an election coming up, both of which impact the sending of cards.
The Service faces a $160 billion budget shortfall with contentious measures being brought in. These include the removal of post boxes and 600 mail sorting machines are being decommissioned, which account for 10% of the USPS’ machines. Naturally, it’s all gotten very political with an election looming in November.
Unlike the UK’s Royal Mail, the USPS does not run on taxpayer money but instead relies on revenue from mail and packages, as well as other services. The problem with this is that mail volume has dropped by 30% since 2006, according to US news networks. Furthermore, the US Government Accountability Office found that $78 billion had been lost due to the decline in mail volume as well as the increase in delivery costs.
Experts in the US have claimed that the issues with the USPS have been decades in the making. The fact is that postal services around the world have been facing a decline since the mid-2000s, when email and texting took over as dominant forms of communication.
In the mid-2000s, laws passed ordered the USPS to deliver six days a week to the majority of the US, and prevented it from raising prices above inflation. Since 2006, the USPS has had to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future, which has cost it around $72 billion, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.
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While package deliveries have increased due to the pandemic thanks to shoppers turning to eCommerce, it’s less profitable to deliver packages than letters. This is thanks to the higher expense of delivering larger items as well as competition from UPS and FedEx. It all builds up.
It has racked up debt into the hundreds of millions, which is set to increase because of the pandemic – especially with marketing mail dropping by a third. November’s election will also add to its problems. A New York Times analysis found that about 80 million ballots may be sent through the mail this year, more than double than the previous election.
Simply, the favourite government agency of most Americans could be overwhelmed before they even get to the millions of cards they deliver over the holidays.
Why should I use an ecard?
Ecards are becoming more and more popular as we become a digital society but there’s more to it than that and not just a global pandemic.
Keeping Communication Open
Now more than ever, communication is vital, especially in business and with customers. You want to succeed and you want your customers to be successful too, and the best way to do this is with clear and regular communication.
You can’t go through a relationship without communication in any environment, it won’t last. No communication is fraught with danger. Clients respond to the personal touch and regularly reaching out or on special occasions can have a huge impact. Plus, a good relationship with existing customers can lead to positive word of mouth among their industry.
A positive relationship means a loyal customer. Clients respond more to the personal touch and reaching out to them can have a huge impact. 2020 has shown the value of communication, you need to support one another. This is a great way to build and maintain a relationship, so clients will think of you for additional services.
Read more: What is Business Communication?
This is an opportunity for you to really connect with your clients when you otherwise may not be able to. It all shows that you are invested in them, not only as a customer but as a person. You need to prioritise retention rather than focusing on the acquisition of customers. This means making your customers feel valued and an ecard can do this.
People are more likely to use their PC and smartphone to buy a product or send a card. In fact, people are more likely now to create a personalised ecard to send to their friends and family than go to a shop and physically buy a card. Christmas ecards are the modern solution to sending out those all-important season’s greetings for businesses.
Even if you forgot to send your best client a holiday greeting, you can still do it at the last minute because ecards are sent within minutes – easy. All you need to do is complete your layout and message before you press the send button. You’ll save time and prevent any damage to your relationship with the client.
Personalisation is, perhaps, the biggest advantage of ecards over its paper alternatives. Personalising the ecard to fit each recipient will allow you to take your relationships to another level. You have a great opportunity to connect with an ecard.
Ensuring a client knows that this message is just for them, that’s when it says something special about your relationship. Personalisation makes clients feel loved, so this is where targeting comes into play. Use your mailing list to make sure you understand your clients and ensure your relevancy to their interests.
Learn more about eCard Shack’s bespoke business ecards
Another benefit of ecards is that it is easy to target them to different recipients through segments. This brings in the factor of tailoring the ecard, which is important for making the recipient feel valued. Like blanket emails, you should avoid sending the same ecard to all your recipients because they have different preferences and interests.
If you send out paper cards, then you will be aware of the cost money and the time taken to sign and stuff the envelopes. If you are branding your cards, you will need to send them to a printer and make sure you proof them properly prior to press. That’s before arranging staff to sit down and get them ready for posting, pay for delivery and sending.
Learn more about company communication with our eCards
Ecards allow for a quicker and cost-effective route. It’s one simple online process that takes little time at all to create and send. Christmas ecards for business can be designed well in advance. They can also be changed right up until the date of sending, cost much less, and don’t take up the staff hours that paper cards do. They’re a richer experience and ensure you’re keeping up with modern communication.