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The Power of Paper Holiday Cards and Print Marketing

Your Business will Make an Impression with Real Paper Holiday Cards

I’m a designer by trade, but I’ve recently spent some time in the book publishing industry as well. When I found myself among these noble, literary traditionalists in 2011, the ‘digital revolution’ was well under way, and publishing houses were abuzz with speculation and even a bit of hand-wringing about the future of the printed tome. At the time, I’d been working in printing for close to ten years, and even I wondered if print was indeed rasping. Publishers were busy adapting their products and workflows to accommodate the e-reader, the hand-held device, and eventually, the tablet. The transition wasn’t too painful, but it was a necessary toil, and by 2014, as we collectively waited for the other shoe as they say, e-book sales began to level off and print editions ticked back up again. This after some years of decline following the 2007 launch of the Kindle garnered sighs of relief all around, and mine was not just for the paperbacks. I was thrilled to have been vindicated in my belief that print marketing—the ever artful greeting card included—and its impact could not be replaced by ones and zeroes.

Some Praise for the Digital Revolution

Reducing paper waste in any office environment is a good thing, I’m sure we can all agree. It’s simple enough for a company to establish guidelines for what needs a paper trail and what doesn’t. Supply and storage costs can be spared when we shift our notions about what actually requires a hard copy. While we’ve been doing this—while we’ve been altering our perspective on what should be printed, it seems we’ve rediscovered the artistry of printing technology, thus demanding the best from both media.

The Deeper Impression of Print

Research has shown that printed marketing (direct mail, for instance) is easier on the brain than digital advertising—requires less cognitive effort. This extremely brief article points to a deeper emotional impression with something that you actually hold in your hand. Therein lies the key. I’ve sent a sum total of three e-greetings in my entire life. Back in ’06, I thought they were adorable. But they don’t feel the same, to send as well as to receive. Something you can touch is more personal. It’s yours, you can put it in your pocket and count it among your possessions. Web ads have their usefulness, but in the end are mere flickers of light.

The Impression of Paper Holiday Cards

Greeting ‘scrolls’ and handmade paper cards were being exchanged as early as the 14th century at least, as this fantastic four minute video will attest.

Fast-forward about 600 years and it seemed it was all over for Santa and Cupid, and for the artists who would render them. I started receiving e-cards in the early 2000s from family members who lived out of state. Those communications were quickly forgotten, but every year during the holidays, I get a fresh giggle when I remember a Christmas card my uncle once sent me that featured “Tater tots with their eyes all aglow.” I’m not kidding, and I know it’s hokey as heck, but the little photo of crispy spud treats with googly eyes and endearing grins hand-drawn onto them made an impression that has lasted almost 30 years.

The Planet Also Likes Your Card

It didn’t take long for the results of the digital revolution’s impact, for good or ill, on the environment to come back as data points. Those who pay attention to such things found that digital communication comes with its own set of complications, environmentally speaking, in the form of electricity consumption and CO2 emissions. Early cries of ‘Go digital, go green’ were well-intentioned but just plain false, and now constitute ‘green-washing.’ It turns out, a more targeted  demand for paper products, (packaging, fine printing, etc.) in conjunction with measured application of digital media for communication creates incentives for effective forest management. Again, it’s all about utilizing both technologies to their utmost potential. Bottom line: printed marketing makes a strong emotional connection, so put it to work for your valued business communications. And enjoy browsing our extensive collection of holiday cards for business!

 

 

 

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