The number of Christmas cards I receive every year is going down, even as the number of e-cards and social media holiday greetings goes up. So it is at this time of year that the value of print vs. e-media is particularly acute.
When I receive an email card, I appreciate that I was on the email list, that whoever it was cared enough to include me in their contacts, but unless it’s a personal friend or family member, I rarely open it. It’s not personal, even if it’s personalized. It’s a contact list with personalization by check box. While I appreciate being included, I appreciate it for what it is.
When I receive a social media greeting, there is still some level of appreciation for the effort, but it’s less than email.
When I get a Christmas card, however, it’s a different story. I open it, read it, and set it up along the knee wall between the kitchen and the living room. There is often a handwritten signature, and even if there is not, the person or company went to the expense of printing the card and mailing it. There is a higher level of value. There is also pure beauty in these cards. The richness of the colors. The texture of the paper. The tasteful accents with gold foil. There in my kitchen, where I spend a lot of my time, I look at those beautiful pieces of art all season long — and remember which friends, family members, businesses, or clients gave them to me.
With email, there is a moment of appreciation. With print, that appreciation (and for B2B marketers, the branding and competitive differentiation that goes with it) lasts for months.
Print still matters. In this increasingly electronic world, it matters all the more.