Maybe it’s the recession, or maybe it’s a sign of the digital age. I’ve been receiving a disproportionate share of holiday e-cards versus traditional paper cards sent via snail mail.Â I like e-cards because they’re friendlier to the environment, though I still like receiving paper greetings as well.
Either way, etiquette and finesse matter.Â But amidst a proliferation of e-cards, people are forgetting etiquette and finesse. Therefore, I’d like to outline the specific characteristics that make a great greeting, whether digital or analog:
- Creative. Does it exhibit imagination and introduce new concepts?
- Unique. Is it different from all the others?
- Personal. Does it reflect YOU?
- Free of Narcissism. Does it avoid self-admiration and egotism?
- Receivable. Can I easily open and read it?
All these characteristics underscore whyÂ handwritten, analog letters still rule.
Still, e-cards can work. In fact, I just received a terrific e-card from a friend. Actually, it was two-sentence text email — yes, plain-vanilla text and nothing else. The subject was “A good cause”. The first sentence asked me to donate to a cause he believes in: wikipedia.org. The second sentence asked me to inform him when I’m available during or after the holidays for a drink.
Very well done!
Importantly, this e-greeting met each of the five criteria above. Futhermore, this e-greeting had no cheesy holiday messaging, no corny music, no scantily clad women, and no annoying flash or animation to download. The lack of noise — plus the blunt call-to-action to GIVE to a charitable organization I admire — made this greeting really stand out.