Bespoke Christmas Ecards for Business: A ‘How To’ Guide

With only just over a third of the year left to go, it’s around this time that companies wishing to send a bespoke ecard start to get in touch to discuss their requirements. Unlike our DIY company Christmas ecard service — where you can customise and arrange to be send your greeting in a matter of minutes — our bespoke ecards for Christmas take a little more planning and consideration.

So we thought we’d take this opportunity to give you a little bit of an introduction to the process and some more information of what we’ll need from you to make it happen.

Your Bespoke Ecard Brief

The most important thing about creating a great bespoke business e greeting is having a good brief. The more information you can provide us with, the better equipped we’ll be to create just the right design for you and your organisation.

First off, we need to know if you’d like your Christmas e card to be animated or static – when making this decision, it’s important to note that you can send a static ecard in the body of an email, but an animated ecard will be shown as a link which your recipients can click on to open up the card in their chosen browser.

Secondly, it’s time to choose whether you want us to work on an existing design from our range of corporate ecards or whether you’d like to commission a completely new idea from scratch. If you prefer the latter, let us know as much as you can about the kind of thing you’d like.

Thirdly, you’ll need to tell us what you want your message to say and if you’d like to include your logo and other bits, such as a link to your website or the logo of your company’s chosen charity if you’re making a donation this Christmas.

Finally, we need to know if you’d like your ecard to include music.

Once we’ve got all this information, we’ll be able to quote a price and timescale for the ecard’s completion, depending on the complexity of the design. We’ll require a 50% deposit to start work on your card. Then, when we’re nearing completion we’ll send you a link to your email greeting so you can let us know of any last minute changes needed.

And that’s it. All that’s left to do is send your card – which you can either do yourself or we can do on your company’s behalf.

Experienced Company Christmas Ecard Design

We’ve been responsible for creating unique corporate Christmas ecards for a wide range of companies, big and small. You can view some examples of our work on our bespoke company e cards page as well as commendations from past customers on our Testimonials page.

Send your brief for a custom made business Christmas e card to info@ecardmint.com or fill in our contact form to get the ball rolling.

Alternatively, you can call us on +44 (0) 208 977 1122 to discuss your brief in detail with one of our team.

More Email Marketing Tips for SMEs

A few weeks ago we shared some of our top tips for a successful email marketing campaign.

Some NOT all.

So here are a few more insights on how to get your mailing lists’ attention and keep it with a well thought out email campaign.

Mailing lists: divide and conquer

Don’t blanket email your contacts with a communication that you know won’t be relevant to everyone on your list. Divide your database depending on demographic, then design custom email campaigns for each of your audiences.  If you’re dealing with international recipients it’s a good idea to schedule your campaigns around time-zones and any research you’ve done in relation to when’s the optimal time to send your marketing mail.

Choose your subject line wisely

A good subject line can be the difference between a delete and a conversion. Resist the urge to use CAPS or exclamation marks to reduce your chances of completely bypassing their inbox and instead landing yourself into the perilous purgatory of the spam folder. Remember that the subject line is the first thing your recipients will see, so you need to make it great. Create curiosity, a sense of urgency or excitement and you won’t go far wrong.

Oh and keep it under 50 characters to avoid being cut off mid-se —

Send something that stands out

We’re constantly publicising our corporate ecards and how effective they are in terms of engagement. Out of the ordinary with eye-catching designs and smart formatting, e-cards make a real impact on the reader, just as every marketing email should.

Give your email purpose with a call to action

If you know what the goal of your email marketing campaign is, the chances are you’ll have an idea what your call to action should be. Base this crucial bit of content around what you’d like your recipients to do once they’ve opened your email – whether that’s visiting your website, filling in a form or simply getting in touch by phone. Keep it clear, concise and with a tone that entices.

Shy away from using spam words and it’s all gravy

Eliminate the possibility of your email ending up in the Spam folder by avoiding spam trigger words such as ‘FREE’ and ‘Act Now!’ in your content.

Track opens and click-throughs, then do it all again

Analysing these statistics will give you a good idea of how successful your campaign was. And once you have this data, you’ll be able to extract more information as to what worked and how you can improve and build on this, just in time for your next email marketing campaign.

On Ecard Mint this information can be easily monitored in the ‘Stats and Tools’ section of your account – a feature completely inclusive in the price of your business e-greeting.

Naturally, our area of expertise lies in ecard marketing and the benefits it can offer to businesses large and small – we’re firm believers that this is an underused and much underestimated method of communication to customers and clients.

To give one a go, check out our pay as you go pricing structure with company ecards available to send to thousands from just £50 / $86 / €65.

Preview Our Latest Christmas and New Year E Cards

It seems ridiculous to be talking about Christmas at the start of September, let alone New Year. But at Ecard Mint we spend quite a bit of our time in the months leading up to these big annual events creating and adding new designs to our catalogue to ensure that we have a great range for businesses to choose from.

And so, whilst they might not be needed until the end of this year or the start of the next, we’re always eager to show you the newest tools in our arsenal of corporate ecards.

Below are three of our latest company e greetings for Christmas and New Year which are simple but professional static email cards for companies looking for something uncomplicated but eye-catching to pass on their best wishes to employees and customers:

Glitter Star design corporate ecard with 'Best wishes for the festive season' greeting

‘Glitter Stars’ Festive Best Wishes – Corporate Ecard for Christmas

Gold Glitter Star design with 'Best Wishes for 2015' greeting. New Year E Card for Business

‘Glitter Stars’ Best Wishes New Year Business E Card

Happy New Year Purple ecard with white calligraphy font

‘Calligraphy’ Happy New Year Company E Card

Customising your card is really easy to do and don’t forget that our simple online service lets you upload your logo and add a personal message to your e-greeting.

You can also use these designs as a basis for creating a bespoke card with us. Get in contact using our enquiry form, email info@ecardmint.com or call +44 (0)208 977 1122.

Choosing a Charity for Your Corporate Ecard

What do Mark Zuckerberg, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kermit the Frog all have in common?

Well, they’ve all taken part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the latest craze to sweep the internet.

A N-ICE Way to Donate

And although it might seem a little bit silly, it’s all for a good cause as the organisation has raised $88.5 million in the US alone – a figure that keeps on rising.

It’s pretty remarkable, especially considering that in the same period last year, the charity reported that it collected just $2.6 million. And whilst the sheer amount of money that has been donated is obviously the main goal, the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS and MND Association (its UK counterpart) has had another positive effect: raising awareness.

If you hadn’t heard of the ALS association until recently, you wouldn’t be the only one. The organisation itself admits that it’s a small and (up until now) under publicised charity that funds research into a progressive degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has also helped to highlight another important point; there are lots of small charities out there, suffering from a lack of funding – perhaps you’ve worked with some of them or have donated to them in the past. And whilst the challenge has been largely focused on individuals promoting the charity, you might be wondering how to go about raising awareness on behalf of your company…

Well, you may be relieved to hear that raising awareness doesn’t always go hand in hand with some grand gesture like pouring a bucket of icy-cold water over your head or, as with the last internet charity craze aimed specifically at women, posting a photo of your make-up-less face. It can be as simple as making a donation at Christmas to share with your employees and business partners to a cause you feel is worth endorsing.

Use a Company E Card to Raise Awareness

We added the charity donation logo feature to our business ecard service specifically for this purpose; to allow companies to easily upload or choose from our list of logos to proudly promote their chosen cause on their corporate Christmas e card.

From Action Aid to the World Wildlife Fund and everything else in between, we hope you’ll find just the right Christmas ecard to help you spread the word.

Why Office Birthdays Are Important

Workplace birthdays are often seen as a bit of a chore to everyone involved. Baking cakes, doing a whip round, picking out a birthday card and buying presents are just some of the tasks expected to be carried out by those unfortunate enough to be lumbered with ‘birthday duties’.

In an episode of The Office: An American Workplace, entitled ‘Survivor Man,’ Jim has a cunning plan to alleviate the hassle associated with celebrating co-worker birthdays ahead of ‘birthday month’. With loads of colleague birthdays fast approaching, Jim decides that it would be a good idea not to bother with individual parties, cakes and presents and instead organises a joint celebration. After a lot of disagreements and stress for all involved, the episode ends with Jim relenting once he realises that making a big deal about each employee’s birthday is the right thing to do…

But why are employee birthdays so important?

Because celebrating an employee’s birthday is about making your each and every employee feel appreciated and part of the team. And whilst lavish parties, expensive gifts and home-made cakes might not always be necessary, a birthday ecard with a personal message is always sure to be greatly received.

Check out more employee ecards for your business at Ecard Mint.

Email Marketing Tips for SMEs

Email communications remain the cornerstone of online marketing; done right, they can be an affordable way to remind customers about your brand as well as developing your relationship to them along the way.

How to Keep your Email Subscribers Happy

And that’s why it’s important to show your customers that your business is worthy of their email address. So how do you keep your email subscribers happy? Here are a few tips to help get you started…

Make the Sign-Up Process Quick and Easy

If you’re thinking of starting a newsletter, make sure that it’s easy for your users to subscribe. Provide a clear form in a prominent location on your homepage or blog. Try to design a simple form that doesn’t ask for too much information – but don’t be afraid to add a birthday date field – sending your customers a birthday e card is a great way to sweeten their opinion of your brand.

Say ‘Hello’ with a Welcome Email

It’s always a good idea to get off to a good start with a friendly welcome email. You could even send your customers a discount code or provide them with some exclusive content to say thanks for trusting you with their email address and as an incentive to pay attention to future mailings.

Hello Speech Bubble Company E Card

Say ‘Hello’ and welcome new subscribers with one of our company e card designs.

Send Email Marketing that’s Mobile Friendly

When we developed the Ecard Mint website, we were adamant that all our ecards should be compatible with all mainstream mobile devices, and therefore created designs which could be viewed on most smartphone and tablets including iPads and iPhones. But why was this such a big deal for us?

Just ask ReturnPath who published this infographic with a number of very persuasive statistics, including this one:

43% of Europeans and a staggering 63% of Americans would close or, even worse, junk a marketing email that wasn’t optimized for use on mobiles.

Brand your Marketing Emails Clearly

Make sure your marketing emails fit in with your brand by adding your company logo, a link to your website and your social networking profiles. This isn’t just about directing people to different marketing channels, but about giving your customers the full picture of your brand and what it can offer your subscribers.

It’s exactly why each and every one of these elements is present when you come to customising one of our corporate ecards.

Keep your Newsletters Brief

Amongst the abundance of other emails in their inbox, your communication has limited time to make an impact. So it stands to reason that brevity and clarity should be your main mantras when it comes to creating the copy for your newsletter. Subheadings, short paragraphs and content that you can get the jist of at a glance are all great ways to ensure that your readers stay subscribed.

And Above All, Make it Relevant

Ask yourself why you’re sending your marketing email; what are your goals and what will your contact list get from your newsletter. One sure-fire way to encourage ‘unsubscribe’ emails is to send a communication that has no real purpose. But by keeping your email campaigns user friendly, easy to digest and, above all, relevant, you might just earn you and your company a great return on your investments in email marketing.

 

5 Reasons Why Humour is Good for your Business

Companies can sometimes be a little weary about introducing humour into the work environment. A fear of appearing unprofessional or being responsible for a joke that’s in bad taste can put organisations attempting to tickle the funny bone of their clients on edge.

But an ability to turn a frown upside down can actually be a string in your bow rather than a pain in your business’ backside.

So, as a fella with a fair bit of face-paint on once said: “Why so serious?”

Here are 5 reasons why we think having a sense of humour can be invaluable to your business:

  1. Helps build better relationships with clients – comedy can really help ‘break the ice’ with new customers and strengthen relationship with existing contacts.
  2. Helps build better working relationships with employees – a happy working environment is key to the success of your company and a little bit of laughter can prove a great tool in alleviating stress during tense or hectic times.
  3. Makes your company seem more approachable – tasteful humour can put customers and business associates at ease.
  4. Allows your company to stand out – being one of the companies willing to poke your head above the parapets and try for a chuckle could be the thing that differentiates your organisation from the rest.
  5. Increases productivity and encourages creative thinking – if you’re all about outreach, showing your employees or business contacts that you welcome intelligent and creative thinking through humour can be a doorway to unlocking new ideas.

Add Some Laughter to Your Marketing Plan with an Ecard

Coming up with funny content to share with your customers or employees can be tricky. After all, there’s nothing un-funnier than a joke that feels forced.

Company Ecards as part of your marketing plan provide a slightly more subtle way of inviting your business contacts to share in joke, particularly at opportune moments in the calendar – our funny corporate Christmas Ecards go down a treat during the festive season.

Funny Static and Animated Company E Cards

Whilst some might argue that there’s nothing funny about a good marketing strategy, as a company who specialises in providing tools for email marketing, we beg to differ.

From our retro humour ecards for business to our animated company e cards featuring tormented turkeys, a naughty snowman and even some snowball dodging politicians, we’ve got the goods to get your recipients giggling.

Are These the Most Clichéd Business Buzzwords Ever?

The other day we came across an article on Mashable which we shared through our Twitter page. The piece was all to do with determining some possible candidates for ‘The 12 Most Overused Business Buzzwords.’

The article highlighted 12 of the most clichéd phrases as chosen by 12 successful business founders with explanations as to why they’re mostly redundant and always fairly ridiculous.

12 Most Overused Marketing Buzzwords

The top 12 were:

  1. “Hit the ground running”
  2. “Visionary”
  3. “Think outside the box”
  4. “Innovate”
  5. “Influencers”
  6. “Pivot”
  7. “Paradigm shift”
  8. “Engagement”
  9. “Value add”
  10. “Pre-revenue”
  11. “Growth hacking”
  12. “Game Changer”

Recognise any? We have to admit we’re familiar with the majority of these, but some we’ve not had the misfortune to experience – “Growth hacking”, for example, sounds very messy and something you should only do after consultation with your doctor.

Buzzword Banter with Business Babble Ecards

We’ve long been aware of the influence of buzzwords in the marketing world and how there’s been a sort of backlash against the sometimes meaningless jargon adopted in place of straight-talking, no-nonsense meeting room dialogue.

It’s exactly the reason why we developed a range of company e cards designed to gently poke fun at this ludicrous phenomenon within the business world.

Behold, the Business Babble ecard:

Funny Business Babble e greeting - Coffee or Tea? Corporate E Card

One of four of our Business Babble ecards

We’re pretty fond of these designs and we think we know the reason why.

We could say it’s because they’re ‘game changers’ or that these email greeting cards are ‘really pushing the envelope’ — that they’re ‘innovative’ and ‘value add’ to businesses through ‘engagement’.

But the real reason we think they work so well is because most people in the marketing realm at some time or another have been subject to (and have cringed at the mention of) at least a few of the phrases used.

The example shown is just one of four ecards available in the Business Babble range. You can find all four, plus more funny corporate ecards, in our humour category.

An Email Marketing Plan for All Seasons

It’s no secret that we’re a company that need to pay attention to the upcoming seasons and the celebrations each one brings. And though it might seem ridiculous to even mention it during a suspiciously warm British summer, there’s one particular season that’s always on our mind.

December is easily our busiest month, as companies prepare to send their corporate Christmas ecards to employees, clients and business partners.

Analysing Data for Seasonal Email Campaigns

How do we know this? Well apart from the obvious increase in revenue, we use Google Analytics to monitor visitors to the site and conversions over the past year – allowing us to effectively expect the next Christmas rush by a certain date.

Our Corporate Ecard Strategy

Just because the nature of our business is to assist yours with a unique and bespoke email marketing strategy, doesn’t mean we’re able to neglect our own.

So as Christmas begins to creep up on us, here’s what WE do:

We’ll take a look at our figures from last year.
We’ll work out the peak in traffic and transactions and we’ll mark that date in our diary for this year.
Then we’ll count back a week or so.
And then we’ll do something quite bold:

We’ll send our own Christmas company ecard.

It might seem ever so cunning, but we’ve found that it’s the perfect way to give our previous clients and business partners a gentle nudge and sometimes a much needed reminder that it’s that time of the year again.

It’s also about making life as easy as possible for our users. If they’ve sent business email cards with us in the past, there’s a chance that they may want to send one again – so providing our contacts with a direct link to our corporate e card site, eliminates the process of finding us in the search engine results pages or by trawling through their old emails.

Sending Company Ecards at the ‘Right Time’

Ecards can be a great way to reach out to customers and clients during the Christmas period. But the real message here is that timing is key.

And we don’t just mean for us.

Send an ecard too early and you run the risk of suffering the same sort of response you might get from neighbours if you decided to put up your Christmas tree in the middle of June.

Conversely, there are obvious downfalls to sending a last minute mail – there’s nothing more depressing than returning to work in January to find an unopened Christmas card in your inbox sent at 5pm on 24th December.

Of course, the ‘right time’ is entirely dependent on the nature of your business, which is why examining all the available data of the habits of your users around the busy Christmas period can really make all the difference to your seasonal email marketing campaigns.

Email Marketing for Mobile

We tend to think that when it comes to showing the numbers quickly and concisely, infographics can be a tad hit and miss.

This one by Mashable, however, we did find quite interesting. 

Have a look and see what you think: What do we know about email today infographic

Some staggering statistics there, we’re sure you’ll agree.

In particular, we’re drawn to the two bottom figures, one which tells us that 90 million Americans access email through a mobile device and that 27% of emails are opened on a mobile device.

This isn’t as surprising as it is a confirmation of how the internet, and the way we use it, is changing. 

And because of this, email marketing is changing too. Campaigns are created around responsive designs that are fully compatible with smartphones and tablets, along with desktop and laptop computers, for maximum impact from your mailing list.

It’s one of the reasons why we were determined to create our corporate ecard website as fully compatible with all mainstream mobile and handheld technology – with more and more emails being sent every single day, compatibility issues are simply not a good enough excuse to lose out to the competition.

Of the 89 billion business emails that will be sent today, make sure yours don’t go unnoticed.

Check out our business e cards now.