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.

What Should You Expect from a Workplace Birthday?

We recently tweeted the story from BBC News that Manchester City footballer Yaya Toure was disappointed that his side had failed to mark his 31st birthday.

Office Birthday Etiquette

Workplace birthdays can be tricky, as behaviour expert, Judi James describes them in the article as a “complete and utter minefield” mainly due to the fact that different companies, departments and teams do things differently.

And when it comes to treating staff equally, she admits that “Birthdays bring out people’s infantile side” as people will take note of what their colleagues receive and expect the same.

Agony Aunt, Virginia Ironside, adds hers two cents advising that normal etiquette dictates that when it comes to office birthdays, the celebrating party should be the provider of cake and that no-one should be expecting presents.

This advice seems sound. Yet, it’s clear that acknowledging an employee’s birthday in some small way, can show that you value them as part of your team.

How things might have been

If we look at this news story again, it’s disheartening to think that if only Man City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, had taken the time to browse through our range of Corporate Ecards he could have found just the right way to wish Yaya many Happy Returns, thus avoiding all this ill-feeling and resentment.

With a personal message from The Blues and the Man City badge proudly attached, what more could a £200,000-a-week midfielder ask for?

We think he would like this one:

Funny Retro E Card with Caption

Retro Happy Birthday E Card

By using our scheduling feature, Pellegrino could have also guaranteed that there was no need for an embarrassing belated birthday card. And in the interest of not showing favouritism, our Birthday Ecard Tool, allows companies to add the dates of their employee’s annual celebration, meaning that Aguero, Silva and the rest of the gang are all kept on-side.

On a more serious note, making your employees feel a little bit special on their day can have quite an effect on morale, so keep your team members happy and do something to make them feel appreciated on their birthday.

Ecard Mint is on YouTube

We’ve officially hopped on the ‘Tube’ and created our very own Ecard Mint video channel in an effort to diversify our online presence and provide another platform for our users to browse that huge collection of animated email cards that we’re so very proud of.

We’ve been developing animated e greetings for organisations since 2013. But up until now, previews of our customisable designs have only been available directly through the Ecard Mint website.

So we thought it was about time we jumped on board and found ourselves a spare aisle seat on the world’s largest video sharing site.

We’re no strangers to social, oh no. Ecard Mint already has an existing presence on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. But the introduction of a company YouTube Channel and expansion of our reach beyond the boundaries of the Big Three seemed like a no-brainer; YouTube’s a visual medium and we put a lot of effort into making our designs look great. If there’s potential to share our ecards with a wider audience, well of course we want to be a part of that!

Along with our active company blog and presence on the major social networking sites, the addition of Ecard Mint’s YouTube channel gives us the opportunity to take a more integrated approach to our marketing strategy.

As well as giving us a chance to take in the odd cat video whilst we’re there. Like this one:

Ahhhh. What were we saying again? Oh yeah…

Our latest videos added to the channel include corporate e cards for retirement (previewed below), employee leaving cards and thank you e-greetings. More cards are to be added in the coming months, including new designs currently in development.

But if you simply cannot wait, you can still find our whole catalogue of very individual digital e cards for every occasion on our website; from Christmas and Birthday card categories to other more unique collections such as Motivational business ecards and Humorous e greetings.

Where Did Ecards Come From?

The custom of sending greetings cards has been around for quite some time. Of course, we all know that this tradition can be traced back to ancient Chinese culture in celebration of New Year…

And obviously, we’re all familiar that it was early Egyptians who send their greetings on papyrus…

Hmm.

But what about ecards? Where did they come from? It’s not hard to deduce that the concept was derived from the traditional paper card but who created the first email greetings cards and why? These are the questions that, without the answer, have the potential to leave you sleepless.

So sit tight, because today Ecard Mint is taking you back to school and teaching you all about the origin of the humble e card. Or should we say Electric Postcard…

1994 – Judith Donath of the MIT Media Lab creates the world’s first postcard site: The Electric Postcard.

Electric Postcard - Screen Grab

1995 – After building steadily over the last couple of years, the Christmas season sees over 19,000 cards being sent a day in the run-up to the holiday season.

1995 – November brings the introduction of Awesome Cyber Cards which begins to develop the ecard offering a suggested greeting along with the image.

Awesome Cyber Cards Screen Grab

1996 – By Spring 1996, Over 1.7 million electric postcards have been sent.

1996 – Later in the year, new capabilities introduced with the Netscape 3.0 browser allow ecards to be mailed direct from the sender, rather than merely sending an announcement from the company to the recipient with a link to the card’s location.

1997 – Paper greetings card companies such as Blue Mountain begin to add ecards to its site, capitalising on the popularity of this new method of communication.

1999 – The dotcom boom sees the ecard industry expand. Blue Mountain Arts is sold for a noteworthy $780 million.

So there you have it, a complete (and quite concise) history of the inception of the e-card.

Granted it’s neither very long nor complicated, of course there are no ancient Egyptians involved… BUT it is interesting to note how the industry took off in such a short amount of time.

Writing in the mid 90s for her thesis, ‘Inhabiting the Virtual City’, Judith Donath might just have the answer as to why her invention was embraced so quickly:

“The most significant function of the postcard, and the reason, I believe, for the great popularity of The Electric Postcard, is that they allow people to keep in touch without having to actually say anything.”

Need an ecard for an occasion in your organisation? You name it, we’ve got it:

 

 

Corporate Ecards – A Boost for Your Business

Introducing Motivational Ecards

We’ve all heard that saying, ‘a picture can say a thousand words.’ But we think the right words alongside the right image can help you to express yourself clearly and provide the edge your employees need to succeed.

1_17_24_photo_impossiblePR

Inspirational ecard: ‘It Always Seems Impossible Until It’s Done,’ Nelson Mandela

Recently, we unveiled our Motivational ecards for business use.

These Motivational company e cards utilise inspirational quotes such as: ‘Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm – Winston Churchill.’

1_17_12_chalk_enthusiasmPR

Motivate your troops with this motivational ecard

The category also includes brief but pertinent words of wisdom, such as, ‘Everything is Possible’ and ‘Make it Happen’.

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Help them climb mountains with the Everything is Possible – Motivational Company Ecard

1_17_20_retro_makeithappenPR

Reach for the stars – ‘Retro’ Make It Happen Motivational Ecard

The retro designs either incorporate an image which represents the phrase (the motivational message ‘Stay Focused’, for example, is displayed below a pair of bespectacled eyes) or use a trendy chalkboard background and font.

1_17_16_retro_stayfocusedPR

Send a Clear Message – ‘Retro’ Stay Focused Corporate Ecard

This category expansion is part of our ongoing strategy to diversify the range of cards we have on offer on our website, beyond the usual and business Birthday cards.

We think that ecards can be used for so much more than just your annual corporate Christmas e card or Birthday greeting.

Our new motivational designs, in particular, have the potential to increase productivity in the workplace – giving staff and employees that extra boost to morale to help them achieve their goals.

In addition to choosing ready-made designs which can be customised with a logo and a personal message on behalf of your company, organisations can commission a bespoke business ecard for any purpose.

Easter Egg Hunting with Ecard Mint

With Easter on the way as a special Springtime treat with thought we share some geeky search engine secrets or ‘Easter Eggs’ as they’re affectionately known – provided by the good and the great at Google.

There are quite a few of these, and they’re added to almost as quickly as we add new card designs to our site (speaking of which, have you seen our new Humor ecard category for business?) …so here are just a few of our favourites Easter treats:

Go back in Time

When you enter, ‘Google in 1998’ into the search bar prepare to be magically transported back to the time of dial-up connections and ropey graphics as Google presents a very basic but nevertheless recognisable search page from the late 90s.

Search with the Swedish Chef

We all know that Google serves many different countries and allows users all over the world to search in their own language. Yet it might surprise even the most internet savvy to learn that even The Muppets’ very own Swedish Chef is catered for. Seek out the special Bork Bork Bork search page here.

Use the force to beam me up

If you’re a Sci-fi fan, it’s probably in your own interest to head on over to YouTube right away.

For wannabe Jedis, a search for ‘Use the force, Luke’ will cause the results drift on the page and every so often fly around the screen.

But if you’ve always been more of a Trekkie than a member of the Rebel Alliance, try typing ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ and watch the results appear in true classic Star Trek transporter style.

Search for Blink HTML

Search for Blink HTML in Google and keep your eyes peeled to see if you notice anything different about the search results.

That’s One Small Step for Google…

Pop over to the Kennedy Space Center for a quick visit and you’ll find that when you use the peg man in Street View, he’s magically transformed into an astronaut.

To infinity and beyond!

So there you have it. And if you find yourself in need of some more procrastination tools, there’s plenty more where that came from – not least in our very own animated ecard section where you’ll find plenty of addictive and interactive games to send on behalf of your business. 

New Employee Designs from Ecard Mint

We’re very pleased to announce the addition of two ecard designs to launch our new Employee category within the animated branch of Ecard Mint. 

The ‘Congratulations on Your Promotion’ animations have been developed from the static ‘Team’ category of business ecards. Starring illustrated office characters drawn in a retro style, alongside the relevant greetings messages, the static company employee ecards have been created in consideration of a variety of workplace occasions – such as welcoming new staff members on board or saying a fond farewell to employees on their retirement.

At Ecard Mint, we always try and make our designs as versatile as possible, which is why our new designs feature one female and one male option to offer a more representative ecard for the newly promoted recipient.

Animated Employee Ecards - Design Preview

New Animated Employee Ecards – Design Previews

The new company e cards show employees as they jump for joy beside the ‘Congratulations on Your Promotion’ message and dance to the upbeat music playing in the background.

The addition of the new employee ecard category in the animated section of the site is all part of our plan to offer a diverse range of email marketing communications suitable for both internal and external use.

We think that these designs, in both static and animated Employee categories provide a really valuable opportunity for small and medium sized businesses to acknowledge and show their appreciation to exceptional members of staff, to keep their morale high and to ensure that the best people feel valued and happy in their organisation.

They encourage celebration of the important landmarks of the team member’s career within their company and help build better relationships between the employer and employee.

We’re constantly developing our animated range to incorporate more of the versatile static categories for business use, which include Announcement, Invitation and Appreciation ecards – as well as the ever-popular business Christmas ecards and  corporate Birthday e cards.

Visitors to the site can preview and customise their chosen design before they sign up. Ecard Mint offer a ‘Pay As You Go’ payment option as well as Silver and Gold membership deals with discounts for users looking to send more than one ecard to employees, customers and clients.  

Redefining Viral Video for Small Businesses

Last month, the top 10 viral marketing videos from 2013 were announced with Dove’s 3 minute ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ film taking the top spot:

Following on from this, The Guardian on Social Media Marketing released an article attempting to discover the secrets behind the success of popular viral videos.

And again it seems there is no easy answer. Particularly for small businesses who don’t have the resources to back up their campaign with ‘rock-solid media planning, distribution and public relations strategy,’ as columnist Jessica Twentyman herself admits.

Instead, Twentyman suggests that smaller businesses limited by budget should ‘define “Viral” on their own terms’ and focus on creating captivating content that engages their audience.

Microcontent is given plenty of mention as a way of evening out the playing field – using thriftier budgets and a smaller company’s ability to be responsive as key to engagement.

Planning a communications strategy around important dates in the calendar is important – sending a company Christmas e card, for example, can be extremely valuable. And offering ‘real-time content’ in response to developments within your business or the outside world can be really effective too. Not to mention user-generated content, where advocates of your brand create a compelling message on behalf of your company through photo and video sharing.

The article concludes with a hopeful message to SMEs looking to make waves on a shoestring budget:

“The simple rule is this: no brand should be intimidated by the megabucks budgets and sky-high production values of big-brand viral campaigns. There is still huge value to be gained from more modest attempts to engage with online audiences, as long as they’re timely, relevant and compelling.”

Corporate Ecards provide a unique and method of engagement through internal and external marketing. Browse our varied selection of custom business e-cards which include Company Birthday E card or to get in touch about creating a bespoke card through our contact form or call +44 (0) 208 977 1122.