In last week’s Ecard Mint blog we posed the question: what makes the ecard such an appealing addition to the marketer’s communication toolbox? This week, we’ll explore three key answers to that question (there are of course many more, which we’ll explore in future blog posts).
1. Hitting the “likeability” jackpot
The internet and web 2.0 technologies have changed the way we do business. The sheer volume of marketing messages and the demand for people’s attention are at an all-time high, while impersonal corporate messages are giving way to a more individual, informal and friendly approach. Savvy marketers are increasingly focusing their strategy on securing customer attention and engagement, and brand likeability.
This is precisely where the business ecard is gaining strong ground. An ecard is a rich multimedia experience that can really stand out in a crowded inbox. To your customers it’s a gift. You’re not sending them yet another mailing full of marketing messages to plough through (or, more likely, delete), but a simple greeting – complete with colourful graphic images, a fun slide-show movie or a compelling animation.
Sure, you’re keeping them warm with a gentle reminder of your brand, but in a way that gives pleasure and entertainment. A way that associates your brand with a positive experience in their mind, engendering that all-important feeling of likeability.
2. Reaping the viral potential
A key strength of ecards is their huge viral potential. People love to share, and if you pique their interest with a well-designed card that amuses or entertains them, the chances are that they will forward this on to their colleagues and friends – using the various social media links you cleverly included in the card.
The benefits of this are obvious. In short, your recipients become your extended marketing team (except you don’t have to pay them!). Your ecard allows them to spread your branding, weblinks and key messages far beyond the original mailing list. And you can also seize the opportunity to grow the list by including an ‘opt-in’ button or form within your card.
The more entertaining and well-targeted your ecard, the greater the viral potential.
3. Getting more for your marketing budget
Every manager needs to maximize return on investment. Corporate ecards can deliver exceptional flexibility and versatility, giving more ‘bang’ for your marketing ‘buck’. With ecards as an integral element in your marketing mix, a wide variety of communication initiatives become available in a cost-effective way.
A brief survey of current applications yields a host of creative uses, from launching new products and services with an ‘introductory offer’ ecard, to using an animated ‘mini-ad’ ecard to reinvigorate interest in a maturing product without investing heavily in mass advertising or sales. Charitable and non-profit organisations are using ecards with strong images and mini-stories to generate donations and subscriptions, and as renewal reminders to encourage members’ ongoing support. Some companies are using the celebratory aspect of ecards to share and promote key company milestones and successes, while others are seeking to boost attendance at key events with engaging and entertaining ecard invitations. And many are finding that a simple birthday ecard to their customers can benefit relationships considerably.
Are you already reaping the rewards of using business ecards for marketing purposes? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Please feel free to post a comment here or contact us at [email protected]