Do Cute E-Cards Really Work?

A recent article in Marketing Vox about holiday e-cards looked at whether e-cards sent be email helped make messages stand out.  There is no doubt that our mailboxes are going to fill up this holiday season but is using a digital greeting cards going to entice customers into their stores? Coincidentally I received and Elf Yourself card from a number of my kids and while it was amusing I am not sure if a retailer could capture my attention.

According to the a study by comscore.com, in general, e-cards are proving popular with consumers this year, especially as budgets remain tight. comscore.com recently revealed that the category received a seasonal boost in traffic in October, thanks to Halloween, Boss’s Day and Sweetest Day, writes MarketingCharts. The sector attracted 21.9 million Americans – a 15% increase from September – making e-cards the top-gaining category for the month. Top performers in the category were Evite.com, MyFunCards.com, AG Interactive and 123Greetings.com.

Here are two popular e-card offerings.

Dancing with Elves – OfficeMax is continuing its popular ElfYourself.com campaign for the third year. By uploading photos to the platform, consumers can create free, personalized holiday eCards of themselves – or whoever is in the photo – as dancing elves.  Office Max first offered ElfYourself.com in 2006 with such choices as “Disco Elves”, “Country Elves” and “Elf Classic.” This year the platform also offers “Hip Hop Elves” and “Singing Elves” that perform a medley of holiday music. New this year is a social media component in which users are able to access their photos using Facebook Connect, as well as being able to post them to friends’ walls.

Intel’s Singing Offer – In a similar move, Intel has kicked off its  “Make Your Holidays Sing” campaign, which lets users create a personalized digital e-card as and view Intel products. Here too, users can upload their photos and pick from music selections. The eCard creation depicts the photo singing along with the music.

Apparently this niche technique has proven to be very popular with online consumers – ElfYourself.com received 36 million views in 2006 and 193 million views in 2007. Those numbers dropped substantially last year, however, when the site introduced a registration requirement. The registration step was eliminated this year and, as a result, Office Max is predicting wave of blockbuster views.

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