Thursday, 21 December 2006

Snail mail is still king of greetings

It would be so easy and inexpensive. Sit down at your computer, select a cute holiday e-card and zap it to the dozens of people on your contact list. No cards or stamps to buy. No envelopes to address. You’re done.

So why are so few people doing it?

The reason is simple, industry experts say. The ubiquity of electronic communication has made e-mails commonplace and snail mail more special and important. In fact, there’s a backlash under way, some experts say, and many women are trying to add more authenticity and meaning to the messages they send by assembling the cards themselves.

It’s easy to explain why electronic greetings aren’t supplanting the old-fashioned Christmas card, industry players say. You might call it the “keepsake phenomenon” or the “mantel test.”

“Try putting an e-card on your mantel. Try pulling it out a year from now,” said Sue Lindstrom, the founder and creative force behind Paper Source, a chain of 20 specialty paper and stationery stores based in Chicago. “Electronic communication is becoming more and more important for business and less and less important as a way to communicate real feelings.”

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