Cutsey photos of employees don't cut it.
Last December, I wrote two glowing columns about holiday e-cards focusing on the environmental benefits of e-delivery and also some of the more creative approaches that crossed my inbox.
This December, I wish I could be as complimentary. But truthfully, I'm finding this year's crop of e-cards to be disappointing and to some degree, slightly offensive -- especially to someone like me who really loves the holiday season.
Take a look at this well-intentioned e-mail card from Bulldog Solutions. I'm sure it was all done in good fun, but I wonder about the judgment of upper management who let it be released.
I was immediately turned off by the initial image of the nice young woman and her chainsaw saying, "I love to get my 'buzz' on during the holidays." It reminded me of a holiday card I'd get from a beer distributor.
From there, it went from bad to worse. I cringed at some of the cutesy photos of employees in their pajamas. But the quotes about their favorite things to do during the holidays such as "The boozing...and the napping" and "The only time you can give the bird and get away with it" struck me as exceedingly bad taste.
Now, it's not that I have no sense of humor. I've brought in leading comedy writers to write quirky, nontraditional ads that had people falling off their chairs laughing. When you're sending out business-to-business e-mail, you need to be more careful than when you are posting a video to your personal Facebook page.
Here are some guidelines to consider:
Some other thoughts based on this year's holiday e-card offerings:
On that note, my best wishes to everyone who celebrates the winter holidays! And all the best for the New Year.
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Karen Gedney, an award-winning creative director and copywriter, shared her insights as a ClickZ Experts contributor from 2000 through 2009. She was known for her successful track record of achieving high e-mail response rates for Fortune 1000 companies and leading organizations. She died Nov. 16, 2010.
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