Dreaming of a green Christmas? Impress your list with business-appropriate -- and beautiful -- e-cards.
Those of you who know me personally know I'm an ardent environmentalist. I have a compost bin in my backyard that I feed daily with leftover food scraps, and one of my biggest clients is the Natural Resources Defense Council. I spend many hours each week writing e-mail and direct mail to save polar bears, whales, and wolves. So I'm always looking for the most environmentally conscious way to go about things.
During the holidays, I send my clients organic fruit baskets from Manhattan Fruitier, as well as organic cookies and chocolate. But when it came to sending cards, I didn't even consider an e-card because I couldn't find any business-like ones that didn't look cheesy.
I opted instead for Grow-A-Note cards. These cards are printed on recycled paper embedded with wildflower seeds that you can actually plant in the spring. I'm also sending beautiful New Year's cards printed on chlorine-free recycled paper from Borealis Press. (I always try to get New Year's cards because they're nonreligious -- and if you don't send out cards before Christmas, you can send them after!).
However, after I bought and addressed the cards, I heard from Logica3, an Illinois-based strategic design communications firm, about its new SaveATreeCards.com site that has a stunning collection of business-appropriate e-cards that anyone can send for free. I'm planning to use their e-cards this year for all my contacts for whom I don't have traditional mailing addresses. But next year, I may have a total e-holiday -- these cards are that beautiful.
The idea behind SaveATreeCards is ingenious. Logica3 decided the best way to give a gift to its clients, many of whom consider sustainability a critical business issue, was to help them send e-cards. So it set up the site and sent a note to its clients about it. In turn, its clients, which include a major computer manufacturer, private equity firm, enterprise software company, and leading consumer food and beverage company, as well as a number of nonprofits, sent their own e-cards creating a snowball effect of paper-free momentum.
In addition, Logica3 created custom e-cards for a number of companies, including Siemens Medical Solutions, one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The e-card features its SPECT-CT molecular imaging product -- by showing a scanned image of a Christmas tree rotating to the music of "O Christmas Tree." Not only is the e-card clever, but also it highlights the scanner's image quality by showing the Douglas fir tree's needles in intricate detail.
While it's probably too late to have a custom holiday card created (remember the last real business day before the holidays for most folks is Friday, December 21), try sending one of Logica3's 15 holiday e-cards now.
If you need to make a case to upper management as to why you should go the e-card route this year, here are some facts from the SaveATreeCards site:
Plus, Logica3 will send contributions to The Nature Conservancy as part of this campaign.
Finally, give me the gift of a ClickZ column that writes itself so I can spend more time on my second job as Mrs. Klaus. Send me the best and funniest e-cards you're sending your clients this year ASAP. If I get a good selection, I'll feature them in my day-after-Christmas column.
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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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