I hate animated greeting cards. It's not that I loathe the people who send them to me, or that I do not appreciate the thought; quite the opposite, in fact. What I hate is that animated greeting cards are a total pain in the rear to send and receive.
Think about it: I might think it's a good idea to send my customers animated greeting cards, but then I realize that first they'll have to open the e-mail. That's no big deal, except the e-mail is probably going to be buried in their spam folders. Now I'm sending spam. Then, they'll have to click on a link to actually view the animated greeting card. And wait ... while their media player or media plug-in loads the Flash. And if it's a good card, that wait will probably be long. Animation takes up bandwidth. Even worse, they might not have the plug-in installed at all. Then they have to decide whether or not they want to go through the trouble of installing the plug-in to see the “very important” thing I've sent them. They figure that if I've taken the trouble to send them something, it must be important. So they invest time and potentially trouble installing the proper plug-in. Finally, the animated greeting card loads. If they don't find it amusing, funny, powerful or meaningful, I've just wasted their time. Sure, the card might be a hit. They might spurt coffee all over their keyboards laughing at a dancing turkey. Then, they'll curse me for ruining their morning as they scramble to get a new keyboard and recover lost documents. I'm not willing to take that risk. No, if I want to make a good impression on my clients I send them a printed greeting card. I can customize the card just for them. I can mail it knowing all they have to do is open it to get my message, and the only thing they're risking is a paper cut – which they will not blame on me. They will appreciate my sentiment, and many will even hang the greeting card for others to see. My message transcends. So think twice if you want to send animated greeting cards to your clients. I'm absolutely sure I'm not the only one who hates them. Image use CC license via Flickr.