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Holiday Cheer on a Tight Budget

Put Something Paperless in the Holiday Post

By Merrilyn Astin Tarlton

As the holidays approach, a smart lawyer begins to ponder greeting cards for clients and contacts. This year, an electronic greeting may be your best bet to impress without spending a bundle.

Don’t worry, it’s no longer considered tacky to send something electronic instead of an ink and paper greeting. And while there are some gorgeous custom e-cards out there, you don’t have to invest a lot to make a great impression. Take a look at some of these online options. You may find you want to use them for more than just the holidays.

  • Paperless Post lets you send gorgeous cards, invitations and announcements for mere pennies apiece. They have the look and feel of rich letterpress stock (albeit digital) and arrive in beautifully addressed “envelopes” that unfurl when the recipient clicks. For very little, you can upload your own logo and apply it to your posts.  If Crane’s stationery has been your standard, you’ll love Paperless Post.
  • Blue Mountain provides static and animated e-cards for every occasion — including Rosh Hashanah, Halloween, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Long a big name in paper cards with a reputation for western themes, Blue Mountain has upgraded its selection and expanded into a wide variety of styles. Also, if you prefer, you can design your card online, print it and mail it through the U.S. Postal Service. A small subscription fee is required.
  • Webby Cards presents you with quick access to custom flash-animated e-cards. Webby will build your holiday card from scratch or modify one of their existing cards with your logo. They’ll also manage your email list if you’d like. They offer a cost estimate via email.
  • Brian Andreas’ Story People isn’t the place to go for mass mailings, but if you’d like something quirky and imaginative for that special unconventional client, you’ll want to check out his free e-cards. Careful, they are addictive.
  • Jacquie Lawson’s luscious animated cards have a cult following. The minute you look at her work, you’ll remember receiving one of these e-cards and wondering how the sender always seems to find something new and clever. Just $12 gets you a year’s membership. (Check out the Advent calendars. Your client will love you for 25 days in December.)
  • Hallmark, the old standby, offers e-cards to members only, but the wide selection ranges from Thomas Kinkade to Peanuts, from spiritual to I Love Lucy. The quality is good and all include music. You may choose to join for $5 for one month, $1.50 per month for a year or $1.25 per month for two years. Cheap at twice the price!

The options for e-holiday cheer are nearly endless, allowing you to choose among styles ranging from wonderfully weird to dignified to awe-inspiring. Better yet, e-greetings let you save money and feel quite smug about those poor innocent trees you are saving.

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Merrilyn Astin Tarlton

Merrilyn is the author of “Getting Clients: For Lawyers Starting Out or Starting Over.” She has been helping lawyers and law firms think differently about the business of practicing law since 1984. She is a founding member of the Legal Marketing Association, an LMA Hall of Fame inductee, and a past President of the College of Law Practice Management. Merrilyn was a founding partner of Attorney at Work. Learn more about Merrilyn here and follow her @astintarlton.

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