The Death of Anniversary Cards?

The Death of Anniversary Cards?

FACT: Paper Anniversary Greeting Cards are Losing Ground

Electronic versions of all types of cards – not just anniversary greeting cards – have been showing up in ever increasing numbers on the internet. Do a quick search engine query on anniversary greeting cards and you’re sure to come up with pages upon pages of websites that will deliver e-cards to your friends and family. And that number seems to grow every day. It seems that with our increasingly hectic and chaotic lifestyles, we are quick to leap at any chance to save a little time and effort – any product that adds a little additional convenience to our jam-packed lives. And this trend appears to be putting the traditional paper greeting card business in jeopardy.


The Resiliency of the Paper Card

The demise of the paper card does not seem to be taking place. Just as I asked you to do a quick online search for greeting cards, now go do a quick real-world search for cards. Visit department stores, drug stores, discount stores, bookstores, stationary stores, and gift shops. You will see rack after rack of anniversary greeting cards, birthday cards, get well cards, sympathy cards – cards for every occasion.


Sure, online e-cards are a technology advancement, but the paper card industry has not been stagnant either in terms of innovation. Over the past few years, paper cards with tiny sound modules have claimed a large portion of the greeting card market. These cards talk to you, play songs, make crazy animal sounds and sing to you. Not only can you hold the greeting card in your hand, but it just might moo at you too.


The Case for Paper Anniversary Greeting Cards

The fact is that paper cards have not gone away simply because we like them. Sure, online cards may have sound and animation and flashing lights and instantaneous delivery… But they just don’t feel like a real card. When we receive an online birthday card – it’s just not the same. Here’s what it comes down to:


Getting an email just isn’t the same as hoofing it out to the mailbox, tearing open the envelope, opening the card or unfolding the fine linen stationery and settling in to read a genuine hand-written card or letter from a friend. Each hand-formed cursive letter on the page, every stray mark on the page, the personality of the signature – even the smell and feel of the paper – all add to the experience. All of these things are sacrificed when we turn to an e-card.


Streams of electrons are launched by one computer – to cascade across the country until they are received by another computer only moments later. There the electrons command certain tiny dots laden with phosphorus and arranged in precise sterile rows to glow and display a hastily sent anniversary greeting. Yes, it’s a cool concept, but It’s just not the same. Those electron streams take a lot of romance out of the moment.


Anniversary cards are a special case. They are perhaps more dignified than a birthday or even get well card. While it may be okay to get a birthday card that mood, crows or has animated dancing ham sandwiches on the cover, none of these would be a tasteful addition to an anniversary greeting card.


The bottom line is that an electronic anniversary greeting card just “feels” cheap and inappropriate – and, unfortunately, it cheapens the kind act of sending the card.