If you’re on a budget this Christmas, e-cards are a cost effective way of sending friends and family your festive greetings.
There are some great value electronic Christmas cards available – including a few free ones and some (often short!) free trial periods – so you could save on the cost of physical cards, plus there’s no need to buy stamps.
You can send them much more last-minute compared to ‘real’ cards via snail mail, especially if you’re sending cards overseas.
It’s also problem-solved if you’ve lost track of people’s home addresses over the years, but do have up-to-date email addresses.
Digital Christmas cards can also be much better for the environment compared to physical cards (most of which end up in the recycling or landfill immediately after Christmas) – and you can buy your e-cards from a charity and raise money for a good cause, if you wish.
One of the things I like most about online Christmas cards is they encourage interaction – people I send them to often reply and we end up having a bit of a catch up over email. In my experience, this happens much more rarely with Christmas cards you send in the post.
However, there are some things to look out for: I’ve found some websites are less than transparent about pricing, and any free trial periods are often quite short – so if you want to make best use of them, you have to be organised!
So if you decide to sign up for a free trial, don’t forget to cancel if you don’t want a paid membership.
I’ve also found some of the sites aren’t the easiest to use – they could do with improving functionality and introducing better filter options so you can easily find the cards you want.
It’s also worth ensuring you have an accurate list of email addresses before you start – many of the digital Christmas card sites won’t alert you if an email bounces.
To get you started, here are my top five Christmas e-card websites!
If you would like to make a meaningful donation to charity in return for your digital cards, this is a fantastic website to have a look at.
There are loads of charities to choose from, so you can select a cause that’s close to your heart – or there might even be a charity that’s local to you.
Design-wise, the cards are high quality, and I like the option to personalise every card individually. Alternatively you can send the same message to everyone.
There’s also a comprehensive frequently asked questions section on the website, and pricing is completely transparent.
This site offers quality designs and the ability to personalise your cards with photos.
You can easily filter the designs by colour and theme, which makes it easier to narrow down your choice of card – or you can add your own design.
Another handy feature is importing contacts from a spreadsheet, your email account, or use your Greenvelope address book.
Pricing is clear, and you can choose between a single mailing or unlimited mailings for a year.
I love Paperless Post’s high quality designs and there are lots of events and religious celebrations to choose from – not just Christmas.
If you wish to, you can also personalise some designs with your own photos, text style, envelope and more.
Some of the cards have been designed by well-known designers and brands, including Liberty, Kate Spade and Jonathan Adler.
It’s free to send some cards (to up to 50 guest emails) – and you can browse for these free options using – you guessed it – the ‘free’ filter!
Be aware that for it to be completely free to send these cards, you may need to remove all premium options like envelopes, envelope liners, backgrounds, stamps and logos before sending them.
And to send a ‘free’ card to more than 50 recipients, it’s currently a flat fee of $20 (for up to 15,000 email addresses).
The e-cards on this website are definitely memorable, with dancing elves, and all sorts of other festive fun!
There are comedy and animated cards to choose from, plus ‘shorties’, which are short video cards.
You can create a free account which limits your choice to a selection of free cards. A paid account costs $24 per year, billed in advance.
This allows you to send an unlimited number of digital cards, and there’s an initial 30-day money back guarantee.
If you’re looking for beautifully designed e-cards, perhaps for a fine art of culture lover – or just something a bit different – this is a good site to have a look at.
New designs by independent artists are being added all the time, and you can sign up to a free seven day trial.
Once the trial has ended, it’s $25.99 a month – but you can cancel your subscription any time.
The site has suitable cards for a variety of occasions, not just Christmas, so it could be a good option if you’re looking for quality and plan to send all your cards digitally!
I hope you enjoy reading my reviews and having a look at some digital card websites – do you think you’ll send e-cards this year? Let me know!