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Thank you cards: email or snail mail?

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Wide White: Thank you cards: email or snail mail?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thank you cards: email or snail mail?

I've sent and received many thank you cards, but I received one on Sunday like none I'd received before. Our friends threw a birthday party for their 1-year-old a few weeks ago and we attended. The kid had to have some bath toys!

The thank you card we received on Sunday didn't come in the mail. It wasn't given to us in person. It wasn't really even a card. It was a PowerPoint attachment sent via email.

I thought it was awesome. We've sent our Christmas letters over the last few years via email on Christmas Eve. If people want to read it they can read it in the body of the email or open the attached PDF if they want the photos included. We keep up with email addresses much better than snail mail addresses. Oh, and the best two parts: 1.) It's free and 2.) No trees (or recycled paper) are used.

It's great to see others willing to start using email to send what used to be sent via snail mail. You don't have to wonder if the intended recipient saw it or if their spouse got the mail and filed it away in the "to be read later" drawer. You can guarantee the date (and time) of delivery. You can easily interact with it. I frequently receive email responses to our Christmas letter.

I know there's probably still a cultural stigma that some have with email. I'm sure there are people who frown on our emailed Christmas letters. But the content of the message remains the same whether it's sent via email or snail mail.

So props to our friends for the emailed thank you. I certainly don't have a problem with snail mailed thank yous and I'm sure we'll continue to send them, but I love to see electronic communication accepted as an equivalent alternative to snail mail.

Social media and email will never replace the phone or in-person conversations, but they should be sufficient to replace many other written forms of communication.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Bill Roehl declared,

I absolutely hate mailing stuff. Hell, I even hate e-mailing stuff but I'd much rather people e-mail me than send stuff USPS--well, everything except packages.

I love packages.

11/09/2010 7:32 AM  
Blogger Jamie declared,

I'm torn on this one. My cheap side says email, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting anything personal in the mail, especially packages! I think some of it is a generational difference. If a "thank you" note is due to anyone my parents age or older, I will mail it as I know several of them are more formal and would be appreciative of a "hand written" thank you note. I've been to several showers with girls my age who all will mutually tell the guest of honor to not send thank you notes. They see that the guest is thankful and that is good enough for them! Also, they've probably been in her shoes and don't wish the job of writing numerous thank yous on a good friend.

11/09/2010 8:14 AM  
Blogger watchman declared,

email, ftw

11/09/2010 10:23 AM  
Blogger Keelie declared,

You just had to throw the "go green" comment in there!:) I'd never even thought about it that way before. I guess I would have assumed it unacceptable to send an e-mail thank you, but hey, if this is ok, I might actually get some thank-you's sent.:) I agree with Jamie's comments as well. I love to get mail! But I'm not keeping track of who's sent me a thank you and who hasn't! I know you're thankful!:) I'm usually pleasantly surprised when I receive on...only because I'd forgotten I'd given something.:)

11/09/2010 12:11 PM  
Blogger Jamie declared,

Keelie, It's a good thing you're not keeping track, or we'd be in the doghouse! I have a card all ready to be written and sent. I actually started writing it once and then got interrupted...I have no good excuses, but you will get one, even if it takes all year! :) In the meantime, I'm glad you know we're thankful. We LOVED our time with you guys and are looking forward to seeing you soon!

11/09/2010 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Dez declared,

I'd say if you send an email make sure it's not the "Hello " type and instead write something personal. Otherwise, screw the stamps.

11/23/2010 5:28 PM  

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