Hallmark email cards are so convenient, aren’t they? With the holidays coming up, what could be easier than a few mouseclicks rather than addressing and licking all of those envelopes. That’s the allure of Hallmark email cards.
Oh yes, Hallmark email cards are great – for the sender. And for Hallmark.
But they are evil for the recipients.
Actually it’s unfair of us to single out Hallmark – it’s true of all online greeting cards, it’s just that Hallmark is the best known.
There are several problems with online greetings cards, some social, some technical, and some privacy related.
First, sending an online greeting cards says, to paraphrase Hallmark’s own slogan, “I’m too lazy to send the very best.”
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Second, there is the issue that you are causing to be sent to someone a large file, bloated with HTML, graphics, and, sometimes, sound files. Some of the services allow you to send just a link, which the recipient follows to retrieve the card. That alleviates some of the issues, but it doesn’t take care of the third, and perhaps most serious issue:
That you are divulging the recipient’s email address to a third-party, who has every reason to add it to their own internal marketing email lists, if not to share it with partners.
Would you like it if someone gave your email address to some random company?
No, we didn’t think so.
Remember, when you care enough to send the very best, it’s a greeting card, in an envelope. If you can’t do that, or if your greetings are already belated and you don’t want to wait for the postal service, then, well, pick up the damn phone.
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