MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Australian Digital agency Enteract is launching the world's first complete software for business electronic greeting cards (eCards), ekarda. Until now, technical obstacles prevented businesses making the transition from time-consuming, expensive and resource-intensive printed cards to eCards. Available eCard services traditionally targeted consumers, not offering the message control, logistical solutions, level of personalisation and quality of design required by businesses. Consequently, the number of printed cards sent per year has remained at about seven billion in the USA alone.
This has not only brought huge costs in terms of media investment, labour and environmental resources. In medium to large corporations, the practical challenges presented by sending such large volumes of printed cards also meant that employees have been unable to personalise messages for their particular business contacts. The main benefit of sending greeting cards, to strengthen relationships by making people feel special, has been lost.
With environmental concerns and employee workloads increasing every year, a comprehensive online solution to the problem was long overdue. Says Ben Lyden, director at Enteract, "A few years ago, I was contacted by a client who wanted to empower staff at their more than 200 tennis clubs to send fully personalised eCards to every individual club member. I was told they had been unable to find any practical alternative. Looking further into this, I was amazed to discover that no eCard suppliers had developed anything but very basic software aimed at consumers. Efficient functionalities for B2B users were simply nowhere to be found. Not quite able to believe my good fortune in finding such a gaping hole in the market, I quickly put together a team of programmers and got to work, this is how ekarda was born."
The ekarda software is tailored to the business market, utilising an eCard format compatible with all email clients and browsers. User administrators have full control over which elements can be personalised by nominated senders and which design and message elements are locked in according to their business style manuals. Send lists feature up to 10 custom data fields that can be used to target more narrowly defined groups of recipients or stagger dispatches according to any entered recipient attributes. There is an option to incorporate links to social media, allowing recipients to share their eCards at the click of a mouse. A tracking tool shows when dispatched eCards have been received and opened, if they have bounced or if recipients have requested to be unsubscribed from the send list. This is a system built to achieve maximum control and personalisation.
"The time for business eCards has definitely come," says Ben Lyden. "Environmental policies are growing stronger and the whole game of marketing is shifting towards more targeted and personal campaigns. Just look at how corporations wield Facebook and Twitter, and keep in mind that the greeting card market is all about emotions - about feeling connected. If you can't personalise a greeting card, there is little point in sending it. With ekarda, corporations can keep their branding style intact while letting thousands of authorised senders personalise every message online. Once they realise this is possible, the eCard market is going to boom. We see it happening already." For more information about ekarda visit www.ekarda.com
For more information about Enteract, visit www.enteract.com.au
For more specific information or to speak to Ben Lyden, contact Samantha Mallison via email at Samantha@enteract.com.au or call on +61-3-9537-3883.