Paper Still Wins

You’d think that with all our paperlessness, greeting cards would have long since gone the way of the bank statement. Everything is easier if you do it electronically.

While that’s happened to some extent (we’ve all gotten a birthday e-mail or text, or even an e-card), the actual paper greeting card industry is not slowing down. Not one bit.

We Americans are still purchasing 6.5 billion greeting cards every year. Birthday cards and Christmas cards top the list, but it’s a year-round thing: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, sympathy, thank you, wedding, new baby—it goes on.

Technology is just making it faster, easier, and cheaper to send a paper card, and people are doing it. Why? Because they know it means more.

Most card buyers say greeting cards are essential. And the younger crowd is starting early. They’re the ones most engaged in sending cards from an online source.

So while your birthday greetings might have increased in recent years, with hundreds of wishes over social media, the truth is, most of those greetings aren’t from people who would have sent you a card. And if they are, you’ll probably still get a card from them because card senders haven’t let go of the real thing.

It’s just a cultural truth that card sending is a meaningful expression of personal affection. Even today’s youth know it, and it’s looking like they’ll hang onto it.

- Sara