Archive for February, 2008

Who uses eCards and Online Invitations?

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

I have often wondered who exactly used online eCards and invitations. This is usually a free service that makes it very easy to send a card or invitation for just about any event, all you need is an email address. You don’t have to buy or make invitations, address envelopes or pay for postage; some big advantages over the costly snail-mail approach. So this at least implies that the typical user of an online eCard or invitation is lazy and cheap? If you want to spend the least amount of time and money, use one of the many free online services. Well maybe!

I suppose there may be a few other reasons like the cost of buying and mailing a card is just too high for a simple party invite. Just to send a reasonably nice card to 20 people will hit your pocket book for around $60 plus a couple hours of time. Or maybe your invitation information needs to get to the potential guests quickly for an event happening in a couple days. I would also suggest that for many of these people, the type of event will play a part in the decision on how to invite the guests; most people will not send free online invitations to a formal wedding, but some do.

Some of the online sites offering free eCards and invitations are shown below with their estimated monthly visits: - 5,700,000 - 7,700,000 - 2,700,000 - 3,800,000 - 24,000 - 94,000 - 7,900 - 3,100 (the newest of the group)


Some interesting numbers is that a typical user of Evite is female between 25 and 50 years of age, a household income between $60,000 and $120,000 and a college graduate. While American Greeting Cards, which is a much older company that offers this product plus much more, has a user base of older females 45 to 65 years of age, income of less than $60,000 and not a college graduate. Crusher has the youngest users, 18 to 30 years of age, male (male??) and income of less then $40,000. Pingg is the up and coming site with new technology and ideas.


Anyway the question should be asked; “Would you rather receive an invitation to a birthday or anniversary party by email or by the US postal service?” I see the online invitations good for a “stop by our backyard barbeque on Friday” as being OK but if you send me an invitation by email to a 50th anniversary party, don’t expect much of a gift! It’s difficult for me to take any invitation serious when it comes with product advertising.

Open Skies, for who?

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

On March 30, 2008, a new Europe and US Air Transport Agreement will take effect. Air carriers within EU and the US will be able to fly between countries without restrictions. This means air carriers that have been shut out of some markets will now be able to expand their routes. Flights between Heathrow and the US are expected to rise by 20% this year.


Currently British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and American Airlines have exclusive rights to fly transatlantic to and from Heathrow. Starting in April this year, other airlines like BMI, Continental Airlines and Northwest Airlines will be allowed to launch direct flights between Heathrow and the US.


Who is the winner is all this, if any? Well only time will tell but passengers, especially business travelers, will have more options, more nonstops. Also with additional flights, you would think there would be more competition and thus lower fares! And of course more jobs.


However there needs to be additional investment by both the airlines and airports to support the additional traffic. This will take some time for the airlines to negotiate space and landing slots at the busy airports.


Anther question is the high cost of jet fuel; can the airlines afford any routes that are not at capacity? I don’t see airfare going down overall, but there should be more convenient routes between EU and US airports.