Friday, November 16, 2018

Product Review: Paperless Post


Product Review:

Hi, Readers! I'm super excited where this blog has been taking me recently. I've been asked to do a product review for Paperless Post, an online greeting card and stationery company. The website uses their own sort of currency to pay for the cards, and they've provided some of their coins to me to thoroughly test out the product. I promise not to let that influence me though.

Most people don't know this about me, but I love stationery. I like sending cards to people, but usually, forget to do it. With my jewelry business, I send a thank you card with every order I ship. I even love receiving cards. I think it's a sweet gesture to let someone know you are thinking of them. My biggest problem is after receiving cards, I don't know what to do with them. I feel bad just tossing them, but I don't want to collect them either. E-cards are an excellent option for this, but I loathe most e-card products. So, what's an old soul to do?

Enter Paperless Post. They're an e-card company based out of New York. I think the first thing that got my attention when looking at their website is that the cards are classic and clean designs. My biggest issue with most e-cards is that they're annoying. I hate the animation and the sound. A lot of them try to be funny and fail at it. Paperless Post feels more like actual greeting cards, however. There is animation, but it's only when you open the card. When you get the card, you click on it to open. It then does an animation of it opening or flipping to be read. 

The designs shown are really classic, and the website is simple to navigate. Their specialty seems to be invitations and save the dates, which would be a great alternative to sending wedding or party invites. It's all customizable and sent directly to e-mails, which makes it simple. The best part is there are a ton of designs to choose from.  You can send the invites as a card or a flyer. Per the website, here's a breakdown of the difference between cards and flyers. 

Difference between Cards and Flyers

Before I go through the design process, I want to take a minute to talk about how paying for the cards work. This is pretty important for the design process. As I said earlier, they have their own website currency, that you can buy. Coins start out at 10 coins for $5.00 and go up to $90.00 worth. Each thing that you do with the card is going to cost coins, for the most part. I sent out seven or eight cards to toy around with how much on average cards would cost. It ranged from one coin to six coins per recipient, with six being the average. I'll explain this a bit more when I talk about the design process, but six coins will get you a lot of different design elements in the card. Math and I are arch nemeses, but I think it breaks down to about 66 cards at 6 coins each for the 400 coin pack, or about $1.20 a card. 

Coin breakdown



It's really easy to design a card, but if you don't want the more expensive options, you really have to watch what you're doing. I went around and played with designing a card and took screenshots to show everyone how to go about it. As I said earlier, each element has a coin cost, for the most part. Cards seem to be either free or two coins. There's a ton of options though. For this specific design, the card is two coins. It automatically has a backdrop and a liner, which are each an additional coin. If you want a cute stamp, that's another coin. It seems to be the same for their invites and photo cards as well. The card I had that was all of the free options possible and just an envelope. I assume this is required to send it.

Design cost in Coins

Here's a look at the design interface:


Backdrop removed.

With a backdrop


My personal preference is that I like having a backdrop. There are a ton to choose from. You can acquire them for one coin on the left-hand side. I think it looks way more finished and personalized with the backdrop, but if you're going the economy route just click remove backdrop. This option will also be on the left, kind of hidden below all of the choices. After that, you can edit the personalized text. To the best of my knowledge, changing the font and or color does not cost extra coins.

Lots of colors and fonts!


Once you finish the card, it's time to design the envelope. You can change the color of the envelope and the liner. The envelope is one coin, and the liner is an additional coin. You can remove the liner, and it'll just be the color you choose for your envelope. This is somewhere that you could easily save your coins on. Here's a look of a liner. One is automatically added to the envelope, so make sure to click remove if you don't want it! I think it looks more finished with the liner, but it's not really needed.

With a liner




Envelope options, and no liner

The next part is the stamp. I think it's pretty cute that they have stamps to choose from, but again make sure to check if you're choosing one that's free or costs one coin. After that, it's just a matter of putting in the recipient information and sending.  Here's a look at one of the custom stamps. On the left, you'll see how the free vs. coin options are laid out.


Is it weird that the stamps are my favorite?


Pros:

I really like the design choices. There are a ton of really nice options for design. They're classy and aren't annoying like other e-card companies. I appreciate that for the most part there is minimal animation, but still gives you the feel of opening an actual card. Paperless Post is a great option for sending digital invites, greeting cards, thank you cards, save the dates, and more. They even have personalized digital stationery for notes and letters. For those of you who like the photo cards, they have so many options for that as well!  Oh, and since it's digital, it's sent instantly.

Cons: 

My biggest issue is that the premium options are automatically added to each card. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with it. From a business perspective, I get it. The more coins someone spends per recipient, the more money generated for the company. If someone wants to be frugal, however, it's not necessarily a great option to have them automatically added. It took me a bit to figure out how to remove the features to get the cost down to one coin.  The flyer options seem to have more animation than the cards. My computer did not really enjoy that aspect of the website. 



Overall, it's really easy to use. I love the variety of designs and the ability to customize them. A few of the friends I sent cards to already seemed to enjoy the designs I sent as well. I'm terrible about sending cards in the mail, so I could see myself using this service in the future for birthdays and holidays. I don't know that I'd go the full six coins for every card, but it's still possible to make cute cards with fewer coins.

If you're interested in Paperless Post, head over to https://www.paperlesspost.com



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