Swedish startup EmotiCards is one of the many projects that saw its daylight during the 24 Hour Business Camp earlier this year. Today, six months later, Emoticards have seven employees and have just launched in beta on the Swedish market. The Company is a self-funded joint venture project between Spontu, Pixell Productions and KST Info Services. The idea of offering to send real, printed postcards using ones own pictures isn't a unique one, but EmotiCards are trying to differenciate their service.
Environmental Approach With Premium And Free Cards
Apart from the obvious efforts to try to keep the interface very simple with few steps and easy payment, EmotiCards are printed on FSC-certified paper. Printing itself is as far as possible done locally close to the recipients thanks to the Xerox Premier Partner Network, shrinking delivery times and the need for air mail.
To send a postcard with a premium version of EmotiCards costs two "Stamps", approx. 1,5€. You can pay with credit card, cell phone or via Paypal. In a couple of weeks the company will be ready for worldwide delivery, at the same price, beginning printing in United States, United Kingdom, Nordics, China, Australia, Germany and France. Later this autumn it will also be possible to send postcards for free, bundled with product samples from selected companies.
According to Roman Pixell, CEO, EmotiCards will get onboard the Facebook virtual currency coming soon, as working with a mobile integration and an iPhone app. My immediate question about Flickr integration got a positive answer. Together with Picasa, Flickr should be in place in the near future. I'm also looking forward to be able pull addresses from my address book.
Will There Be Cards Sent
I see a good opportunity in here within fashion, holiday, event and party pictures, but with already tens of services available for sending postcards, both within and outside Facebook, EmotiCards need to be doing something differently in order to gain stickiness. Even if Facebook is the largest depository for digital images, it's also the world's fifth largest country with lots of noise. Getting it right in there will be a huge advantage. For example Posten, the Swedish postal service offers same type of service, just a bit more expensive and with no Facebook integration.
I think EmotiCards can stand the challenge because of their
- Simplicity. I couldn't even choose a font. Most of the times I just want to choose a picture and send it.
- Eco-friendly approach, not just regarding the paper quality, but with local printing.
- Price. Free cards bundled with sample products. Brands are in need to find new ways to advertise and interact.
It does look like Roman and his crew have at least done their homework before launching yet another postcard service. I'm excited about my postcard to arrive.