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Postal Greeting Cards? Bah Humbug!

Responding to concerns about mail safety, Aon Consulting has E-mailed thousands of holiday greetings to its clients.
It's beginning to look a lot like cyber-Christmas at Aon Consulting. This year marks the first time the employee-benefits and human-resources consulting arm of Aon Corp. is giving all of its 4,200 U.S. consultants the ability to send customized E-greetings--in part, to address concerns about postal safety. Aon Consulting also is using the E-greetings, which are designed entirely in-house, to strut its stuff: It plans to tout customized holiday E-greetings as a service for clients next year, with pricing expected to range from $15,000 to $50,000, depending on project complexity.

So far, Aon consultants have sent about 7,000 holiday E-mails to clients, choosing from three animated, customizable greetings. It took about two weeks to design and format the greetings, which were tested exhaustively to make sure they could be delivered to multiple E-mail systems, says Alan Turetz, the Aon senior VP who spearheaded the effort.

Last year marked the first time Aon gave its consultants the option of sending E-greetings, but only some 500 consultants in its New York office had access to the service. The inaugural effort featured just a single E-card design, which doubled as a holiday greeting and an acknowledgement of Aon's acquisition of Actuarial Sciences Associates Inc. Turetz estimates that the New York consultants sent out a couple thousand of the holiday E-mails, while some holdouts continued to send printed cards.

The decision to offer consultants the option of sending E-greetings was "a no-brainer," says Turetz, who this year has sent more than 100 Aon E-greetings to clients and has abandoned printed cards. With companies continuing to expand their use of online communication tools, "it's a reflection of where our clients are going," he says. Plus, the E-greeting approach saves a few bucks--printed cards cost Aon about a dollar each, plus postage.

View the cards online.