NEW YORK -- Evite is going the paper route. The website, which pioneered digital invitations 15 years ago, is launching paper invites for the first time.
Customers can now create invitations online, have them printed by Evite and sent directly to party guests. The cards cost $2 each, plus any postage fees. The company is calling its new line of paper cards Evite Ink.
The move is the latest example of an online invitation and greeting card business entering the more lucrative paper card market. Competitors, such as Celebrations.com and Paperless Post, already offer their customers the option to buy a physical card, and are able to charge more for the printed ones.
Evite says that it is offering paper cards now because customers were asking for them. “There are people that they still can't reach through digital means,” said Angela Wilson Gyetvan, Evite's vice president of marketing. Some also wanted to have printed keepsakes of special events, she says.
As a result, about 300 of Evite's most popular online designs are now available in paper form. All the cards will be the same size: 4 inches by 6 inches. Each will come with a white envelope lined with the same green color as Evite's logo. Evite will mail them to guests or send to customers to hand out on their own. Conveniently, there are no minimum limits, Wilson Gyetvan said. Customers can buy a single paper card, if they want, and send the rest of their invitations digitally, she says. The printed cards will have codes on the back so that guests can even RSVP online, if they choose.
The new paper cards are a way for Evite to get customers to pay for its services. Since it was founded in 1998, Evite's online invitations have been free for customers. (They will stay that way.) The company has depended on advertising to generate revenue. But late last year, it launched Evite Postmark on a separate website, offering more stylish digital greeting cards and invitations for a fee. Customers buy a package of credits, starting at $5, which they can use to purchase digital cards. Evite eventually will offer printed versions of the Evite Postmark cards too, Wilson Gyetvan said.
Evite Ink launched in what the company calls a “public beta” test. That means that pricing and other details may change as the company gets more feedback from customers, Wilson Gyetvan said. Printed cards are available through evite.com/ink, and through Evite's main website.
Evite has 32 million registered users that send 28,000 invitations every hour. It offers invitations for several events, including birthday parties, baby showers and holiday dinners. It's most popular category are invites for kid's birthday parties, Wilson Gyetvan said.
The Los Angeles-based company is a part of Liberty Interactive Corp. (Nasdaq: LINTA).