Make It a Card They’ll Notice
Sending out holiday greetings to thank those who’ve helped your business thrive in the past year can be a very smart idea. And doing it with a physical card that recipients can read and hold in their hands is even smarter.
As more companies abandon the practice, you stand out simply by doing it. And with so many other companies choosing the “easier’ email route (settling for sending an electronic card that is easy to miss, easy to ignore, and easy to delete), your arrived-in-the-mail physical card is more unique. Your customers know that your card reflects a lot more time, expense and effort to send.
But it still takes thought and care to send the right card with the right message. I’ve put together some things to think about before deciding on the details.
Timing Isn’t EVERYTHING – but It’s Important
I’ll put this one first, because it’s why I’m posting this message in October! Think about when you want to send out your card, and build in enough time to put some thought into it. If you want to design your own card (or have it designed by us), that’s excellent – but it takes a little time. Even you if are choosing an existing card, don’t just grab a bland, neutral design from a sample collection. Think about your customers and your business, and choose one that has some sort of meaning to you. If it doesn’t feel special to you, it won’t feel special to them.
So make sure you do all the designing, the ordering, and the list-finalizing early enough to mail in early December if it’s a holiday/New Year’s card. But you might even consider sending a Thanksgiving card in November instead, ahead of the rush. That way, you’ll have less competition in the mailbox, and a clearly appropriate message since you are thanking them for their loyalty. You’ll have fewer ‘off the rack’ choices, but you can always create your own by working with one of our sales reps.
Take Care With the Content
This one’s easy. Don’t make it religious, or reference the beliefs of a particular religion, since it will go to many different people, and you can’t take the risk of offending any of them. Some today sneer at that as ‘political correctness” – but from a business standpoint, it’s just “correct” period. Instead of Santa, stained glass windows or ornate Christmas trees, use appropriate winter or nature scenes. Any printed message on the card should talk about “holidays” instead of any particular one.
It’s best if the card’s printed message is short and simple and accompanied by a brief personal note hand-written on each card, tailored to that recipient. Sure, that will take extra time and thought, but it will have much more of an impact. And don’t even consider a stamped personal or business signature if you cannot make it look exactly like it was written in ink – by the way we can help with that. It should be from a person, and signed by that person, at least.
Don’t Ignore the Envelope, Please
Resist the temptation to put your business card in the envelope as it will undermine everything else you’ve done. And don’t skimp on the quality of the envelope. Something special will be remembered.
One more thought – as long as you are sending out cards, why not broaden your list a little bit? What about the receptionists or executive assistants at your clients’ or customers’ offices? They’ve probably helped you in many ways. Include vendors who’ve come through for you (and thank them for that in your note). And don’t forget the owner/hostess at the restaurant near the office where you have lunch frequently. Or the UPS guy who stops in so often it feels like he works there. Think of the goodwill you generate by showing that you’re thinking about them, too. They’ll appreciate you for appreciating them.
I hope you’ll see holiday cards as an opportunity this year. I know it may sound like lots of extra work, or cost you time you don’t have. But we can help. I would be happy to toss around some ideas with you, either for a kind of card, the right message, or the perfect branded, corporate gift item for the holidays. We can help you with the entire process, from choosing the right design to sending them through the mail. Just give me a call. Excuse me, make that a jingle!