The MoBster Diaries

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Holiday Card Tips for Your Business

If you own a business - small or large - it's time to plan your holiday card card strategy.

Let's face it. Sending holiday cards is a relatively painless marketing effort. Everyone expects to receive some kind of seasonal greeting during November and December. My insurance company always sends a Thanksgiving card. Christmas or generic "Happy Holiday" cards come from most every business around. And my last employer sent Happy New Year cards. It's the time of year where snail mail rules.

For current clients, a card is a great way to thank them for their business over the past year. For potential clients, a business holiday card serves as a reminder of your company's services and products. But there's a distinct line between a typical marketing flyer and a business holiday card. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right side of the company holiday card line:
  1. Shop early. It takes time to select just the right greeting, choose the best way to showcase your company name and/or logo on the card, and ensure the cards will be ready by November, at the latest.
  2. Choose the best card stock you can afford. Nothing says "So what?" like a flimsy greeting card. And the last thing you want your clients to think when they see your company name attached to something is "So what?", right?
  3. Unless you represent a religious concern or faith-based non-profit, keep the seasonal greeting secular and neutral. Your clients are probably spread across the faith spectrum, so you want to make sure you don't offend anyone by either being too religious or by making fun of any religious tradition. Yes, it may be considered politically correct, but this is one time where a little PC will benefit you and your business. Show your faith (or lack thereof) with your personal holiday cards, not the ones for your business.
  4. Humorous cards are fabulous and memorable. I've seen some great ones over the years. However, if you choose to go the humorous route, keep well away from anything that might offend. Political, sexual, and religious humor are no-no's for business holiday cards. No matter how funny, a card based on something that might offend isn't worth the loss of a client. There are lots of ways to be funny and appropriate, after all.
  5. Be sure to hand-write a personal note or signature on the cards you send out. Recipients appreciate a bit of personalization within a corporate holiday greeting. It will separate you from those businesses that just pre-print the company name and churn out computer labels, showing that you put some thought into the greeting.
  6. Do not enclose a business card or any other advertising. Yes, a seasonal greeting is a basic marketing strategy, but it's primarily - in the eyes of a client - a holiday card. Save the advertising and glad-handing for another time. Truly wish your clients a happy holiday, and leave it at that.
  7. Double-check the accuracy of your mailing list. If your card is going to other business clients, address the cards to the business address, not their homes. Of course, if your clients are individuals rather than businesses, a home address is proper. 
  8. Always hand-address the envelopes. Your return address should be pre-printed on the envelopes, but your clients' addresses should be hand-written. Like a personal note and signature, a hand-addressed envelope shows more thought than a computer-generated label. If you don't have the time or talent to hand-write them, find someone who can. Elegant Scribbles is always happy to lend a hand and a pen!  
  9. Use stamps rather than running the cards through a postage meter. Again, it's more personal and festive than a metered label.
  10. Get your cards mailed early! If you send Thanksgiving cards, get them in the mail no later than the first week in November. For December holidays, mail them the day after Thanksgiving (it's nice to be one of the first cards to arrive on your clients' desks!).
Planning ahead - from ordering cards to dropping them in the mail - will ensure your greetings arrive in plenty of time and will relieve a lot of your own holiday stress.

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posted by MaryB at | 2 Comments