No doubt many of you annually consider how to send Christmas greetings to clients and others on your corporate contact list. As the practice of sending a card to family and friends has fallen by the wayside for many, so to have many companies moved away from distributing holiday greetings by card, choosing instead to purchase other means of advertising to extend a general greeting to the masses or to forgo the activity all together. Still others have moved to digital greetings, with an electronic e-mail sent out to their contact list. This can be simple or elaborate with creative high-production value video messages or animated greetings.
I am still a fan of receiving a traditional paper greeting card in an envelope. To actually receive mailed correspondence these days is a rarity and has actually become a treat! And it is extra special if it includes a warm message and a hand-written signature. The few minutes I take to look at the envelope, open it and take in the visual elements and message of the card are a welcome break from the computer screen, emails, text messages, the mobile phone and the other tasks of the day. It has an impact on me that the sender was so thoughtful as to do the work to choose, sign and mail a card to me and I truly appreciate the gesture, much more than I do a generic e-mailed greeting that lines up with the hundreds of other e-mails I receive on any given day. Those cards that are beautiful and express extra creativity or individuality stand out even more and I enjoy the extra time I spend admiring the work and thinking about the sender.
I’ve had many comments this year from others who feel the same about receiving cards and as a result, I’ve come to view the traditional Christmas card as not only a preferred means of truly expressing best wishes but also as a valuable marketing opportunity. While its easy, and in some cases, perhaps more cost effective, to choose other means of extending Christmas seasonal greetings to your customers and friends, there is great value in the time a person takes to open and read a traditional card over that which they might spend looking at an e-greeting. You have the opportunity to personalize your message in your own handwriting, and nothing says “thoughtful” more than that! You can also highlight your company, your brand, your values or your own self with the visual elements, design and message in the card. Christmas cards are also often displayed throughout the holiday season in most offices and I will often keep mine year after year, especially those that are personalized with photos or messages, or those that are truly unique or useful.
While it is too late to take advantage of the marketing opportunity for 2016, come September next year, perhaps give some thought to how a Christmas card may be used to not only extend greetings to your valued customers and business contacts, but may also be a terrific marketing tool for your company.