The clock’s definitely ticking. If you have not yet sent your holiday cards, now is the time. And here are some useful tips to guide your effort!
FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SENDING CLIENT HOLIDAY CARDS
Online or paper, the same principles apply
By Michael Wayne
If you had it in mind to send out holiday cards to clients this year and haven’t already done so, you’re cutting it very close. That’s especially true if you aren’t going the digital route and intend to send greetings via snail mail.
If you don’t have the means or time to send physical cards, find an appropriate online card that you can personalize and share with your clients.
Of course, it’s best to have your season’s greetings ready to be sent by the beginning of the month. That removes one last-minute item from your to-do list as the days start to fly by after Thanksgiving. Plus, the earlier your clients receive holiday greetings from you, the more time they will have to appreciate your gesture.
Here are five things to consider when sending holiday cards to your clients (or anyone else, for that matter).
- know your audience.
It’s wise to select cards that are secular in nature and strike the right chord if there is any intention of being humorous. You can choose something more personal for clients with whom you have a cordial and long-standing relationship. Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone. I know of one occasion when a client received a generic “Happy Holidays” card and was offended that the card did not proclaim “Merry Christmas.” The client was so offended that he threatened to take his business elsewhere if he ever received such a card again.
- Send a quality card.
Your card is a direct extension of you and an indicator of your attitude toward the individual to whom you are sending it. Many people who receive holiday greeting cards like to display them. You don’t want to be left out in that regard or, worse, forever remembered as having sent a card that nobody wanted to show the rest of the office or the public. Considering you are taking valuable time to send an actual card, spending money for postage, and including a personal message, don’t skimp.
- Make your message heartfelt.
When writing a personal greeting, it’s best to include several sentences. Thank your client for the partnership you have established. Remind him or her of something positive that you experienced together this past year. Wish the client a Happy New Year. This is your time to have a personal moment without being face to face with your client. Clients are certain to read a personal note, and it will have a positive impact on them. A printed “Happy Holidays” with your lonely signature underneath is the equivalent of the sad Charlie Brown Christmas tree with the needles falling off.
- Address envelopes by hand.
Preprinted mailing labels will save you time, but they also cheapen the sentiment of your card. Yes, addressing the envelopes by hand is more time consuming, but it’s absolutely worth the effort. If you don’t have the time to hand address the envelopes, get someone to help you, and pay them if necessary. In the past you’ve probably asked a friend or family member to help you wrap presents because when you do it the packages look like a cross between bad origami and an industrial tape accident. You can find someone to hand address your envelopes, just as you’ve gotten help wrapping presents.
- Use appropriate stamps.
Don’t depersonalize your envelopes by running them through the postage meter. Also, don’t use just any old stamps you have lying around. Keep Harry Potter, the Legends of Hollywood, and characters from horror movies out of the holidays and purchase holiday stamps. In addition to conveying the right message, they will give your greeting an extra nugget of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other seasonal celebration.
We live in a digital world. If you don’t have the means or time to send physical cards, find an appropriate online card that you can personalize and share with your clients. Just understand that your message may get routed to junk mail, get lost in the inbox, or just be considered spam or noise. Your professional world is built on relationships that you establish and maintain. The clients who receive your personal holiday greetings will appreciate and remember your gesture.
I wish you and yours the happiest and most blessed of holiday seasons. May you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, or simply a peaceful end to 2019 that is filled with the love of family, friends, and other special people.
Michael Wayne is a freelance insurance writer.