The buying and the sending of business Christmas cards seems to be on the rise. I've had friends confide that they have quit sending personal Christmas cards. So there may be a shift in who is sending greeting cards. It seems that business people have discovered good reasons to do so. I am not aware of any studies to prove this one way or another, however, you are a savvy business person if you take it up.
I still enjoy sending cards. Designing, making and sending my huge batch of Christmas cards is still my main holiday activity in December each year. Besides that, I've discovered there are others who like to design and make their cards by hand, and some ladies at church have said that they also write an annual Christmas letter, just as I have done for years.
Do you know of a single individual who doesn't feel special when they receive a card - especially a hand-made greeting card? Let's take heart; there are many reasons to send out personal AND business Christmas cards.
May I just interject a personal opinion? I suspect many others feel the same way. A card with just a zig-zag to represent a tree looks like you didn't want to prepare a card at all, and you were just trying to shrug off the assignment. The words "Season's Greetings" sound rather formal; maybe that's why corporations often use it. But for that reason I would avoid it.
Many non-profit organizations and charities use the Christmas season to send out their best appeal letters with cards and sometimes extra gifts thrown in, like calendars, magnets, and sheets of return address labels, or gift tags. Why? Because that draws in the largest amount of donation money that they receive all year long!
The best motivation, of course, for sending out Christmas cards is that you love and care for the people in your life, and particularly if they are some distance away, you want to send them your greetings and best wishes for the Christmas season, and all the good things that come with it.
If you have a business, you may have an altruistic motive, but naturally, you also want to piggy-back some good-will and perhaps even some advertising with your mail-out of business Christmas cards.
Especially if you are using your business mailing list, right?
If your life is already quite busy as the CEO or office manager, (the one responsible) you want to streamline this activity. Here are some quick but thoughtful decisions you can make about your Christmas mailing:
1. How much can you spend on this mailing? In other words, are you able to just place an order, assign someone to use your signing tool, and another to put the envelopes through the printer for addresses, and then the postal machine for postage? And how do you incorporate some advertising so you can claim some of the Advertising Dept's budget for funding?
2. Settle on a design. (Just your company logo is going to look rather crass to those who hate the
commercialization of Christmas). You can ask some employees or coworkers to go online with you and choose the business
Christmas card design that you agree will go over best with the recipients. You can find several through an online
search, but here's a few to get you started;
www.GalleryCollection.com in the USA, ..in Canada
The card companies like Gallery Collection, and Cards Direct will urge you to choose the largest, glossiest cards, and not to be afraid to embed or even emblaze your company logo on the card, so that people will tend to think of your company as a big, very successful place, with which they want to do business. If advertising is your main motive, that is probably a sensible choice.
(I'm not your conventional business owner; perhaps you are not either. I still have other, higher values than just advertising. So I recommend operating by other ethical and moral principles - including with your business Christmas cards.)
3. If you are willing to start earlier in the year, you may want to announce a contest and get a proprietary business Christmas card design just for your business. I have described this process in an article on another site Business Christmas Cards.
4. Whether you have your business Christmas cards designed by amateurs in a contest, or you order from a professional design house online, you also need to decide on the greeting sentiment, and whether your company name and logo should be part of the design, then send the job to your printer for the quantity you will need.
This may be the stickiest stage. Some people are so worried about being politically correct, that they are afraid to use words like "Christmas" - "Christ's Birth", etc, for fear of offending anyone. (That is essentially very odd, for Christmas is a Christian holiday from its inception, so why anyone would worry about offending non-Christians doesn't make sense. But then this Holy Day for Christians has been hijacked by the secular world so long, they think of it as a non-Christian, Santa holiday now.) You need to decide what wording is true and sincere from your heart. If Christmas is a Christian holiday for you, don't be ashamed of it. We respect other cultures and their way of celebrating their holy days; surely Christians deserve the same deference.
Mailing out Christmas greeting cards simply because you want to wish your employees or customers and clients well, and show them a kindness which they might not expect - is all a worthy reason. But I see no harm in adding something extra related to your business, and getting extra returns for the postage invested.
At the very least a thank you note - preferably in your own handwriting - because people come back to those who have the good sense to say "thank you."
You might tuck in an invitation to an exclusive special sale at a certain time, as your gift of appreciation! When you see how many show up, you'll know how effective business Christmas cards really can be!
How about a survey (so you can understand your reach better) and a discount coupon for some product if they will return the completed survey to your office?
What about a small card with blank space, asking for their feedback and if they are loyal to you, maybe a testimonial with permission to use it in your advertising?
Try asking for referrals too - offering a gift or discount in return.
You might recommend a favourite charity of yours that needs a gift, if they are inclined to give a gift to show their appreciation of you. In this case, you want first, to show appreciation to them for being your client/customer or employee and helping you to success.
You may find that cards are a great way to build good will and stronger, more loyal relationships with clients and customers, so you will move on to keeping extra thank you cards, sympathy and birthday cards on hand. If you keep them handy, and allot a certain time of day to check for names that should be receiving one, then you can jot in a personal note, and address them and have them going out in a matter of just a couple of minutes per card.
But your business Christmas card mail-out will be your most comprehensive effort, so plan ahead for it.
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