Ready or not, Christmas is almost upon us. Sending cards to customers and clients is a great way to cement relationships and highlight the work you’ve done during the year. But it can be hard to make it truly meaningful. So behold my guide to sending the perfect Christmas card.
Stop your cards going straight from envelope to recycling bin by adding a personal touch. If you’ve got a small client base, handwritten messages are a great place to start. Include a personalised note about how much you’ve enjoyed working with them this year and how much you’re looking forward to continuing your professional relationship. Remind them of your shared successes during the year and congratulate them on milestones they’ve reached, awards they’ve won or progress they’ve made.
It’s a bit harder if your client base is large but do everything you can to avoid sending a generic ‘Dear Bob, Season’s Greetings from all the team at blah blah blah’. It’s bland, impersonal and boring. See ‘Be creative’ further down for tips on how to avoid this.
Embrace the true meaning of Christmas by supporting a charity. Include info in your cards about why you’re supporting them and how, letting clients know how they can get involved. Some charities also design and sell cards for bulk use. Ask if they can be personalised for you. If you’re able to spend a bit more, buy clients real world gifts from charities like Oxfam or World Vision. What client wouldn’t feel good about a donation on their behalf providing a village with clean drinking water, a goat for milk or mosquito nets to prevent malaria? There’s a huge range of options available at Oxfam unwrapped and World Vision. View full catalogues at www.oxfam.com.au and www.gifts.worldvision.com.au.
Think outside the box. Showcase your business’ personality by sending a card that makes your clients laugh or smile. Rather than sending mass produced cards, look into handmade or artisan options. Find a local artist to design a cover or a photographer to take a quirky team photo. Send postcard style cards rather than the traditional format. If you know someone who’s quick with a quip, get them to write a poem or limerick for the greeting. Do what you can to add a little twist to traditional greetings.
Be paper free
Do your bit for the environment and consider a paper free Chrissie card. Film a video for your website or launch a Christmas You Tube channel – you could even film a series! Think Christmas wishes and carol singing; maybe even a flash mob! Paste it as a link in Christmas emails or in your signature block from mid-December on. Or make a personalised animated card. You can design your own at www.charityecardmarket.com.au. The instructions are super easy to follow and 20% of the cost goes to one of the nominated charities (you get to pick which one).
Don’t leave things ‘til the last minute – It’s not a great reflection of your business if your cards are delivered the week after the new year. Conversely, don’t jump the gun and send them too early. If you can, time the delivery for mid-December onwards. Take note of when your clients close up for the Christmas break as well as delivery times and cut off dates. If you’ve got a small local client base, add a personal touch by hand delivering your cards along with some Christmas goodies like candy canes or biscotti.
Make Christmas easier for your clients by giving them info they can use. Remind them of your Christmas opening and closing hours, whether you’ll be shutting up shop for a break or working the whole way through. Make sure it’s not all about you by including fun, quirky or little known facts about Christmas; Christmas survival tips (recipes, hangover cures, how to wrap oddly shaped presents); lists of Christmas markets or the best places to buy last minute Christmas essentials. Who knows, your card might end up being their Christmas lifesaver!
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So go on, have a little bit of fun with your Chrissie cards this year. Crack a few funnies, make fun of yourself and give your customers and clients a chance to remember you for all the right reasons!
Image credit: Cordey
Shauna is a freelance writer and the owner of ‘Take my word for it’, a content and copy writing business. A Christmas card phobic, she doesn’t send her own (but understands why others do). This Christmas she’s focused on sending charitable gifts so friends and family should expect goats, chickens and other assorted farm animals in their Christmas stockings. A happy Bleat-mas to you all! (Her lame attempt at a goat joke)