December 12, 2016
Caroling, shimmering lights, and sweater weather, the holiday season has officially arrived. This time of year is a time to give thanks to all the people that make our lives bright. With the first holiday card sent in the winter of 1843 by the famous educator and art donator Henry Cole, holiday cards have become an American tradition, and one that also causes lot of stress.
Holiday cards are a great way to show your appreciation to the folks in your network, however, the more customers a business has, the harder it is to be personal and heartfelt in each individual card. Doesn't it always seem that each year we seem to get more cringe-worthy cards than the last? These cards end up being remembered for all the wrong reasons, and that's something important you'll want to avoid entirely when you're sending out your holiday cards...especially in a professional network.
For business, the holidays are a great time to show customers how much they are appreciated. Nurturing a relationship with your customers has become more vital in growing a company, especially in terms of customer base and revenue. The rise of conscious consumerism, consuming products created in accordance to ethics like fair labor, has resulted in a global business environment more focused on the customers.
According to Harvard Business Review, creating products that foster emotional connection with consumers increases the number of customers, in one specific case by 40%. With it being December, the best way to harbor customer relationships is through holiday cards. Almost 2 billion physical and 500 million electronic holiday cards sent around the country every year, however simply sending any holiday card will not do much.
The potential to foster an emotional connection with your customers lies within the details. That's why we put together these quick tips for creating the best holiday card from your business, to your network and clients.
Beyond the obvious reason of reaching out around the holidays and staying top of mind with your network, it's a great way to positively impact your business relationships. In today's age of brand value and awareness, sending holiday card to your customers will generate positive customer relations with your business.
From the great economic development of the 1900s, there is almost limitless competition across all sectors today in 2016. Any little bit of good-willed appreciation can go a long way in improving customer relations and, as a result, generating revenue. The time writing and sending out this card will send a message of care that will resonate with your customer.
"Happy Holidays!" is always a safe message to use. Never mention "Christmas," "Hanukkah," or any other particular holiday. In today's diverse world, you want to be inclusive of everyone, not just one holiday's celebrators. Expanding the message to mention your appreciation, such as, "We are so grateful to have such a great customer like you. Happy Holidays from your friends at Contactually." Make sure also to avoid any specific company news that could come across as sneaking in a hard sell: sweet and simple will always be better than a long, promotional message. Kill them with kindness and new revenue will come.
Mentioning your customers by their names rather than just "you" accomplishes a lot in terms of personal touch with each card. Using handwritten script over typed script also gives a personal touch to the cards.
Thankfully, Contactually's new card service is completely handwritten. Quality of the physical card itself is crucial, since higher quality shows a higher personal care level given, and Contactually's card service are nothing short of amazing quality. If a card isn't an option and instead you opt for the card with a photo of your team, try to hand write the name of each recipient on the card. Gather a group of co-workers and make it a fun activity one lunch or evening in the office with snacks. Taking that extra time can make all the difference when your contacts open their card to see their name handwritten on the card.
The picture used in your holiday cards can vary: from a picture of your staff dressed in holiday attire to the usual stock photos of a wintery landscape or a holiday-themed brand logo/mascot, many options can be successful. Nonetheless, like the message, avoid showing special attention to any particular holiday and your company. A quick Google Image search of "realtor holiday ad" can help you realize what you should not use as your holiday card photo: a big-headed caricature. Again, make sure you won't be remembered for all those wrong reasons...
Timing is everything, as the old saying goes, but especially when it comes to holiday cards. Make sure, at the absolute latest, they arrive to your customers' mailboxes by the year's end. This means your cards should be mailed, if using the United States Postal Service, by December 15th. Nothing worse than being late to the party, right? Sure, we love the idea of a January "New Years" card, but doesn't it always feel like the sender may have forgotten to send one in time? Send out your cards in time for the holidays and spend January strategizing with your clients and customers on how to make it a great year.
Go out and spread the joy of the holiday season! Show your network some love and not only will it strengthen your relationship, but it's one of the timeliest ways to stay top of mind with your network in a non-promotional or sales way. And for those important folks you want to show a little extra love and appreciation for? Try out Contactually's newest hand written card feature. Your customers, friends, and family will be grateful.
From everyone here at Contactually we hope you have a very Happy Holiday season!