With the holidays just around the corner, families aren’t the only ones who should be brainstorming ideas for greeting cards. Businesses should embrace the opportunity to reach out to clients — past, present, and future — with a heartfelt holiday card. This simple gesture can make a world of difference, especially as the end of the year approaches.
The season’s sales cycle is wrapping up, making it a natural time to tie up loose ends or just say thanks to the people who have been part of your business over the past year. It’s also an opportunity to recap the year in a creative way, or to announce a piece of news, product offering or changes you hope to make in the coming year. Many businesses show their appreciation with a promotion or coupon for last-minute shopping.
There are plenty of reasons to reach out, and even more ways to do it. But before you do anything, you must decide if you want to create paper or digital cards. Here are five things to ask yourself to help determine the best option for your business this holiday season.
1. Do you have a brick-and-mortar location for your business?
If you operate out of a physical space, both digital and traditional greeting cards could work for your company. Since customers are accustomed to visiting your location in person, they may be more inclined to expect a card in the mail that they can open and display. That said, if you’ve been collecting email addresses from sales, you could send out an e-card as well.
2. Do you have a substantial list of emails from customers and prospects?
Again, if you have email addresses, use them! This is a great way to stay top-of-mind without seeming spammy. If you send only a handful of emails each year to your list, it won’t come as a surprise to also get a note from you during the holidays. Double your impact by sending a printed card and following up with an e-card that includes a special offer or coupon code.
3. Are you planning to offer a promotion or discount in your card?
If you run an online business, an e-card is convenient because you can include a promotional code through a special offer landing page or product listing URL in the email itself. It may come off as more of a marketing tactic than a heartfelt greeting to include a promotion on a tangible card, which makes digital especially appropriate if marketing is your goal.
4. Is your business a service or do you sell a product?
Businesses that sell products may consider sending a tangible card, unless (going back to question 3), you want to offer a promotion through an online store or checkout. If you are a service provider and only have an online presence, take this opportunity to send a digital e-card and build up your e-mail list by showing a sample of your work. If you’re a creative or maker and choose to send a traditional card, include a free sample, a trial or photo of your latest work. This is a great idea for photographers, stationery makers and graphic designers.
5. What’s your budget?
Digital cards aren’t necessarily always more affordable than print. Although you can avoid the costs of printing and postage, you may need to hire a graphic designer to create your digital card. Made from scratch, the costs of an e-card could quickly skyrocket well above the price of a few dozen pre-designed or even customized cards.
How to Craft the Perfect Business Holiday Card
Once you’ve decided which format to use, you can begin actually creating your card. You’ll want to carefully consider the tone, message, style, and timing for maximum impact. Consider these points:
–The tone and style of your card should reflect your business. Is it playful, creative, interactive, or serious? Do you want to present your brand as vintage, modern, chic or smart? Be consistent with your brand.
–If you choose to send a traditional holiday card, December is the key month. When printing cards, factor this into your design time to ensure recipients receive cards in the mail at an appropriate time.
–When it comes to messaging, take the time to develop a greeting that will not only capture the attention of your reader, but is also memorable and relevant to this special time of year.
Andrea Genevieve Michnik writes for TinyPrints, her preferred solution for customized client Christmas cards (here).