It's a time of year when we start thinking about Christmas and sending gifts and cards to clients. I thought the article had some nice ideas on Christmas Cards, however on the other hand how many cards do you get each Christmas and how many do you read. Much of the purchasing decisions are made by me, yet I don't see the Christmas cards that come in, they get opened by my admin team and put on display in our office.
Why not send an electronic Christmas card by email. This will go straight to the intended person and can be a bit more personalised as well as reflecting the personality of your business. If you are interested in this most interactive agencies or web companies (like www.rb.com.au) can help you with this.
As an alternative or additional idea, send your clients a New Years card in mid January. They will be back from holidays then, will be thinking about the year ahead and will have already forgotten about Christmas and the cards they got last year.
By Karen Morath
This month I plan to correct one of the biggest mistakes I have made since flying solo and send Christmas cards to clients. In the past I didn’t do this, but instead donated the money I would have spent on cards and postage to a charity.
Religiosity aside, Christmas falls at year’s end – a wonderful time of year to thank people. We need to acknowledge the contribution that the people who support our businesses make to our livelihood and, even if we do it throughout the year informally, there is nothing like sending a Christmas card to formally acknowledge your appreciation and to wish them well for the festive season.
Christmas cards should not be about the sender, so I particularly dislike it when organisations use greeting cards as billboards – with logos printed on them, and worse still, printed signatures! Sending Christmas cards should be a gift to the receiver, a thank you for the year you have spent together.
In the past when I didn't send Christmas cards to clients, I used to include a paragraph in my newsletter to let my readers know that I had donated to a charity rather than to Australia Post and my local stationer
But not all my clients read my newsletter. Those who did might think it’s appropriate, but they missed out on hearing that they – as individuals – have been important to me and that I value them. Those who never heard of my donation to charity may just have felt unacknowledged and this is a terrible outcome for me as a human, as well as being bad for business.
Another reason to send Christmas cards is that it provides an opportunity to keep lapsed business relationships alive on a personal level. In writing our Christmas card list we can include everyone we value, not just those who we have worked with this year or who currently subscribe to our newsletter.
How nice it is to have the opportunity to communicate with the designer who moved us into our office three years ago and who, although we may not have a professional need for ever again, we are eternally grateful to?
We can also thank the people at our IT company’s help desk who we have never met or contact clients who we worked for in the past but who are not currently in our loop.
I now see great value in sending Christmas cards to my clients, so I will spend November handwriting hundreds of cards to the people I value and whose contribution to my business, both past, present or indeed future, is appreciated. Email cards just don’t cut it when you consider they should be about the receiver, not about being expedient and low cost to the sender.