by Mike James
Once upon a time not so very long ago, the postal service ruled supreme. Personal and business communications were transported by air, road and sea and delivered by the postman. Christmas was a special time when everyone and anyone exchanged Christmas cards.
Fast forward to today’s digital age where communication is fast and loose. We now live in a world where content is uploaded, messages are emailed and posts are shared. Christmas greetings are treated the same way – via group mail, bulk post or mass text. Does anyone still communicate offline?
Actually, this is the perfect time to rediscover the age old ritual of posting Christmas cards. Far from being a nostalgic throwback to a simpler time, sending Seasons’ Greetings in hardcopy format can deliver some real commercial benefits to your company that you may well have forgotten about. Here’s a quick reminder of what real Christmas cards can do for you.
- Stand out from the crowd
It seems ironic that in order to be different and get noticed, you have to go back to old-school techniques, but there you are. In our fast and furious times of quick-as-a-flash information consumption, a Christmas email or festive Facebook update barely registers. Sending a real-life Christmas card, however, makes you special.
- Put a smile on the receiver’s face
When was the last time you got an actual card or letter that wasn’t junk mail or a bill? Receiving a Christmas card in the post is a lovely surprise precisely because it’s unexpected and it’s a little bit personal. Coming from your business, it will be perceived as a positive message than can boost your company image and help build your business relationship.
- Create a longer lasting impression
Emails and texts are quickly deleted. If you want increase awareness of your company as part of an overall profile raising exercise, a Christmas card is a clever way to do it. Sending a physical card means that it has to be opened, handled, put somewhere and, eventually, recycled by the receiver. In any office environment, Christmas cards typically displayed by way of decoration, meaning extra visibility for your company!
- Reinforce your corporate brand
Whether your design team gets clever with some visuals or you purchase ready-printed cards customised with your logo, it’s a good idea to personalise your Christmas greetings. Use this once-a-year special opportunity to communicate with everyone on your database and let them know that you’re there if they need you.
- Build your CSR credentials
Unless you own a printing business or are a major shareholder in Clinton Cards or the like, you should always buy charity Christmas cards. From helping the homeless to saving the planet, there are many worthy causes your company could be supporting. Christmas cards can play a useful role in giving your corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative an extra push.
- Add a personal touch
If you’re going to the trouble of sending a real-life Christmas card, it goes without saying that it should be hand signed as a bare minimum, otherwise what’s the point? For extra impact, you could go one step further and add a short personal note, always staying professional and appropriate, obviously.
- Make the most of your database
Choose carefully who to send company Christmas cards to. Current and potential clients only? What about lapsed clients? How about other business contacts, or staff? The benefits mentioned above could apply equally to internal as well as external business contacts. Finally, organising a major Christmas mailshot is the perfect opportunity to clean your database. And that alone is bound to stand you in good stead for the coming year.