How early is too early to start thinking about your company’s holiday card? The answer: never. It’s never too early.
Sending out a vacation card is a key touchpoint for attorneys, law firms, and professional service providers to get remembered, and can be a thoughtful way to show clients that you value their business. After all, people are more likely to do business with companies that make an effort to stay in touch and show that they care about their relationships. But there’s a lot to think about and prepare for before you can pay the postage or hit send.
Video greeting? e-card? direct mailer?
With so many different Christmas card delivery methods and platforms, how do you know which one is right for your business? As with any marketing campaign, the first step is to define your target audience.
Many businesses choose to use a video greeting or an e-card that is delivered via email. This method is preferred when the recipient list is in the thousands. They can also be really fun to watch! However, cost is often one of the most important deciding factors, as custom graphics cards or animations can be more expensive than their traditional paper counterparts.
Another thing to consider is the effort required to create and ship a graphics card. If you’re unfamiliar with technology or don’t have a lot of time to storyboard a video, a paper map might be a better option.
On the other hand, the pandemic led to a resurgence in direct mail. With everyone connecting virtually every day via Zoom or other video conferencing, many businesses have chosen to rethink traditional paper cards with simple, modern greetings.
You don’t have to choose just one method either. Some law firms will send a practice group a video card, while other practice groups will choose a traditional card with a handwritten message. As long as the branding is consistent across media, there’s no harm in reusing the same message. Bonus points if you can reuse both methods in your digital marketing channels.
How should it look? What is it supposed to say?
The biggest bone of contention I’ve seen when creating holiday cards for law firms was “how should it look and what should it say?” As with anything in marketing, business, etc., there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and the design and message Your Christmas card should be unique to you.
One thing is for sure, your holiday card is NOT a place to sell yourself. Even if you put hours and hours into designing and distributing your Christmas cards, it’s not about you. This is something you do for your clients, colleagues, friends and family.
Feeling stuck? Here are some questions to help you orient yourself.
- What holiday or holiday season do you celebrate?
Think of your audience. Do most of your customers belong to a particular faith where it would make sense to say “Happy Hanukkah” or “Merry Christmas”? Some companies avoid the December holiday altogether and send holiday greetings around Thanksgiving or New Years. Last year, I saw a company forgo the traditional holiday celebrations entirely and instead sent out candy-filled Valentine’s Day greetings.
- Where do you distribute your card?
National? International? Does everyone who receives your card speak the same language, or should you add translations for key customers in other geographic areas?
- do you do anything beyond that
Maybe you’ve donated to charity on behalf of your clients, or maybe you’ve hosted events for your clients and colleagues and want to share photos. Think about what to include alongside your message.
- Do you have something to share?
Some companies will include something special about their culture in their holiday card. This can be as simple as a recipe card or a link to a Spotify playlist put together by members of your team, or as in-depth as an e-book about your team’s holiday traditions. If you share something personal with your customers, your holiday greeting will be unforgettable.
- Is there a way you can source from your customers?
Christmas greetings can be a unique way to present your customers. For example, a company specializing in agriculture or sustainability could use recycled paper that comes from their customer. I’ve seen one company take it a step further and use recycled paper with seeds embedded in it. The message included: “Done with this card? Throw it in your garden or planter and watch wildflowers grow!” There are countless ways to add something special that makes one of your customers stand out.
- Is there anything else you could record?
Do you have important news to announce for the coming year? Have you rebranded… or have you moved? Consider including your announcement as part of your Christmas card.
Check your data and your details!
Whether it’s a video card or e-card you want to distribute via email, or a traditional direct mailer, your distribution list is only as good as the quality of your data. While we marketers have great plans for constantly updating contact information, we also need to be realistic about the timing. The sooner you start collecting distribution lists from your team, the sooner you can start cleaning up the data.
Another important detail to think about is your distribution method and hosting.
For an e-card, you should host your e-card or video in an easily accessible place on the internet. Hosting on your website is an obvious choice, but platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or even your social media channels can work. Once your digital greeting has a place to live, you can create your email blast and hit send.
Traditional paper cards don’t need a digital home, but it’s important to establish your distribution details, such as:
- Who has to sign the card?and will you do a list comparison to avoid duplicates?
- When would you like your cards delivered? The general rule around the holiday season is a two week delivery time. So if you want your cards to arrive by December 14th, send them by December 1st.
- What about postage? Is your card a non-traditional size that requires additional postage? Will you be buying special stamps that coincide with the holiday season?
Some Christmas card trends for 2022
There is no doubt that Christmas cards have a long tradition. For many of us, they’re a way to keep in touch with clients and colleagues and let them know we’re thinking of them during the holiday season. But what are some of the latest trends in Christmas cards?
A popular trend is a more minimalist approach, with clean designs and simple messages. Another popular trend is adding a personal touch, like a company photo or a handwritten message. And of course there is always the timelessly classic Christmas card with a traditional design and message.
Another trend we’re seeing is reference to current events and pop culture, or creating a parody. For example, a few years ago, a major national company used the talents of their summer partners to create a video parodying the film Home alone. Summers were left to their own devices in the office one night while the partners were at the annual partners retreat… hilarity ensued.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to what to create for your company’s Christmas card. Finding a system that works for you and your audience is important, and the process of choosing the perfect card can be very enjoyable. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas or don’t know how to get started, you can always contact outsourcing for a little extra help.
Whatever your style, there’s a Christmas card for you. So get creative and spread the holiday spirit!