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Holiday Cards: What message are you sending to your customers?
“The paper upon which we write, like the clothes we wear, tells the tale of whether or not we are capable of exercising good taste or whether we are overdressed, as it were,” written in 1930 by Ethel Frey Cushing, etiquette and cultural expert. Decades later, Ms. Cushing’s sentiments still apply to written communication in the professional setting.
Mailing seasonal greeting cards can be an effective method for companies to thank colleagues, customers, clients, and patients for their business over the past year. Although efficient, sending greeting cards with pre-printed labels, generic messages and stamped employee signatures conveys an image that can be perceived by the recipient as impersonal. Most businesses prefer e-mail, text messaging, Skype, and many other paperless options to go green and save money. Nevertheless, the handwritten holiday card remains the gold standard for wishing “Seasons’ Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” to customers.
Corporate cards can also be mailed during various times of the year. Happy Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to tell customers “We love you!” Springtime signifies new beginnings and growth; A spring-themed card can highlight new opportunities and business development. July 4th as a national holiday is a great time to highlight independent businesses, thanking local communities for their support. Thanksgiving is a time of year to tell clients that you are thankful for their contributions. Be creative. Your company’s card will stand out from the competitor’s if it reflects the industry, specific interests and demographic of your customer base. Attention to detail communicates personalization and sincerity.
Why take time away from daily operations and scrambling to meet deadlines to write a brief note and personally sign a client’s greeting card? Market research continues to support the importance of the customer experience as an effective way to retain customers and develop brand loyalty. Whether 10 or 100 people spent $5.00 or $5,000 at your store or business this year, every single customer wants to feel appreciated and valued. Personally thanking customers with an authentic signature (not an assistant’s handwriting!) sends a message. . . “You are an integral part of my business and I am sincerely grateful for your support this year.”
No matter the industry, corporate leaders, supervisors and employees at all organizational levels should be included in this process to boost morale and create a culture of gratitude. Greeting cards are a minimal investment as a “marketing campaign,” that targeting existing customers. . . They are the foundation of your business. Customers, clients, and colleagues will notice that your business took the time to write a personal message in a greeting card. The ROI in the smallest details of a greeting card can result in the greatest returns for years to come.