Print SMART

Grow Customer Relationships with Holiday Cards

The holiday season is a great promotional opportunity for smart companies to get noticed in the new year – just before clients and customers reevaluate their company budgets and business relationships.

A company greeting card may well help to put your name to the top of the “friendly businesses” list. Also, if you’ve failed to impress a major client this year, it just might convince them to give you another chance. ‘Tis the season of forgiveness, after all! You’d be surprised what a difference a simple Christmas greeting can make!

How do I make my company greeting card stand out?

  1. Make it personalized! As the popular saying goes, “Business is all about people.” So do something that informs customers about the people and personality of your business. Take a “goofy” office photograph; show your employees having fun at last year’s Christmas Party; include a picture of a charity event that your company was involved in. Say something silly, sentimental or sweet – anything that can show your business in a positive light.
  2. Try not to send something instantly forgettable. A photograph of your premises with a bit of snow on it, for instance, is a really horrible idea! And please don’t send out those “Ye olde Christmas scene” monstrosities (you know the ones; the snow covered field; the red-cheeked children playing in the snow; Robin Redbreast chirping happily on a branch; Victorian ladies and gentlemen ice skating on a pond!) Give me a break!

The image below is an example of a company card that I received last year. There was no company information on it apart from “Season’s Greetings from Clearer Tech” scribbled on the inside. If you’re going to send a company card, use the opportunity to distribute your logo brand, phone number, website and other company information. Just think, as your card sits on your customer’s desk throughout December, your business details will be constantly in their eye-view!

Looking at the greeting card below made me wonder: “Does this company also put such little thought into their business practices?” My advice is to not send a card at all if you’re planning to send a generic design. It could be counterproductive to your business.

Company
What’s wrong with this company holiday card?

  • No company logo
  • No contact address
  • No phone number
  • It is likely that this card came from a “bargain pack” of boxed cards
  • It’s the kind of card that Grandma likes!
  • It demonstrates a lack of effort
  • It says nothing about the personality and people of your company

A personalized card shows your customers that you’ve put some thought and effort into your Christmas greeting. Clients will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to arrange a company photograph. While a photo of your employees wearing Santa hats may not be the most original idea, it’s far more personal than a card that came out of a packet that you bought at Costco!

In comparison to store-bought greeting cards, creating a custom greeting card is actually the smart thing to do. Even if you represent a small business, you should think twice about going to the store for your cards. The likelihood is that you’ll have to write your personal greeting on each card; address, seal and stamp each envelope; and deliver in the mail. This adds up to a lot of work on your part. Not only is it much easier to get your greeting cards online than it is to drive to the store for your cards, it’s also a heck of a lot less hassle. OvernightPrints.com allows you to upload your designs and photos, have your cards printed, and then mailed for you! This is a godsend when you need to send out a couple of hundred cards to clients and vendors at the end of the year.

Be original but tasteful

Although you want to make a statement, whatever you do, don’t send anything rude or offensive. Be bold and original, but use your common sense when choosing a design! In business, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. A good joke can be enjoyed by everyone, but you have to be REALLY careful not to be derogatory in any way.

While living in the UK a few years ago, I received a greeting card from a business contact who included a joke about an Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman and Welshman (a joke that was likely to offend the peoples of all four nations!) Being of Irish descent, I could have taken great offense to it, and chosen never do business with that company again. That wasn’t the case, but I did hear that they lost business as a direct cause of that particular greeting card.

Designing your card

A montage of snapshots of your employees having fun at the office is a nice idea and would eliminate the need to organize a group company shot. If you do decide to take a company photograph, don’t use a cell phone camera! And don’t get the janitor who works in your office building to take the photograph! The result probably won’t be good. Either hire a photographer or use a high-quality professional camera.

Good ideas for company photographs

  • Snapshots of employees having a good time at last year’s Christmas Party
  • The CEO dressed as Santa and employees dressed as elves (or reindeer)
  • Company members dressed in anything festive
  • Company members hanging holiday decorations
  • Company members exchanging gifts
  • Snapshots of company members enjoying themselves at company outings or charity events

These are just a handful of good ideas – pretty much anything that will generate a positive and happy image of your company.

Company holiday card
This company card won’t win any awards for design or originality but it does the trick!

Unless you know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator or other desktop design programs, don’t try to design your greeting card yourself. Luckily, there are a lot of online resources that you can use. Overnight Prints, for instance,  provides some superbly designed templates that you can add your photo to. Your custom glossy photo prints will look a million times better than flimsy cards in typical “budget packs” of boxed cards.

Design and send your cards to print WAY before December 25th!

The ideal time to post your cards would be December 1. Keep procrastinating about getting your picture taken or sending your design off to print, and you may end up leaving it too late! By mid-December, many start to travel for the holidays.

Fortunately, you would still get the opportunity to send a New Year’s greeting card. Wishing your customers and business partners great success in the new year is another effective way to interact with your customers.

Most companies don’t go to the trouble of creating and sending holiday cards. This is a mistake. They’re missing out on a great opportunity to network with businesses and maybe even find some new customers! For the small amount of effort and cost that is required to create a custom card, it’s worth it.

To create your custom company holiday card, visit overnightprints.com.

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1 Comments

  1. 5 ESSENTIAL TIPS ON CREATING MESSAGING FOR COMPANY GREETING CARDS « Design and Print Blog | Overnight Prints

    […] blogged previously about how to design a good company card before but before you start making your cards, I’d also like to share my top 5 list for getting […]

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