Put Your Company on the Nice List

It’s that time of the year again, the time when business teams try to stretch the remaining marketing budget to include holiday cards. More than likely teams will gather under the twinkling tree lights to weigh the pros and cons of sending cards and gifts to their network.  The cons will include the cost, time and worry of potentially offending a client who does not share the same religious preferences. I’m here to tell you to throw that Cons List away – Christmas cards are great for business!

Pros for Sending Christmas Cards

We should be thanking our clients and those in our spheres of influence throughout the year, but December is the month to really drive it home. A well thought out and personalized Christmas or holiday card is a timely token that lets your clients know you appreciate them. In some cases, a card might even be expected.

A hard-copy Christmas card will immediately push your company to the forefront of your client’s mind. Any successful marketing touch is a good touch and one that exudes positivity and gratitude is sure to bring both feelings to your client.

Additionally, your competition is sending cards. Does it make you cringe to think of your target market opening up a holiday card and wondering where your company’s is? It should. You must go into the holiday season expecting your competition to swoop in on any opportunity to highlight their firm and you don’t want to be missing from the action. Out of sight, out of mind, am I right?

Electronic vs. Snail Mail

If you’re seriously stretching the marketing budget to accommodate these cards, going the electronic route is an obvious option. You’ll still get in your marketing touch without having to break the bank. With that said, I’m a big proponent of going the old school route.

An electronic holiday card may get lost in the inbox or sent away to the Email Purgatory that is the Junk Mail folder never to be seen again. Further, your recipients are far more likely to quickly scan your holiday e-card and forget about it.

Let me just get straight to the point – if it’s possible, ALWAYS send your holiday card via snail mail. If it is absolutely impossible, just remember to add holiday cards as a line item in next year’s budget.

Go the Extra Mile

If your holiday card budget is sizeable or you have a small client list go BIG. A tangible gift is guaranteed a longer shelf life and will leave an even more lasting impression.

Going the Extra Mile: A Case Study

A few years ago I was employed by the coolest engineering firm on the planet – Gessner Engineering in College Station, Texas. Their holiday cards were a big deal. And by “big deal” I mean THE BIGGEST DEAL. This fun-loving company made it a priority to come up with the most funny and unique cards possible each year and each card had to be bigger and better than the last.

By some stroke of genius our team at Gessner decided to create an entire comic book to send to clients and contacts in lieu of a traditional Christmas card. We started brainstorming in September (that’s right, SEPTEMBER) and spent countless hours crafting a plot and characters that would appeal to our target market.

Dressed for summer, Santa meets with his design team to build a toy factory in Texas.
Dressed for summer, Santa meets with his design team to build a toy factory in Texas.

The end result was G Force Design Team Saves Christmas. The comic book featured three superheroes- an engineer, an architect and a contractor. Our superheroes teamed up against villains well-known to the AEC industry (think expansive soils, flood plains and HOAs), in order to help Santa build a toy factory in southern Texas. The comic book was shipped to clients in clear plastic comic book covers via USPS.

It was a HIT.

Is this cool or what?
Is this cool or what?

Multiple clients reached out to tell us how much they loved the book. We also received phone calls from our clients’ clients who had seen the comic books when visiting with our clients (if that’s hard to keep straight, don’t worry about it)!

The moral of this story is go big or go home. Holiday cards on any scale are always a good idea, but holiday cards or gifts on grander scales are even better.

So with that in mind, what’s your company doing for Christmas cards this year?

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