Even if you’re not a greeting card type of person (or you usually count on your spousal unit to handle the task), mailing holiday cards to your business associates, clients, former clients, and anyone who’s business card you may have picked up at a conference or other networking event is a great way to keep your name (or business name) fresh on their minds.
Here’s Your Checklist:
- Buy/Order/Make the cards — NOW
Do not wait until Thanksgiving gets here and the xmas season when no-one-has-time-for-anything craziness starts. Take a few minutes to pop over to your favorite printing website, bust out the craft paper and glitter, or just add it to your list for your next Target run.
Buy a box of cards — you choose the level of holiday specificity or lack thereof. Select something pretty neutral (unless you’re positive you won’t offend anyone with a religious card), and maybe splurge for some customization (if you’re having them printed) and some foil accents (because shiny says “I care enough to spend an extra $0.25 per card, because dammit, you’re worth it!”).
Also, if you’re having your cards custom printed, make sure to include your website address on the card someplace. This is especially important if your website address is different from your actual business name. People may only know you by your URL if they don’t see you or do business with you very often.
- Buy stamps.
Do not use a mail meter or automatic postage stamping device. Automation screams lazy and impersonal.
- Once you have your cards, pull out your client list and start addressing envelopes.
Again, do not use a printer, do NOT do NOT do NOT do NOT use printed labels. Not only are you telling your clients they aren’t worth you hurting your wittle wrist wif all dat writing, you’re telling them they aren’t even worth you feeding envelopes into your printer. Don’t be lazy.
If you have crappy handwriting, enlist the assistance of someone who does. Don’t know anyone with nice handwriting or printing? Try your mom, your grandma, your teenage sister/daughter, or an engineer (yeah, I said engineer). They all tend to have very nice handwriting or printing styles and can probably be talked into helping (or bribed relatively cheaply).
- Sign your cards.
Again, DO NOT just put them into the envelope unsigned because you have your name/company already printed on them. DO NOT feed them through a printer. DO NOT use a sticker label.
I know your hand is still cramped from addressing the envelopes. Suck it up and just get it overwith, okay?
Also, make everyone else in your office (assuming you have a small business) sign the cards, too. A bunch of different signatures (in different people’s handwriting) makes a big impression.
- Mail the cards as close to Turkey Day as humanly possible.
You want them to get where they’re going before people start leaving for holiday vacations and just generally are too busy or distracted to fully appreciate your gesture of goodwill. If you can put them in the mailbox on your way to Grandma’s house for dinner on November 22, all the better.
One last note of caution: it’s best to err on the safe side and not go with the edgy humorous holiday cards. Some people take their holidays very seriously and it would be a shame to go through all this effort and then end up alienating a client or potential business partner because you accidentally insulted their beliefs.