Why you need to think about Christmas cards in February

Posted by Matthew Parker

  • Santa Claus
  • Rudolph and the sleigh
  • The Christmas tree
  • Carols
  • Snowy scenes

Why on earth am I encouraging you to think about Christmas in February?

Christmas should never be far from a print company’s mind – expecially when it comes to cards

I recently wrote an article about how to kill customer relationships with Christmas cards.  One of the key pieces of feedback that I received is that many printers choose not to send cards in December.  They feel that the impact of the cards is lost because so many other people are sending them.

Some printers choose to send out cards at other time of the year, including Easter and at key holiday times.  They feel that their cards stood out more at this time.

Printers should think about cards all through the year

Otherwise they may lose keeping in touch with clients and prospects in an engaging way.

Print companies that use cards as a communication strategy will begin to establish a new level of customer relationship.  It will help them with control over customer communications.  That means they have a much better chance of achieving their sales targets.

Companies that ignore cards may struggle to achieve the same sales.  They are unlikely to have a high level of customer engagement.  So that means less control over their sales pipeline.  And it means less effective relationships with customers and prospects.

To have the right relationships cards should be part of how you communicate with your customers and prospects.  Here are three ways to make sure they work.  The first is all to do with planning.

Use cards as part of a constant engagement plan

You should aim to communicate with your customers in many different ways (at least until you know their preferred ways).  The trouble is that we are all used to phone calls and e-mail and even mail-shots.  We often tune out of these messages.  Good cards will definitely stand out because they are different.

But they only work if you manage them in the right way.

Make sure you are personal with cards

Cards should be hand-written and contain a personal message.  Your client or prospect needs to realise that you really are thinking about them.  They need to know that you care about them.  So a birthday card or a thank you card makes the message even more personal.

It goes without saying that the card should exhibit the best of your printing.  But you can do more than just send a personal, well printed card.

Send something extra with the card

People love a little extra.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  You could include some artistic postcards.  Or you could enclose a few sweets.

One Welsh printer I know used to send me a bunch of daffodils with a card on St David’s Day (St David is the patron saint of Wales).  It made the card personal to them as they celebrated their own heritage.  And the gesture has stuck in my mind over the years.

However, some people are not so convinced of cards being worthwhile.

Do cards really work?

If you communicate only by card then you may not be communicating with a client or prospect as efficiently as you might be!  Cards should be regarded as part of the general mix of keeping in touch.

To get the best out of them, there’s something else you should remember with cards.

Get other staff to sign your cards too

It’s a great way for more people at your company to be personally engaged with clients and prospects.  Your company will come across as a caring company.

So there is really no excuse not to be sending cards to key clients and prospects.

Here are three things you need to do to get going

  1. Review your Christmas cards.  What did people think about them?  Were they as good as they might have been.  Apply the lessons to the cards you send in 2013.
  2. Create a customer engagement plan.  How will you communicate with customers in 2013?
  3. Make sure cards are part of the engagement plan.

Maybe it isn’t such a strange idea to be thinking about Christmas cards right now

But you can safely leave the rest of your Christmas planning until later in the year!
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