What impression do your holiday cards make?

Holiday cards can be an effective marketing tool—if they’re done right. The ones that leave a lasting impression on me are cards where someone has handwritten my name and signed it by hand. The gold star goes to cards that have a personal note. What a great way to remind a client, prospective client or referral source that you’ve taken time out of your busy life to think of them and write a few words specifically to them.

I immediately toss holiday cards that don’t have my name and an imprinted signature or firm signature. Why would someone spend 44 cents to let me know they’re not thinking about me? Maybe they believe they are fulfilling an obligation by running the envelope through the postage meter.

Equally thoughtless are email holiday cards. Yes, I know it’s the way the world is going, and I’m riding the wave of technology, too. But when it comes to email holiday cards, I dig in my heels and immediately hit the delete key.

One good thing about the continued march of impersonalization is that personalization stands out that much more, which is why it’s important to personalize your holiday cards if you want them to be effective marketing tools. To achieve an even greater impact, send a card that has something to do with the addressee’s industry, such as a humorous lawyer or CPA holiday card that makes people laugh. Remember to include a brief note and your signature! Now that can make a difference.

If your cards say nothing and don’t even have a name or hand signature, they are just more of the clutter that fills our lives at this time of year. Although there is generally some value in getting your firm name in front of people, if it’s in the form of an impersonal holiday card, the effect is minimal. In fact, it would not make one bit of difference to your business if you didn’t send impersonal cards. I guarantee not one of your clients would be wondering why they didn’t receive a holiday card from you this year.

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