Saturday, November 10, 2007

Expert Witness Questions Holiday Cards

Like it or not, the holiday season is upon us. What business development activities do you use during this season? Do you send cards or gifts to your clients (past and present), referral sources, and prospects? Do you sign each card personally?

One expert has some questions about this and sent me the following email this past week:
It is coming up on the holiday season and in past years the firm I worked for mailed a card to clients, past and present. I considered it a good way to put our name in their head again. I also usually tried to personally sign all the cards (no rubber stamp or pre-printed signature). I also tried to write a brief message to those that I have worked with and recall a recent event, like if they had just had a child in the past year, a note to enjoy the holidays with their new child. Nothing too involved, just a little something. I have also had several clients over the years mention how nice it is to get a card with a personal touch.

This year the idea has come up to send a "nice" professional e-mail greeting in place of the card. Obviously no personal greeting or signature. My first thought is tacky, same as I have heard from a few people I have discussed this with. What are your thoughts? How about your readers?
I forwarded this email to Rosalie and here was her response:
This is the first time I've had this question posed, and I've never thought about it. My first thought is to use it to present a nice compromise - send an email instead of a postal mailed card, but do each one individually, with the personal greeting just for them. It would be easier, quicker and less costly than to do the same thing with postal mailed cards.

A group email doesn't sit well with me at all. I'm not even fond of pre-printed cards with no personal signature or note, although after signing and hand-addressing 200+ cards I'm not nearly as critical ; )
Readers - what are your thoughts? What do you plan to do this year? What have you done in the past?


Anonymous said...

Sending Christmas (oops, PC correct "Holiday") cards from one business to another has always struck me as risible. A few clients make our personal list as friends but I get forty or fifty cards each year from businesses and pay virtually no attention to who's sending them. A total waste of time and a perversion of the purpose of the cards. It's a useless burden on our forests, landfills and post office.

Meredith said...

Good point. In fact, the waste of our planet's resources is one reason we chose not to send holiday cards to our clients and associates this season. -- Meredith