Best Practices in Sending Holiday Greetings

This is the time of year when we reach out to friends, family members and business associates to share greetings of the season. But what was once a relatively straightforward practice has become increasingly complex both because of the growing awareness that not everyone celebrates the same holidays and because of the increasingly cluttered nature of both online and offline mailboxes.

How can you send a greeting that will be both received and relevant but will not inadvertently offend some segment of your audience?

I pondered that question last year as I was thinking about sending out holiday greetings to my business contacts. My decision: to send a New Year’s card containing recommended “New Year’s Marketing Resolutions.” My reasoning was twofold:

  • I wanted to stand out from the masses of Holiday Cards that come in December.
  • I wanted to use the card to remind/reinforce my brand and the purpose of my business – to help service businesses and individuals maximize the impact of their marketing.

In terms of standing out from the masses, my recommendations would mirror my recommendations when creating/distributing any marketing message:

  • Think about the needs/interests/activities of your target audience. During the holiday season consumers tend to be overloaded with all kinds of messages, so standing out with a holiday greeting card can be tough.
  • Be relevant, and provide some clear benefit. Yes, it can be a nice touch to simply reach out to say “season’s greetings,” but that is so common that your message is likely to be lost in the shuffle. You don’t want to be a “me too” with any of your marketing messages and that includes end-of-year warm wishes.
  • Consider some legitimate tie-in between your message, your audience and your business in a way that clearly sets you apart from the competition.

These would be my “top 3” suggestions. Again, I believe these points would be relevant regardless of the type of message being sent. They’re really the basics of effective marketing communication.

This year I’m thinking of an entirely different approach—sending my greeting on my birthday which is in August. It’s a time of year that is relatively uncluttered from a holiday standpoint, and it would likely be unexpected. Just think of the impact if this idea caught on! Instead of receiving a bundle of holiday greetings from November through January, we’d be receiving them all year round.

What do you think?

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

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