It’s right around the corner. In just a few short weeks, we’ll be smack dab in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle that is the holiday shopping season.
Between now and the end of the year, small businesses everywhere are going to be spending a lot of time creating sales promotions to get more customers in their front doors, to their websites, and through their checkouts.
But beyond the obvious economic benefits, the holidays (and holiday cards) can also provide you with the perfect opportunity to deepen relationships with your customers.
- Make it timely. You should pick out your cards and have them in the mail well before that big ball drops in the middle of Times Square. After all, you don’t want your customers to think the cards were an afterthought OR to miss out on any of the goodwill (and business) that could result from the gesture.
- Make it personalized. If there’s one thing I can’t stand around the holidays, it’s those generic printed cards I get from friends and family. Why? Because they didn’t take the time to write anything down. The same holds true for business. If you’re going to deepen your relationships with your customers, you’ve got to make it personal. Address each card to a specific individual(s) and, whenever possible, include a personalized note. It doesn’t have to be a long-winded paragraph—a sentence or two will almost always do the trick.
- Make it professional. Every touch point you have with your customers reflects your small business and your brand. This includes not only the messaging you share, but the quality of the stuff you’re sending out. You don’t have to spend an arm and two legs at your local Hallmark store—upload your own artwork or choose from some totally badass pre-made designs to create personalized greetings for your customers.
- Make it neutral. Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving or Christmas. The last thing you’d want to do is offend them with something that was meant to be a positive. To avoid ruffling any feathers, look for card designs that focus more on the "seasons."
The holidays are a great time to reconnect with your customers. Before you get swept up in the holiday rush, don’t forget to carve out some time to pick up some greeting cards, stop and say thanks, and deepen those relationships.
As a disclaimer, I use affiliate links for some of the products listed. They are all products I absolutely love and trust and would recommend regardless of whether they have an affiliate program.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user SarahInDisguise]