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Summary:

When the holiday season rolls around, I get cards and emails from a few clients and vendors, telling me that they’re all hoping I have a great holiday season. It’s nice that they’re all thinking of me, but I find myself at a little of a […]

When the holiday season rolls around, I get cards and emails from a few clients and vendors, telling me that they’re all hoping I have a great holiday season. It’s nice that they’re all thinking of me, but I find myself at a little of a loss, trying to decide what I should do for my clients for the holidays. Should I be sending out cards or a small gift? Should I send out thank you notes to my clients for the work they’ve sent me over the course of the year? Should I duck the question entirely?

There are some benefits that go along with those holiday cards, of course. While a vendor may be grateful for the business you’ve done with him over the past year, a card or a small gift is really a question of marketing. Just as you might want to remind a client that you’re available for work in January, your vendors want to make sure that you’ll keep working with them in the new year. These sorts of connections can prove particularly useful when you don’t see clients in person very often. When a client is used to only hearing from you via email, even a small card sent through the post office can catch his attention.

At the same time, though, many companies get a whole stack of holiday mail that goes unacknowledged. An administrative assistant may go through the pile, open it and decide what to do with all the cards that pair holiday wishes and logos. It’s not necessarily the most cost-effective marketing plan — especially if you want to do something like send out a small gift. Email doesn’t do any better: newsletters and e-cards often go straight into the trash as people try to get out of the office fast around the holidays.

It can be an easier question from web workers who have one employer. Your employer isn’t going to forget about you, as long as he keeps signing your pay checks. However, when you’re not in the mix of things in an office environment, it can be harder to keep your actions fresh in a manager’s mind or make sure that your co-workers keep you in the loops. The holidays do offer an opportunity to remind them that just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean you aren’t thinking about them.

In the end, the decision to send out holiday cards — even via email — is not a mandatory one. It can be a nice touch to think of clients and employers at this time of year, but you may get a better return simply by devoting that time to projects and maybe doing a little more marketing. However, if you’ve got some time to devote to the idea, the holidays can be a good time to connect with some of your clients and co-workers. If you can stand out from the crowd, you can make yourself memorable without ever stepping foot on site.

Are you sending cards to clients and colleagues this holiday season?

Image by Flickr user rustybrick

  1. I like the idea of holiday cards performing a few services: acknowledging your relationship with the client as well as adding some value. Perhaps include a code or coupon for a discount on an upcoming service.

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  2. We are sending holiday cards this year, with a special “teaser” holiday cocktail recipe card that sends recipients to this address for more:

    http://www.heinzmarketing.com/holidaycocktails

    Hoping our list will have some fun with it…

    Matt

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  3. Could you provide any research and analysis on what the effective/advisable approach is? Seems to be an interesting topic but we’re only going on assumptions here. Thanks!

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  4. The e-cards is the cheapest and effective way these days. Plus you can measure the results.

    Sure, just any e-card will not work. Has to be something original.

    Creating one requires time. But you can license something professional like http://www.theoworlds.com/christmas/ – so you can install it on your server.

    What I like about this one – this is a Virtual Cookies Decorator. So you can decorate one in a fun way, something related to your company, send them to your Clients, then your Clients are invited to create their own versions, so the message spreads – you are also giving them a nice “platform” for spreading the holiday spirit! Everybody wins :-)

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  5. greenorchidevents Friday, December 11, 2009

    I keep going back and forth too. This year I’ve decided to send cards celebrating the New Year. Last year, I sent Thanksgiving cards. I’ll be sending out some gifts as well.

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  6. [...] Happy Holidays: Should You Send Cards? – Web Worker Daily [...]

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