Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's trivial ... really!

Not all holiday trivia is created equal. This summer, a series of holiday catalogs will feature a collection of questions that you won't necessarily find in your local paper or on the back of a cereal box. Questions like:

"What does the name "Max" have to do with the holidays?"
"When did Santa make his debut in advertising and what was he selling?"

The holidays should be fun and interjecting useless trivia when socializing with colleagues, clients and/or friends is all about fun.

P.S. - If you can't figure out the answers to these questions, keep checking back. The answers will be posted later this summer.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Business holiday card tips

A quick review of the tips from past years blog posts....

Watch for returns.

If a card comes back with an address correction, pull out another envelope and resend to the new address. If no address is provided, do some research and find the new address. If the card has been damaged, bent, torn or mangled in the first round, WRITE A NEW CARD! No one will believe it’s the Post Office's fault when the envelope arrives in perfect shape and the card inside is not.

Update your holiday card address database all year long.

In November, it’s too late to scramble for addresses, so maintain and update your holiday address list all year long.

If you sent a coupon or special offer, track the results.

Why send offers in your company Christmas card if you don't know what works? Keep track and use that info to improve future mailings.

Make your extra cards count.

If you have extra cards, send a greeting to a wounded soldier at a veteran’s hospital, brighten the holidays of a homeless family in a shelter with a card and gift certificate for a local store, or take the cards to an assisted living facility and give them out while visiting the residents.

Match the card to your company’s image.

By selecting a look that reflects your company’s values, you are saying "This is who and what we are, and we connect with who and what you are." Without shouting it, the message will get across.

Cards build customer loyalty.

Studies have shown that sending holiday cards is an extremely effective tool in establishing and supporting customer loyalty and reinforcing name recognition.

Holiday cards build team loyalty.

Receiving a signed holiday card from one’s employer has been shown to increase employee identification as "part of the team." Choose a card with a humorous or lighthearted image to reinforce a sense of belonging.

Holiday cards can reassure customers and clients in uncertain times.

An elegant, well-worded corporate holiday card can convey gratitude for past service or business, offer wishes for a prosperous New Year, and show recipients that your company is still successful.

Small tokens can mean a lot.

Enclosing a gift card for a local grocery store or gas station is a wonderful way to reward employees. It’s less expensive than a big holiday party, but still lets employees know you care.

...More coming next post!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Exciting new cards coming soon!!!

Fun, different, new, not-your-everyday business holiday cards will be hitting mailboxes soon! If not yours, then stay tuned for a link to our website.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catching up with your customers

One of the great uses for a business holiday card, whether it's a Thanksgiving, season's greetings, Christmas or New Year's card, is as a tool to catch up with your customers and find out where they are and what's new.

This might sound counter-intuitive. After all, YOU are the one sending the card, so how does that help you find out what's new with them? The answer is in a call to action.

A company holiday card does more than just say "Happy (fill-in-the-blank)" It says that as a customer, this person/family/business matters and has not been forgotten. Just THAT alone can inspire some people to stop by your store or check out your website, particularly if it's been awhile. Consider it a little poke, designed to remind them you exist.

But you can take it further, too. What about:
  • Adding a message offering them a subscription to your newsletters
  • Creating a special spot on your home page for card recipients to visit for special promotions
  • Actively inviting them into your store or onto you site as part of your card's holiday message
  • Inviting recipients to complete a pre-paid postcard with a few basic questions about their needs or status as related to your products or services
  • Having a brief quiz/questionnaire right on the card, and offering a discount/prize/contest entry for bringing in the completed quiz

Get creative. Sending a holiday card from your company doesn't have to be a one way street. Change it from a monologue to a conversation and you'll be able to catch up with your precious customers.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Send a Business Holiday Card

10) It's cheaper than a catalog, discount offer or coupon

9) People hang up their holiday cards and others look at them, so the word spreads, making your cost per viewer is really lower than the already low cost of a card

8) The season is ready-made for getting your company's name out without seeming salesy or pushy

7) Making a holiday card list creates a good opportunity to update mailing lists and make sure all info is current

6) Businesses that send holiday card are perceived of as "friendlier" than those who do not

5) Employees who receive company holiday cards and other business greeting cards report higher levels of engagement and loyalty than those who do not

4) Sending a company holiday card can become a company tradition. And companies with observable traditions last longer then companies without them

3) Selecting a company Christmas card encourages management to think about the company image and message. According to Stephan Covey, companies with a clear picture of their image and message are far more successful overall.

2) Sending a card to employees that says "thank you" results in a more employee-focused company culture, which promotes productivity, lower absenteeism, and lower turnover.

And most importantly,

1) People genuinely like getting holiday cards, even from businesses, so sending them makes customers happy. And above all, you want happy customers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Should your company send Thanksgiving cards this year?

The experts agree - sending business holiday cards improves customer perception of a company, increases the likelihood that a given customer will select your company over a non card-sending competitor and reduces the likelihood that your company will be seen as financially unstable, even in troubled economic times.

Okay, so we know that sending a business holiday card is good. Now the question is, what kind? A traditional company Christmas card with a wintery view? A modern Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays? Maybe a New Year's card with a calendar?

What about a Thanksgiving card?

A Thanksgiving card offers several advantages:

1) It gives your company a head start on competitors who send out their cards only in December

2) It allows you to sidestep the "which holiday" issue associated with the winter celebrations

3) The holiday naturally lends itself to expressing gratitude, which is a perfect message for customers and employees alike

4) You can still send company Christmas cards or other holiday cards in mid December, for a double-dose of contact and name recognition.

It's not too late to add a Thanksgiving card to your company's holiday marketing plan. And the results may leave you expressing thanks of your own.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Business holiday cards are critical this year!

A few organizations are claiming that the recession is over and recovery is right around the corner.

I would love to believe them. But the fact is, none of us really knows when the day will come when we can all take a collect sigh of relief and go on with our businesses and lives without worrying about the rising foreclosure rates or the latest round of layoffs.

So until we know for sure that all is well, companies cannot afford to neglect the little things that keep their name in front of customers.

Business holiday cards, company Christmas cards or whatever you want to call them, are one of those things companies cannot afford to let slide. For very little cost (around $1-2 each), business holiday cards make a major impact on customer perceptions about your business.

Studies have shown that the majority of customers feel more positively about businesses which send holiday cards. They are perceived as more stable, more reliable and more accessible.

Always sent company Christmas cards in the past, but thinking of cutting back this year? Thank again! Another researcher found that companies who stopped sending cards were perceived as less financially successful and less of a safe place to shop, because they may not be around down the road.

Is that really the message you want to send?

Time to pull out that holiday card list! Winter is almost here!