Dear Kelly,

I liked your post about holiday cards and envelopes.
Should I be writing holiday cards? Isn’t everybody drowning in meaningless well-wishes from everyone they do business with right about now?
—via email

Every once in a while I like to dig into my mail bag, and with my reader’s permission (thank you!), this seemed like an excellent question to turn into a post.

My thoughts:

1. Those were my personal cards, but yes, I think businesses should be writing holiday cards.

Emphasis on the word writing.

2. Everybody is drowning, but in my experience, a little less every year. That’s a shame because I think there’s something charming about drowning in well-wishes during the coldest, darkest time of the year (well, for northern hemisphere folks… forgive me if you’re reading from elsewhere in the world).

Maybe “everyone” assumes what my reader did when she wrote to me, and that might be why there seem to be fewer cards, gifts, and the proverbial “calendar with the name of my insurance agent on it.” “Everyone” thinks one less greeting won’t be noticed!

3. Don’t let the wishes be meaningless!

SELECT a group of clients and contacts rather than trying to mass-mail 16,000 folks who don’t know you;

THINK about the recipient as more than a revenue stream for a few minutes a year;

WRITE something in every card.

4. If you can’t bring yourself to do a Happy Holidays mailer (and even if you can)—find a holiday at another time of year and surprise your clients and contacts with well-wishes when they’ll really be noticed.

Why not knock ‘em dead with cards for their receptionist on Administrative Professionals’ Day, the Wednesday of the last full week of April? A gift to their favorite charity on Sweetest Day, the third Saturday in October?

I wouldn’t skip the tradition of sending a card at this time of the year, but for Maximum Customer Experience, make well-wishes a fun part of thinking of your best customers and business contacts more than once a year. Create a schedule for keeping in touch, keep your list small, and let your firm’s Vision shine through in your approach. Then your holiday greetings will be eagerly anticipated, even when we’re drowning in tasteful Currier and Ives calendars.

How’s your mailbox these days, at home or at work?

Have meaningful well-wishes become so unusual that you’d sit up and notice a personal greeting from a business contact? Or are holiday cards OUT as a way to send you our best regards?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson