The humble Christmas card may have a new meaning this year

As the end of an interesting year approaches, we’re all (somewhat) frantically ticking off the ‘to-do’ list before the Christmas break. Every year without fail, I’ll ask if this is actually the year that I stop sending Christmas cards to my customers and contacts. Considering how the year has played out for individuals and businesses alike, it’s easy to adopt a tendency to keep to ourselves as we recover and explore our new and ever evolving ‘normal’.

So what should we be sending to our contacts?

Top of mind awareness is what we should be chasing for Christmas this year… I’ll explain. Opportunities to connect with our customers, partners and referrers may have dropped off naturally. You should however, want to be the ‘go-to’ guy or girl in your niche. Everyone knows 2020 has claimed its share of businesses, what is stopping your network from assuming you were one of the casualties? If you don’t connect with them, they may just assume the worst and look for someone else in their ‘new’ network.

Chances are a temporary freeze on ad spend and promotion is in place. Depending on where you look for statistics, approx. 93% of brands have done the same for 6 months. Where customers are used to seeing your brand, your identity and your company, there is now a gap. Are you still relevant and memorable in your market?

Contact doesn’t need to be expensive! Billboards aren’t the only way to show your network you’re still around and sure, although the humble Christmas card may have fallen out of favour over the years they’re a little easier on the budget than a hamper for each person you want to connect with.

Christmas cards, really?

Yep, really. I’ll clarify one point; I do mean a Christmas card with a hand-written note. You’ll be able to say hi, personally, and your card will let your contacts know:

  • That you value your relationship
  • That you are still open for business in this new normal
  • That you ready for a prosperous 2021

Not to mention that some ‘lumpy’ mail has a higher chance of landing on someone’s desk and not being relegated to the spam folder with the other ‘well wishes’. However, I completely understand that e-cards are more suited to some businesses for a plethora of reasons. 

Regardless, making sure your message is personalised is huge. If you’re concerned about your handwriting or language, don’t be. It’s authentic, genuine and allows your personality to shine through. I would rather be known as ‘quirky’ instead of being pigeon holed as faceless brand that’s into mass messaging. It’s tempting to just mention your key contact, however, if you have the names of other team members that you regularly interact with, include them too.

Pro tip: You can head to a website like: christmascards4charity.com.au, which allows you to order cards that support a charity of your choosing. It’s a nice way to give to both your contact and a worthy Not For Profit business. Also it goes without saying, wherever possible please opt for recycled materials. 

If you and your team are blessed with a sense of humour, consider taking a cheeky team photo and sending it as a postcard with your message on the back. Getting your contacts to laugh will drastically increase your brand’s awareness and keep you top of mind.

On the odd chance that a Christmas card just doesn’t fit, consider something similar for the new year. Thanking a contact for a great year past and wishing them all the best for the year ahead is a great alternative.

Rise to the top

Remembering our primary goal of rising to the top, it’s easy to see how something so simple, so cheap and ultimately innocuous can be the difference between getting a call the next time your customers are in need. Remember to see your card or message as part of an overall brand strategy. You could use the card as a step in an overall campaign. Planning in advance, especially into the holidays and New Year gives you a head start for what is sure to be a bumper of a year. 

Written by Heath Maguire

Heath is the Creative Director at Wolf IQ and is known for his natural curiosity and consultative approach. He is just as comfortable talking strategy as he is with hands on digital execution.

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