Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Case for Holiday Cards

I got my first Christmas card yesterday. It was from my Aunt Bonnie, and it was spectacularly special.

I send cards out every year, both personally and from my business. It's quite a project! Though I must admit that I'm indeed exceptionally organized and have card crafting down to a science. 

I keep a spreadsheet going all year long with different contacts, then just do a simple mail merge to create my labels and I'm golden. Well that and designing, proofing, printing, cutting, gluing, cutting some more, writing an itty bitty note, enveloping, labeling, sealing, and stamping … then repeating those steps a few hundred times in an assembly-line fashion.
What's the point of this, you may ask? It seems like a lot of work for something kind of silly. It seems like other projects--especially for a business--should take priority over something like this. I mean, who cares about a little card anyway? Right?


People care. And it makes a huge difference.

It truly is a lot of work. But much more than that, it's a lot of fun. It keeps my favorite people top-of-mind. It keeps me in touch with friendly clients past--those who have moved away but still advocate for my business from afar. It keeps me in touch with friendly clients present--those who have been in my store this year and have been a joy to work with. It keeps me in touch with friendly clients future--those who may not be doing much business with me yet, but with whom I'm connected and for whom I'm hopeful. It's a direct, personal, seasonally appropriate way to reach out, express gratitude, and share warm fuzzy feelings.

I don't send cards to every single customer that has waltzed through my door this year. Goodness! Can you imagine?! No, I just send cards to my regulars--the loyal friends of my shop. Some spend thousands of dollars each year, and some spend just a few. Some are in multiple times per week, and some only occasionally. But each one is someone who I consider part of my team--an important part of the essential network that allows my business to organically grow.

If you're having trouble thinking about who to send holiday cards to or where to draw the line, think about it like this: If your business was a person, who would it want to say hello to? Who would it want to wish a happy holiday season to? Who would it want to keep in touch with? Who brings it joy? Send cards to those people: the ones who will appreciate the gesture.

I'm in the middle of my card project now. I should have done this in November; I usually do this in November before the holiday rush starts. But one thing led to another, projects piled up, and getting my business's holiday cards done simply just got put off. So now, as the busy season gears up, I'm furiously finishing my festive messages and sending them off to my friendly clients--past, present, and future--all around the world.

Someone said recently, "To be respected, you must first show respect." While I echo my "Amen" to that, I'll also state a new version: "To be thought of by others, you must first think of others."

Merry Christmas!

#HolidayCards #KeepInTouch #SpreadJoy #AskUncleMarty


Also published on the AMBC blog on December 6, 2016.