Connect with your Customers by Sending Christmas Cards

by Allia Vidmer on January 24, 2010

One of the biggest complaints that you will hear from customers across any industry is that companies just don’t care enough. Gone are the days of family run businesses where knowing your customers names was important, and truth be told, knowing each one of your customers personally isn’t really realistic anymore. But, if you take the time to add a personal touch to your interactions with your customers, then they do notice as most companies don’t. You can start making that connection with them in one easy step: sending out Christmas cards.

Though it might seem like a truly simple idea, when was the last time that you received any correspondence from a business that you deal with other than a credit card bill? Chances are that you may have never received anything from them that wasn’t just about them and their business.
But if you are one of the lucky ones that has received a card (say for Christmas or your birthday), I bet it put a smile on your face, right? People appreciate it when someone takes time out of their day to acknowledge them and when a business does, the customer truly feels appreciated and is more likely to mention your business to their friends and associates, which in turn can drive more business.

The catch is that your business needs to have a system in place to collect customer information. If your company has a rewards program in place, you can usually get the information from that database. Also, customer credit accounts can be a valuable resource for contact information. But if you don’t have a data collection procedure implemented, you need to start one. It could be as simple as getting customers to do a survey, or creating a loyalty reward program.

As a marketing tool, sending Christmas Cards can be very effective in terms of reach and return on investment. There is also the potential to reach people outside of your current customer base as many of the recipients would be likely to show the card you sent to friends. If they notice that your business takes an interest in their customers lives, chances are that they will be interested in checking out your establishment too.

You should also consider including some marketing materials with your card. Simplicity is the best course of action in this case, and a coupon or voucher should suffice. You don’t want to make it look like you sent out a flier with a card inside, rather the focus should be the card and your wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. By making the mailing be about them and their family, it shows that you care.

Don’t be tempted to stuff some extra marketing materials in with your package. If you do, the whole process will backfire and instead of impressing the customer, you will actually make them angry. They are already bombarded with marketing messages over the Christmas shopping season, and they are not interested in hearing any more. If you are lucky, your competition will make that mistake, but whatever you do, make sure that you don’t.

Just make sure that you take the time to select good looking cards and if you have the time, sign them by hand to add that extra touch that other companies would miss. Much like your day to day operations, you want to make sure that your company stands out from your competition. So make sure that your selection is good and worth showing off.

Christmas cards can be a valuable way to connect with your customers and market your business if handled properly. Provided that you handle your card selection with care and keep the marketing materials in the envelope to a minimum, your customers will appreciate your well wishes during the holiday season and reward you with their patronage for another year.

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