Do I or Don't I: Holiday Cards
This month we're focusing on client contacts and what better place to start than the Holiday cards that will soon be filling up your mail box. Many businesses are rightfully asking: Should we send a holiday card this year? And if so, do we mail it or will an email work just as well?
The truth is that there is no right or wrong answer. Instead of getting caught up in the "do I" or "don't I" battle, focus on the following three questions. Once you're finished, the answer to the original question should be clearer.
- Who is this being sent to? Mass marketing has its appeal. One shot and you're done. With Holiday cards it's easy to take the one and done approach. The thought tends to be: Send this card to all names in our database and at least it gets our name out there. It's not that simple though. Think of commercials on TV. If you turn the channel to MTV you might see the same big brands that you do on the History channel, but chances are the commercials are strategically different. Before you can really decide if a Holiday card is the right answer for your business or if email is the right way to deliver it you need to be clear on your target market or markets.
- What value does it bring the client or prospect? This question is vital in determining how and when to schedule a client contact. If your plan is to send a generic store bought card and simply have your staff sign it, are you really bringing value to your clients? You might be better off selecting your top ten prospects and clients and sending them handwritten notes. Remember that value does not have to be money driven, but can be informative, educational, humorous, etc. It's better to have a value driven focus for a small group of contacts than to have a non-value added touch to all contacts. If they don't remember it, then it didn't count as a client contact.
- What result do you expect? Be honest with yourself. Are you sending out the cards just because you always have or because most businesses send cards? If the answer is yes, STOP! You definitely need to have your strategy in place before you continue. Be clear on what you expect. Not all client contacts will result in leads or sales. In fact, many contacts are about building a relationship with the client and keeping the door open, but it's easy to be disappointed if you are not clear on what result your business needs before you start.
Remember these three questions are not just for Holiday cards. They're for client or prospect contacts in general. If you know your market, if the contact is adding value, and you know what result you expect then it should be clear whether or not you should send Holiday cards.