Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

Which Greeting Cards Should You Be Sending?

October 18, 2017

greeting

The answer is more complicated than you might think. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Sometimes the answer is obvious. For example: is there anything more ubiquitous in polite, professional society than the birthday card? Thank You cards should be on your list, too, and welcoming a new client calls for a specific sort of thank you card. (You should be sending a card to those who made the introduction, as well.)

But which Winter Holiday cards should you send? Well, that depends largely on who your clients are and what they value. However, if I were to select one card above all others, it would be the Thanksgiving card. Thanksgiving is a widely celebrated* holiday, commonly seen as the beginning of the “Holiday Season” in the United States. While Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are also associated with the winter holiday season, they also create a crush of mail.

A Thanksgiving card has the potential of making a big impact. Your clients probably expect a Christmas card, but that card will typically arrive amid a flood of other cards from family, friends, and other professionals like you. A Thanksgiving card is a thoughtful gesture that may stand out more, and allows you to express your gratitude for their business, while wishing them well through the coming holiday season. Of course, sending a card at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that you should skip the other holidays – it’s merely a strategy to foster a greater connection between you and your clients and contacts.

Sending a card at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that you should skip the other holidays – it’s merely a strategy to foster a greater connection between you and your clients and contacts.

A card to celebrate the New Year is also in order. A “Happy New Year” card is another great opportunity – not only to observe the Holiday, but to let clients know that you’re honored to be working with them for another year. (Many also choose to use this card as a reminder to schedule an annual review.)

Consider grouping your contacts into three Winter Holiday campaigns. Your “A” clients should receive three Winter Holiday cards… a Thanksgiving card, a Happy New Year card, and a December card (Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, etc.) Your “B” clients and prospective clients should receive a minimum of two Winter Holiday cards (Thanksgiving and Happy New Year, more if you’re able.) All other contacts should receive at least one card (but two is better). Select the occasion you feel is most appropriate.

Marketing.Pro offers beautiful full-color Winter Holiday cards for all these occasions (and more). Your Holiday cards can even be automated to send to the contacts you choose, on the dates you choose. Upload your contacts, select the design(s) you like best, and the system does the rest (sorting, stamping, sending.) You can even upload your own handwriting and signatures for a more personal touch.

What about eCards? Don’t. At least, not for the clients and contacts you value. eCards are largely deleted, while a physical greeting card is a tangible reminder that the relationship is one that you value. After all, if your relationship with a client isn’t worth the cost of some paper and a stamp, you have the wrong clients.

If your relationship with a client isn’t worth the cost of some paper and a stamp, you have the wrong clients.

Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit with your holiday and greeting card practices! I recommend mixing it up each year with at least one unexpected card to ALL of your contacts. (An occasion like “Talk Like a Pirate Day” is a great example!) The cards you send should reflect the relationship that you want to have with your clients – an enduring and connected presence!

*Many Native American families do not celebrate Thanksgiving due to their cultural preferences. Some religions forego the celebration of certain holidays, including Thanksgiving. Know your clients and adjust your strategies to avoid making an error – be someone who serves the entire community.

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Holiday Client Appreciation Event Ideas

November 20, 2013

In my previous blog post, I spoke to you about Client Appreciation Events and I mentioned Holiday-themed CAEs. Here are some more ideas for these events as you begin planning.

Traditional: Your clients and prospects will really appreciate a full-on holiday experience. If you have the resources, make the event seem like a Christmas card come to life. If you get snow in your part of the world, sleigh rides are unforgettable. Carolers in traditional Victorian garb give everyone a warm feeling, like the Charles Dickens story come to life. Even hiring a bus or limousine service to take everyone on a tour of the local Christmas lights after dinner can be a fun and enjoyable experience.

Let’s get out of the house: While winter’s a time for cozy homebody comforts, it’s also the middle of two major sports seasons. Think about a suite with your nearest NBA or NHL franchise. Or maybe a ski trip is more in line with your clients’ active lifestyles. Even renting a movie theater for a special screening of the latest blockbuster or a family favorite can be a nice surprise for everyone.

Honor everyone during the holidays: You should know your clients well enough to understand their various traditions and backgrounds… so introducing themes from several holidays to your event can make for an even more engaging and poignant evening, even for those who don’t share those traditions. You want to make sure everyone is recognized and honored, and that means more than just putting some inexpensive religious or spiritual objects/symbols in a corner… take time to learn the traditional greetings for each holiday your clients and prospects observe, and research their traditional foods and customs. If you’re based in a larger city, this is an absolute must, and it may prove easier than you think.

Food, glorious food: Regardless of what route you take, make sure that a quality meal is part of the event. Don’t be afraid to get creative and leave an impression. Remember that presentation is just as important as flavor, so make your expectations clear, whether you make use of a restaurant or caterers. If you hire musicians, make sure that their performance isn’t too loud or disruptive during the meal.

Beyond December: Don’t forget that holidays happen throughout the year. A Fourth of July barbecue… a Valentine’s Day concert… even a costume party on Halloween can be a fun and entertaining event for the people you do business with.

Five Great Client Appreciation Events

October 7, 2013

Client Appreciation Events may seem like a no-brainer, but experienced professionals know that they are effective tools for keeping your name on the tip of a client’s tongue. Keep these five great event ideas in mind, or perhaps they’ll help to spark some creative ideas of your own.

The Holiday Party
Whether it’s dinner in the private room of a fine restaurant or hors d’oeuvres and music in a hotel ballroom, the holidays are a fine time to show your clients your appreciation for their business. Small party favors and/or games may keep things lively. Don’t forget how important scheduling is this time of year; hold the event early in December, so as not to conflict with travel plans. If your clients have visiting relatives, invite them as well! Keep in mind that December isn’t the only month of the year associated with celebration. An Independence Day barbecue under local fireworks can be a memorable and relatively simple event for your clients and their families.

The Retirement Party
It’s an exciting time that your clients have been working for their entire professional lives, and something you’ve likely had a big part in securing for them. If they are already being feted with a big party by their colleagues, get creative with options like a golf trip or a wine tour. If appropriate, throw an annual celebration with your retiring clients as the guests of honor, and invite all your clients to attend. Inviting your other clients and prospects to such an event can put them in a mind to talk about their own retirement options.

The Anniversary Party
If you’re looking at the calendar and realizing that you’ve been in business for a while, it may be time to consider an anniversary party. Reminding your clients that you’ve been on the job, helping people for a long time will remind them that you are here to stay, and that you’re going to be around to help them, their friends, and their families. 25 year, 20 year, 15 year, 10 year … even the first anniversary of being in business can be cause for celebration.

The Educational Event
Such an event should not be combined with any of the above, but you still want to make it a fun and engaging time for your clients. A lecture and a few sandwiches probably won’t cut it. Fine dining in a comfortable atmosphere, or, if you have the resources, a weekend getaway can give your clients time to relax before they direct their full attention to your informative and worthwhile seminar. Mixing business with pleasure is the proverbial spoonful of sugar.

The Sports Event
Few Americans live more than a few hours from a stadium where professional sports are played, and even people who don’t follow sports are known to enjoy the thrill and excitement of a live game. Don’t forget that many cities also have minor league baseball teams; a summer day at the ballpark can be fun and surprisingly affordable when you’re entertaining clients with young children.

There are many different routes a Client Appreciation Event can take, and just reading through these suggestions may have inspired ideas specific to your area and your own clientele. As I said, get creative and make these events count!