Designing the Perfect Holiday Card for Your Business
By Melissa Crowe

There’s no question that the holidays are a time for sharing and giving back to those
that are most important to us. Making sure all friends and family receive gifts during
this time can be a time-consuming task and during this shuffle, small business owners
can easily forget some of the most important people in their lives – their customers.
While it may seem like a minor detail, taking the effort to send a simple card wishing
them well over the holidays can go a long way in developing long-term relationships
with your customer base.

When looking for the perfect card from scratch, here are some tips to follow:

Know your audience

One of the more complicated parts of picking out a holiday card is to make sure that
none of your customer base gets alienated. Holiday cards are meant to grow your
customer base, not shrink it.

A good rule of thumb is to use neutral messaging like “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s
Greetings,” unless you know the religious preference of your customer base and want
to create multiple cards that are faith-specific.

Another way that you can avoid offending anyone is to send a Thanksgiving or New
Year’s themed card. These cards also offer a unique opportunity for small business
owners. Thanksgiving is typically the time that consumers begin their holiday
planning. These cards allow businesses to offer a holiday coupon and to get in front of
their customers at the start of the holiday rush.

New Year’s cards offer the chance to add a calendar as part of the card to give it a
longer shelf life with its recipients.

Since these cards are coming at the beginning and following the holiday season, they
are less likely to get lost in the holiday shuffle and get your company in front of your
loyal customers.

Brand it!

Perhaps the most important thing about holiday cards is to make sure that your brand
is incorporated into the card’s theme. Keeping that in mind, you want to make sure
that it is done tastefully.

One way to do this is to bring your logo and company name into the card’s design you
can also add your logo as a water mark under the inside message along with your
slogan. If you want to avoid a ‘hard sell’ and be more subtle in branding, you can also
have your logo and slogan printed on the back side of the card.

Make the holidays revolve around you

One of the aspects of the holiday season that makes it so special is that it means
something different to everyone. This individuality can be carried over to your
company’s holiday card.  

You can make the holiday theme entrench your business to make the card stand out to
your customers. For instance, if you are a carpenter or contractor instead of having
stockings hanging over a fireplace, you can hang a few tool belts with your crew’s
names on them.  

This slight alteration on a timeless staple of the holiday landscape also brings out
some personality and shows a lighter side that may not traditionally come out.

Stick with the classics

One old adage that often applies to most businesses is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The same can be said about holiday cards.

Some images are synonymous with the holiday season like Santa, reindeer, dreidels,
menorahs, Christmas trees and snowmen; and they can be transplanted into any card
to give a holiday feel.

If the imagery of the holiday season is not something that appeals to you, there are
also a number of color schemes that never go out of style.  Mixing reds and greens are
something that will always draw a connection to the season.

Get personal
A staple in personal and family cards is adding family images to cards. This is also a
great way to let your customers know who you are. Sure they may know you when
they come to you for business purposes, but do they know who you are or will they
recognize you around town? Adding a picture of your company’s staff on your card
along with a logo can help build brand awareness and recognition among your local

If you have a brick and mortar location, you can also take a picture to help drive traffic
to your business. For instance if you own a bed and breakfast, you can take add a
picture of the location decorated for the holidays to give patrons a warm and cozy
feeling; or if you run a golf course, you could send a picture of the nicely manicured
greens to rid the winter blues from avid golfers.

Show your charitable side

Another option to consider when planning your holiday mailing is charity cards. A
portion of the proceeds from these cards is donated to a charity. This option shows
customers you are committed to giving to a cause that you feel strongly about.

Customers will appreciate the extra effort and it may even inspire them to help out a
charity that they feel strongly about as well.

Everyone loves presents

By sending a holiday card, you are immediately in the hands and minds of your
customers – why not make a longer impression? One way to do this is to add a gift to
your customers’ cards. Even something small such as a coupon off their next purchase,
a calendar magnet or desktop calendar makes an impact.

No matter what your design choice is, one thing that is a necessity to building a lasting
relationship with your customer base is to write a handwritten message. This could be
anything from a thank you to a personal note or message pertaining to a specific
customer. These little touches will go a long way in building lasting relationships with
your customers.

About the author: Melissa Crowe is the vice president of marketing services at
VistaPrint, the small business marketing company.  Please visit
Vista Print  for more
holiday ideas.

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