Use holiday cards to deepen customer relationships

Many companies abide by the traditional holiday practice of sending a greeting card to their customers, but how many actually try to accomplish more with their card than simply sending a generic “one size fits all” message? Consider the following tips to turbo-charge card-sending into a customer retention tool for the holidays. 

Allow enough time to do a good job. Your revenue depends on your customers, and it never hurts to show your appreciation. If you end up creating cards at the last minute, think carefully before resorting to an e-card. They are very casual and informal, and can leave an impression of being done at the last minute, even if they are planned weeks in advance. Some Web-to-print options allow you to get a printed, custom card in the mail within 24 hours.

Think one-on-one. This is one of the rare times to not treat all customers equally. Most companies have a small percentage of customers who drive the majority of their revenue. They are worth the time it takes to write an authentic, custom message that references something personal. Humor can also go a long way, when appropriate. To really catch their attention, consider segmenting your customer database by industry, then designing a custom card in line with that customer’s industry.

Avoid a sales pitch or promotion. Holiday cards should always focus on the customer, not on marketing or promotion. If you want to promote your business, be sure to make it a true no-obligation gift, such as a free oil change for an auto shop, not a discount or gift with purchase. 

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