Will your business send holiday notes this year? They’re a great way to show your customers, vendors, and business partners that you appreciate them and you want those business relationships to continue. But before you buy notes adorned with snowy landscapes and trimmed with glitter, there has to be some planning to make sure there’s a return on the investment that you’ll make in time, resources — and postage! — when sending holiday notes.
A good place to start is with your customer and business partner/vendor list, to confirm how many notes you’ll need to send. Estimate the time sending holiday notes will take and set a budget for the project. It’s also smart to check a calendar — your customers and business partners may take time off in December, so make sure your timeline for the project will allow notes to arrive prior to their departure for a holiday vacation.
The Value in Business Holiday Notes
With so many electronic communications, a handwritten note is an opportunity to stand out. A study by the U.S. Postal Service found that 56 percent of Americans describe receiving mail as a “real pleasure,” and 67 percent believe that physical mail is more personal that digital communications. Moreover, 77 percent sort through their mail as soon as they get it.
During the holidays, your customers and business partners will be happy to receive a brightly colored envelope personally addressed to them — and they’ll appreciate hearing from you. And although sending business holiday notes isn’t about selling, the end-of-the-year holidays often coincide with end-of-the-year budget planning, so it’s a good time to be top of mind.
Crafting the Perfect Message
Once you’ve made your business holiday list and checked it twice, draft the messaging to include in the notes. Do more than just sign your name. The ROI of client appreciation letters and communications with business partners is continued and stronger relationships, not sales. Write a simple, sincere message meant to nurture those relationships. For example, let your customers know you care about them, express your gratitude for the part they’ve played in the success you’ve had this year, and extend good wishes for the year ahead.
Also, it’s better to write to individuals rather than to companies. You may be tempted to send one, blanket note to an entire staff, but if you have several points of contact, send a note to each one. Those are the relationships you want to maintain. Sending notes to individuals can also help overcome awkwardness around whether to refer to a specific holiday. If you know a contact is celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just New Year’s Day, you can easily reference it in the message.
Using Technology Can Make Business Holiday Notes Personal
Even though there can be great value in sending business holiday notes, there’s still the hurdle of finding time during the end of the year rush to get it done. Some companies use a divide and conquer method, splitting the list among a number of employees — but that can lead to inconsistencies in the quality of execution and messaging.
Selecting one employee with nice handwriting and assigning 1,000 notes may not go over well either — especially when added to an already full workload, or when it elicits memories of writer’s cramp from last year’s holiday season. Some companies fall into the temptation to compose notes on their PCs and print them on their office printers, but the result is usually an impersonal greeting.
Mail marketing services such as those from Bond give you the ability to send hundreds or even thousands of handwritten notes, personalized with details specific to the recipient. You can choose from a variety of handwriting styles, or even have your own handwriting digitized. In addition, you choose from their stationery selection, and domestic postage is included, so no need to schedule holiday shopping trips or stand in line at the post office.
Technology can give a small business the means to send a few hundred notes or a large enterprise the ability to send thousands of notes while avoiding reallocation of labor or paying overtime. Maybe best of all, you can schedule the notes during a late summer lull and know they’ll go out automatically the day after Thanksgiving — if that’s the timeline you choose, eliminating stress and making your own holiday season a little merrier.
However you choose to accomplish the task, make remembering people important to the success of your business a priority this holiday season.