I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that none, as in zero, of the people to whom I sent a holiday card this year, mistakenly assumed that theirs was the only one I mailed. Not the friends and family who received the “family” card; not the clients and colleagues who received the “company” card. Everyone knows that these are sent in bulk.
Personalized? Yes. Personal? Not really.
And yet, as both recipient and sender of these mass-produced objects, I think they represent an opportunity to make a connection. Nothing earth-shattering, but enough to move the needle a little bit and remind one another that we’re on each other’s respective lists.
Two of the cards I received this year, however, crossed a line which I believe was a mistake – the senders included their business cards.
The reason I think it’s a mistake is because it takes what would otherwise be a friendly, “thinking of you,” relationship-building opportunity and turns it into a come-on for business.
There’s nothing wrong with marketing or selling or business cards. But when you include all that in a holiday card, you break the spell of the moment – even if that spell is just an illusion we all agree to. You remind me that I’m only on your list because I’m a prospect. And besides, I don’t think it buys you anything anyway (I just received your envelope and card, do you think my seeing your business card adds anything?).
So, how about you? What do you think is the best way to send holiday cards and/or are the biggest mistakes to avoid? I’ll try to remember what you advise by next December!