When it comes to holiday business cards, to send or not to send is not the question. If you want to enhance your current business relationships, attract new customers, remind old clients that you exist and show appreciation to those who have faithfully supported you during the year, prepare to mail. However, proceed with caution and follow the rules of business etiquette. What is intended as a well-meaning gesture can actually offend when it is not done properly.
Start with a good quality card to show that you value your clients and colleagues. Skimping on your selection may be taken as a sign that your business is suffering or that your clients aren’t worth the extra investment.
Make sure your list is up-to-date with correct names and addresses. If you do this on a regular basis, it does not become a dreaded holiday chore.
Sign each card personally. Even if you have preprinted information on the card such as your name and that of your company, add a handwritten signature. The most elegant cards need your personal touch.
Take the time to hand write the address as well. Don’t use computer-generated labels. They are impersonal and make your holiday wishes look like a mass mailing. You may save time and even money, but turn off a client or a business associate in the process.
You may mail your greeting to the home if you know the business person socially. Include the spouse’s name. The card is not sent to both husband and wife at the business address unless they both work there.
Whether you are addressing the envelope to an individual or a couple, titles should always be used. It’s “Mr. John Doe,” not “John Doe,” or “Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, rather than “John and Mary Doe.”
Be sensitive to the religious or cultural beliefs of the people to whom you are sending your cards. Make sure your message is appropriate for each individual.
Mail your greetings for a timely arrival. If you find yourself addressing the envelopes on Super Bowl Sunday, keep the cards until next year and send out a high-quality note instead thanking people for their business during the previous year.
The best way to avoid the last minute greeting card rush is to have all your envelopes addressed before Thanksgiving. If you start now, you can relieve some of the usual holiday stress and can rest assured that you have taken one more step towards growing your business and building relationships for 2010.