I just sent 325 personal video holiday greetings-The Response

by David Spark on January 1, 2008

I just finished sending a deluge of personal holiday video greetings. If you’ve been reading or listening to The Spark Minute, you know I’ve been a proponent of taking advantage of Web-based video email applications to send birthday greetings, to conduct business, or just to touch base. Now that most notebook computers are being sold with built in webcams and microphones and there is a host of free Web-based email programs (Springdoo, TokBox, Eyejot, and the Video application in Facebook), there’s no reason everybody shouldn’t be doing it. Here’s why I took the time to send 325 personal video holiday greetings, how I did it quickly and efficiently, and what has been the reaction so far.

I despise holiday greeting cards

Whether paper or electronic, there’s nothing more impersonal than a generic message that only says, “Happy holidays and hope you have a Happy New Year.” Whether in my inbox or via snail mail, I quickly throw away these meaningless messages. It is enjoyable to see photos of my friends and their family, but often people don’t even take the time to do that. Most messages simply just say, “Happy Holidays.” What can I think of a person who, minus doing nothing at all, is truly doing the least they can possibly do?

Take advantage of the holiday time and New Year to reconnect

Once a year, at the end of the year, we’re given a great opportunity to touch base with all the people we connected with throughout the year. It’s also a great time to touch base with people who you haven’t spoken to in a very long time. You could send out a generic “Happy New Year” email or postcard because it’s an easy, cheap, and fast way to touch base with all your contacts.

What value does it serve you or them? Why waste your time, their time, Internet server time, trees, and the post office with messages that say absolutely nothing about your past, current, or what you hope to be your future relationships? Your friends, family, and business colleagues are worth more than that. If you want to make your relationships grow in the New Year, take the time to send a personal message.

Depending on how many people you know, sending a personal message can take a very long time. Instead, try video holiday greetings. I came up with a new system that actually took me less time and is more personal. First, here are the results. To understand the process, how I did it efficiently, and read about some of the mistakes I’ve made, and more mistakes I’ve yet to realize, make sure you read my post “I just sent 325 personal video holiday greetings-How I did it.”

Summary of responses to my 325 personalized video emails

Here are some of the reactions I received from sending the personal holiday video greeting. The responses came in a variety of categories.

Response Category: I’m so shocked that I received this

  • “OMG this is so kind! Who sends personal holiday greetings?”
  • “You are a nut! This video from you was indeed the highlight of my 2007!”
  • “Thanks for the awesome video! It made my day.”
  • “this is the best holiday greeting EVER!!! You rock.”

Response Category: I appreciate the personal touch

  • “Nice to hear from you. What an awesome means of communication. Unbelievably personal. Dig it.”
  • “Thanks for the personal greeting.”
  • “too funny – and customized just for me – how sweet.”
  • “I am honored by the personalized video message.”
  • “thanks so much for the kind thoughts and New Year’s wishes.”
  • “Easily the most original and thoughtful “card” I’ve received this year. Thanks for that.”
  • “Happy holidays to you as well. Nice touch with the video :-).”
  • “Wow – the most personalized holiday greeting EVER!!”

Response Category: You’re the coolest :)

  • “You’re hilarious! Thanks so much for the technologically friendly well wishes for ’08!”
  • “Yer so cool!”
  • “phenomonal update!”
  • “Cool video, totally dug it!”
  • “Dude! Nice work. The video thing works great.”
  • “The video is excellent.”
  • “You made me laugh, very hard – thank you for that!”

Response Category: Was great to actually see you

  • “how nice to see you!”
  • “Thanks for the video and so good to see you again.”
  • “Great to hear from you (and see you)!”

Response Category: I’m inspired by your video

  • “Hey Dave: nice job. You are pushing me to widen my s/n horizons.”
  • “spppaaarks! awesome use of the video greeting. you’ve inspired me.”
  • “Wow, what a neat way to send a message. I was someone floored to get a personalized video from you (and found myself wishing I had a rig to do the same).”
  • “This video message thing is very cool. I will have to get a web cam eventually, won’t i?”

Response Category: This was my first video message

  • “OK, that was the coolest way to end my year. I’ve never received a video “shout out” like that before! And I LOVE firsts!”
  • “Thanks for the video greeting. That’s the 1st one I’ve ever received. It was awesome! I’m no longer a video message virgin. Thanks!”
  • “Thanks for your video mail. That is the first one I ever received!”
  • “Well that was my first video message ever. Well done to you, David!”
  • “My first video facebook greeting with audio! How exciting! And full of lovely sentiments.”

Response Category: Let’s work together in 2008

  • “I look forward to working with you.”
  • “We should definitely chat, as I’ve started a New Media production company as well! Exciting space for sure.”
  • “You are the best. I can’t wait to get you in here. Keep up the good work you are doing great stuff!!!”
  • “Thanks for the video David! You’ve been great to work with! We look forward to having an exciting 2008 with you on board.”

Response Category: And the rest

  • I received about ten video responses back. All very positive and appreciative.
  • A blog post (Deck the Halls With Consumer Generated Multi-Media) from Pete Blackshaw of Consumer Generated Media and founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).
  • Many generic thanks for the nice video I sent.

My personal favorite:

  • “thanks dave…..just out of curiosity did you send a personal video to everyone….work must be slow”

Make sure you read the follow up post: “I just sent 325 personal video holiday greetings-How I did it.”

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