Send personal holiday cards this year

by David Spark on December 1, 2008

It’s December 1st and soon the flood of holiday cards will come via snail mail and my email inbox. Ninety nine percent of them are truly self serving. They just know that it’s good for business to send a holiday card to your clients. The person really doesn’t care about any sentiment in the card. There’s nothing personal. Sometimes they don’t bother to even sign their name.

When I get one of these completely useless greeting cards that only say “Happy Holidays” with no personal note about my relationship with that person, I throw away the card immediately. I should actually time myself to see how long it takes for me to open a holiday card and then throw it in the trash. The same goes for email holiday greetings.

If the majority of people do this with their holiday cards (yes, I know some people like to hang them up…I don’t know why), then ask yourself, “Do I have to send out the same boring card I’ve done year after year?” No you don’t. This year will be different.

Before you create any type of holiday card, think about what you want the person to feel when they receive your holiday card. Do you really want them to look at it for an instant and then throw it in the garbage? If so, then send out the same crappy “Happy Holidays” card you’ve sent out every year.

Or do you want to make them smile, laugh, or be touched? Then you need to actually work proactively to achieve that goal. Here are two recommendations that will help. I hope you can offer some of your own recommendations.

Silly video greetings

Last year, the smash success was OfficeMax’s Elf Yourself where you supply pictures of yourself, friends, and/or family and they get pasted on elves doing a silly dance. It was incredibly stupid, and really funny. This year, Elf Yourself can still be found on JibJab, but the site has taken it one step further with a slew of options beyond just the silly elf dance.

Why so good: You personalize it with your photos and its silly and funny.

Don’t wait: All jokes fade over time. I don’t know how many “Elf Yourself” cards you received last year. But after the sixth one, the funny takes a major dive. Be the first one to send out the card and get the first laugh.

Personalized holiday video greetings

Last year I sent out 325 personalized holiday video greetings. It wasn’t easy, but the impact was huge. I am an enormous fan of video conferencing and video mail. If you’d like to do it yourself, first take a look at the response to see how valuable it is, and then read my article on how to actually do it without killing yourself.

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