Sending out holiday cards at the end of the year has been a private tradition since the first card was sent out in 1843. It began with a lovely, hand illustrated card; sure that card was soon printed thousands of times and sold for a shilling each, but the sentiment was there. Since then, the greeting card industry has flourished and greeting cards can now be found for every conceivable holiday. But, while it’s nice to receive a card, any card, there’s always a little something extra to be said for the non-commercialized, custom made card.
Custom Holiday Cards
Sending holiday cards out among family and friends has always been a popular tradition, but more and more, large corporations and small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. And, why not? Kindness Sells. We’ve all been touched by the holiday or birthday card sent from our dentist, am I right? You’re not about to change dentists after that. Well, the same goes for the massive corporation that sells ergonomic office chairs. If they can get in the holiday spirit of giving and send out a little festive greeting to their customers, those customers just might stay loyal and order more chairs.
Now, replace the generic commercial card with a unique custom card that truly represents that company and, wham!, that will definitely make an impact. I mean, there’s nothing cuter and more heartwarming than a handmade card from the fingers of your marker or paint covered five-year-old, but as far as hand-designed corporate cards go, there are ways to give your customers the warm fuzzies.
Why it Works
According to research done by Hallmark, 75 percent of the 1.5 billion people who send cards do so because they know it makes the recipient feel good. It doesn’t take someone with an MBA to understand that when customers feel good, they’ll be more likely to spend more and stay loyal to a specific brand or company. Companies caught on to this trend early and have since stepped up their game to connect on a more human level with their customers. Even in the age of e-cards, text greetings and every other electronic way of communicating, old fashioned paper cards still rank as the go-to holiday greeting.
But, not all paper cards are created equal. You can easily spend a buck a card for a large quantity at Vista Prints, but what are the chances that someone’s going to be so moved by that card that they keep it forever? Or even bother to show it to their friends or colleagues? Spend $5 on a personalized, custom card though and that person now has a treasured keepsake. Little personal touches like shiny or matte paper, foil stamping, an image that represents your unique personality or that of your business – these are the things that stand out.
Businesses Just Wanna Have Friends
Company business cards got their foot in the door thanks to the not-so-humble salesman. Where everyone else used holiday cards to reach out to family and friends, clever salespeople have always known that the more you keep yourself in front of a customer, the more likely they’ll spend their money with you instead of the other guy. And each year, they were proven right. Sending cards, free calenders and other holiday nick-knacks that tell a story about their business has been a sales staple for nearly as long as there has been a sales department.
Companies as a whole began to catch on to this trend and, beginning rather unofficially around the late 1970s, company themed holiday cards became increasingly popular. Year upon year, businesses saw a spike in sales, higher customer retention or a mix based, in part, on having sent out a simple holiday greeting card at the end of the year.
Now corporate business cards have become a big business in their own right. Companies can now choose from traditional cards meant to convey a more somber view of the holidays all the way to modern, hip and even irreverent cards meant to celebrate the holidays without taking themselves—or the season—too seriously. But the most impactful holiday card is the one designed by the business owner himself. This has made many companies feel a bit more human to customers which, in turn, gives these businesses the same result that has always topped their own Christmas Wish List—more sales and happier customers.