Holiday Cards — Worth a little time and effort

I posted recently about planning ahead for the holidays. The holiday season is just looming closer, and I’m sure it’s at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Right now, I’m trying to get ready to send out my holiday cards. I design them myself, which means I have to add on the extra layer of printing them (or begging someone else to run them off for me, and believe me, I am grateful) to the list of work necessary to get them ready.

I truly like the thought of sending holiday cards to at least some of my clients. At the very least, it can be a reminder of my solid work and encourage a client to hire me again. It takes some effort, though, to make sure that a card really works as a piece of marketing.

Is the message appropriate?

You can purchase (or make)  holiday cards that range of tepid to smoking, and not all those temperatures should be sent out to anyone except your best friend. There are types of appropriate, too — do you know what holiday the recipient celebrates? Christmas? Hanukkah? Agnostica? If you can’t be sure, stick with those nice, non-religious cards that wish ‘best tidings of the season’ or some other inoffensive line.

Does your card look professional?

I know I talk a lot about maintaining a professional appearance, but I’m going to do it again. Your card should be nice and neat. If you can’t handwrite a message nicely, print it. Address your cards precisely, as well. Don’t mail off a card to ‘Editor’ — if you’ve worked with the person, you should know his or her name.

Does your card showcase your work?

If you’re a freelance writer, and you’re sending out holiday cards, at least write the internal message yourself. Maybe you’ll find an untapped ability to write greeting cards, but, at the very least, you’ll be able to demonstrate those hot-shot writing skills that landed a gig in the first place.

Who should you send cards to?

I don’t advocate sending holiday cards to everyone you’ve worked with — if it was just a quick job you found on Craigslist, it’s probably not worth looking for the client again. But if you’ve spent a significant chunk of time working with a client, send them the message that you appreciate their business.

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1 Comment

  1. Sheila Scarborough   •  

    I’ve always sent holiday cards, got the habit from my parents, and I think it really adds to the season to make those connections, even if it’s just once a year.

    Since last year was my first as a writer, I did send some cards to my editors, and I took the time to write in each one why I particularly enjoyed and appreciated them.

    Your tips are very good; thanks for your post.

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