Writing a business holiday card for your customers, vendors and other members of your professional network serves multiple purposes. Yes, it's a friendly way to share season's greetings and best wishes with the people who have enabled your business to keep going over the past year. But it can also be a useful business tactic that helps you grow and build your business in the new year—so every word you write has to be perfect.
Some businesses send out fairly generic holiday greeting cards that merely say something like "Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season, from your friends at [company name]." It's a perfectly nice sentiment, but seriously lacks the personal touch. None of your customers are going to remember that message by New Year's.
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Crafting holiday card messages that will really resonate with your customers without being overtly "sales-y" does take a little more careful consideration than writing out Christmas card messages to send to your loved ones. Use these tips as a guide while creating the message your business shares this holiday season.
Add personal touches
Anything you can do to remind your customers and contacts of the real people behind your business could help set you apart from the competition in the coming year. One way to do that is through your card design. Designing a card with a custom photo on the front is so much more eye-catching than using a generic template for corporate Christmas cards.
Designing a photo holiday card is the perfect time to show off the smiling faces of your entire team—or your own face, if you're a solo small business owner. (Make your pets or family members pose with you, or use a photo of you posing in front of your company logo.)
Try a photo collage
If you have some great photos of events or other activities your business has participated in over the last year, you could put together a photo collage. Receiving this kind of card could be especially fun for anyone who only interacts with your business by phone and email and might get to put faces with names for the first time.
Leaving the greeting section blank on your mass-printed cards and writing in each name/other greeting by hand is another nice personal touch, though it may not be feasible if you're sending out 500 cards. Once cards are printed, pull out those meant for your top customers and/or most valued business contacts and add handwritten notes to each of them.
"Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"?
Because Christmas is a religious holiday, business leaders should be thoughtful about the language used in holiday cards. Some people feel very strongly about wanting to say "Merry Christmas" to everyone during the holiday season, and might want to send business Christmas cards that have imagery of Santa and Christmas trees.
If it's your business, that's your prerogative—just be aware that you might be alienating customers or other professional contacts who have non-Christian religious beliefs. (If you celebrate Christmas and a company you work with sent a card wishing your family a Happy Hanukkah, wouldn't it feel a little odd?)
Choosing language and imagery that's not Christmas specific is an easy way to make sure everyone feels included. If you know for sure that some of the people on your mailing list celebrate Christmas, you can always handwrite a "Merry Christmas" or "Have a blessed Christmas!" on their card as a personal touch.
Give a quick summary of the year
Your holiday card doesn't have to function like a holiday newsletter, in which you might write out several paragraphs about the year in review. But adding a few lines in between the greeting and the sign off helps the message feel specific to your business.
Think about ways your business has grown and/or adapted to challenges over the past year. These kinds of anecdotes could be interesting for readers, and they subtly demonstrate some things that are great about your business. For example, you might write something about how exciting it was for the company to hire new staff, move into a bigger space or reach some new milestone.
If the business struggled this year, you might want to acknowledge that too, without getting into details about finances or staffing issues. Write something about how there were some tough challenges this year, but the hard work, dedication and creativity of the team has allowed the company to end the year strong and ready for whatever next year brings.
Sign off with warm wishes
The last sentence or two of your holiday card might be the final word your customers will hear from you this calendar year. Here are some examples of language to use in your sign off.
- "While our team will be enjoying a well-deserved holiday break, we're gearing up for some exciting new projects starting after the New Year! We look forward to connecting with you then. In the meantime, we wish you a restful holiday season and a prosperous new year!"
- "The team at [company name] wishes you a very happy holiday season, and a happy New Year!"
- "Warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season full of good cheer, from everyone at [company name]."
With some thoughtful messaging and personal touches, your corporate holiday cards should stand out from the sea of generic cards your customers will receive this Christmas season.