Why Christmas e-cards are a bad idea and what you can do about it!
It’s that special time of year again. All the stress of getting things closed down before the Christmas break whilst also attending all those parties, after-work drinkies and catch-up festive lunches. Added to that we have to do some present shopping – it all adds up to one big Yuletide headache but thank goodness we no longer have to worry about Christmas cards eh?
That’s the great news; all we have to do is make sure that everybody we know, sat next to at that boring seminar we went to or anybody who might know us from the dawn of our career is on the mailing list and hey presto! They get a lovely e-mail Christmas greeting with the added bonus (excuse?) that we are giving a donation to charity instead of buying nasty paper cards. Oh, won’t those pine forests sleep easier tonight.
Well actually that isn’t such great news really and here’s why: -
- The people who receive a Christmas message from you will value it in proportion to the amount of time, effort and expense you invested to get it to them.
- E-cards rarely get printed off and displayed anywhere so provided the recipients spam-checker hasn’t intercepted it you will be in their minds for about 90 seconds tops.
- Nobody really believes you are doing this to save the environment or to be charitable – face up to it.
- Getting an e-card is not a personal act. Relationships are built on 1-2-1 contact not 1-2-many (which do have their place by the way).
So what is a body to do? Well if the firm has decided to embark upon an e-card campaign there is little you can do to stop them but there is something you can do to mitigate the effect: -
- List out your top 30 very special clients and contacts (50 would be better).
- Go out this lunchtime and buy each one a decent Christmas card – this could run you a whole £15!
- Write a personal message in each one.
- Put stamps on them rather than swish them through the franking machine.
- Deposit in the post box.
I reckon that should take no more than an hour of your time and in exchange for that you will stand out from all the other lazy beggars who can’t be arsed; will have provided one of the required 27 personal connections for this year and you will also feel just that little bit more Christmassy. Go on now, you know it makes sense!