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7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

It’s that time of year… when everybody gets inundated with cards. Which means yours needs to stand out. 

by LACI ROTH | NOVEMBER 28, 2018

By the end of December one thing we all have in abundance is a trove of holiday cards from companies we’ve done business with. Which means that each of those businesses invested serious time and resources into designing, printing, and distributing that card. But if that card ends up in a pile or inbox with a dozen others, how is it going to do stand out and do what it’s meant to do? 

Here are seven things to keep in mind if you want your company to have a memorable and effective holiday card.

1. Timing is very important.

There’s cheap, there’s fast, and there’s good… and if you are lucky you can get two of those things, not all three. That means that if you want a good designer to create your card, you’ll need to line them up early, and be willing to spend money for something that will really pop (Expect to pay a graphic designer anywhere from $200 to $500).

We’ve found that designing office holiday cards usually invite lots of group involvement and lots of debating about how the card should look and what it should say. Sometimes the card’s design needs to be approved by a senior partner or a board. If that’s the case, you’ll need lots of time to do the job right. Consider lining your designer by September or October… you’ll be glad you did when it’s December and you’re not stressing about your office’s card. 

2. Electronic or physical? (Or both?)

The most important decision you can make about your office’s holiday card is whether it will be physical (printed) or electronic (emailed). 

Electronic cards offer many advantages: You’ll save money on printing and shipping, you’ll have more flexibility with the design (i.e., consider designing variations of the same card that can be sent to clients in specific industries), and you can send them instantly. 

Print cards, on the other hand, are charming and, depending on the culture of your business, might be more aligned with your company’s brand. (More on that below.) Plus, they’re more likely to be opened and read than electronic cards. 

3. If location matters to your business’s services, then it matters for your card design.

If your business is rooted in an area and that area matters for what you do, then you should incorporate that into your holiday card. For example: A law firm located and practicing in Florida should infuse its Florida “flavor” into the card, thus reinforcing to the recipient who the company is and what they do. 

4. Connect the theme of your card to what you do.

Both the words and the design of the card should subtly remind the card’s recipient what your company does. If your business is technology related, you can find a clever way to show your cheer for tech (Maybe snowflakes in the shape of cogs? Just an idea.). 

5. Capture your company’s culture in the card.

Is your company traditional? Innovative? Reserved? Quirky? Progressive? Green? Edgy? Political? Friendly? Or are you “all business”? 

Whatever the culture, the card’s look and tone should reflect that. Traditional companies should user classic fonts and nostalgic holiday imagery. An edgy company might want its message to be more provocative. A personable company might want to feature photos of its employees with their kids or pets. Either way, the best cards immediately make the recipient feel a connection with the company. 

6. If relationship building is crucial to your business model, make your card more personal.

Some companies like to showcase their entire team, from executives to support staff. In these cases, group photos work wonderfully and should be considered for inclusion in the holiday card.

But some businesses rely more on one-on-one relationships between employees and their clients. In these cases, multiple variations of the card can be created, each focusing on the individual employee targeted at their clients. When that client thinks of your company, they primarily think of their point person, so a holiday card is a great way to reinforce that relationship.

This is also an important thing to keep in mind in determining whether to go with an electronic rather than printed card. Electronic cards offer more variation and customization, so if the cards are being sent to more targeted recipients, electronic cards offer a big advantage. 

7. Take care with your distribution list.

Your distribution list is your biggest asset, so use it well. Send the right cards to the right people, and if you think somebody might find it annoying to receive a card, delete them from your list. 

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