Friday, November 19, 2010

Take Action #30: Send out Holiday Cards by: Angela Lieb

This is one of those chores that I look at each year and wonder if I really need to do this.  It can be time consuming and do people really care?   It is certainly fun to receive cards from friends and family and to see how their families are growing and the changes going on in their life.  Mst years I have forced myself to send the cards out.  If anything, it is the one time during the year that you can reach out and let folks know you are thinking about them.  A note on Facebook is always nice, but getting a card in the mail is fun! 
I have found the easiest way to send a card and also include a photo is to take your own digital photo of the family, dog, the house – whatever you want and then upload the picture to Walgreens photo center online.  You can then pick the type of photo card you want, create a message and signature and tell them to print 25, 50, etc.  You create it online and pay for it online.  In years past I have had to go back and reprint and it took just minutes.  The photo cards are usually available the same day and they are very cost effective.
Of course the next step is making sure you have the addresses.  Each year I save the envelopes from those that sent cards and enter the addresses into my database so I am sure that I send a card to those who sent me one.  It seems it is harder now to keep track of addresses because we spend so much time connecting online rather than through traditional mail.  Ideally you are collecting and updating your address book or spreadsheet throughout the year.  Also, there is nothing better than a handwritten address on the envelope rather than a printed envelope.  It just makes it more personal and it feels better to get a handwritten card.  The dentist sends out cards with pre-printed labels.  Which card would you want to open first – the typed or the hand-written?
Whatever you do, do NOT send out an e-greeting in lieu of a real card for friends, family and clients.  It is fine if you want to send an e-greeting to your newsletter subscribers or prospects, but it would be ideal if you could send a real card to those important contacts.  Also, some of the e-newsletters go into spam.  A card with a real stamp is sure to get to them and make an impression.
Take Action by sending out your holiday cards!