I remember the days when our office would be full to the brim with Christmas cards. From about the last week of November, hundreds of cards would be delivered to the office. Recruitment consultants would proudly display as many as they could on their desk, and, as recruitment consultants, they would also compete with each other on how many they had received! Apparently, the more you received, the more your clients and candidates wanted to work with you.
Call me old fashioned, but I always thought the number of jobs filled was a much more powerful measure! In the 21st century — and more specifically since 2010 – Christmas cards in our office have become very sparse. It seems that many businesses have decided that an email is enough to satisfy the tradition. I was very much of this view a few years ago, but I have changed my mind on the value of Christmas cards in the last couple of years. I would suggest they are much more powerful now than they ever were, simply because so few people send them. By sending a Christmas card a few weeks before Christmas, your brand will likely sit on your client's desk for the weeks in the lead up to Christmas.
This means that if they are in a situation where they may need to utilise your services, which in our case is recruitment, then your brand is right in front of them. This is also another reason I like to invest in branded cards, rather than the traditionally generic or charity based cards. In the age of automation, a hand written card also signifies a level of investment by the sender in maintaining a relationship with the recipient.
Everyone – and I mean everyone – will read and consider a hand written card. An email, on the other hand, may be screened out by a PA or software program, and even if you have spent thousands on animation or a video, they will be watched by less than half of the recipients and will be deleted immediately.
There is no ongoing brand recognition with an email in someone's deleted items! I acknowledge,that Christmas cards are more time consuming and more expensive than email. But used properly, I think they should still have a place in your marketing budget. I know I still get just that little bit excited finding out who took the time and effort to send me a card. How will your clients or prospects feel about getting a card from you?