|Falling envelopes can make for a happy, snowy holiday.|
Much of the holiday mail we receive at work includes a small note or hand-signed signature. It suggests that the sender cares enough about the recipient and their business relationship to personally wish him or her a happy holiday. Sometimes the sender uses the holiday card to show off the company's capabilities, such as this piece from last year, or the following more recent holiday card sent by a major print supplier.
|Inside: Personalization & real signature|
This card from Data-Mail intelligently leverages personalization. Not only is my name personalized on the card, but it appears to be signed by hand.
In the example below, the print vendor shows off its ability to personalize by including my name in the same typeface and color in the surrounding copy. The back includes a calendar that also demonstrates the ability to personalize content.
|Personalized card, printed signature|
I consider this card a Fail – in this case for poor list management. The personalized content is for "Marc B." My first name is indeed Marc, and my middle initial is indeed B, but I never refer to myself as "Marc B." Other people in my office received the same card without a middle initial. I suppose when someone entered my name in the company's database, that person included my middle initial in the first name field.The card below is a potential Fail for Creative because it is a greeting card that is neither personal nor engaging.
|Was the OE printed on a home PC?|
The addresses on the outer envelope were slanted, suggesting it was poorly produced.
|Front cover: hoe, hoe, hoe - funny|
|Inside: dull & generic|
No one signed the card. Was the card from a salesperson, someone I had met at a professional function, someone with whom I used to work, or perhaps an ex-girlfriend? I have a guess, but I'll never know for sure without doing some research. If I don't know the sender, why should I expect the sender to know me or care if I have a happy holiday?
The cover is interesting – with the hoe, hoe, and hoe – but it lacks a humorous payoff inside the card. It simply mentions "Happy Holidays" with a company name.
A donation will be made in my name to a charity. Nice gesture. But why not choose a charity aligned with the card's theme, such as the Sustainable EarthFoundation?Lesson: Even business holiday cards should be personal and engaging. If you want to strengthen your business relationships, take a few extra seconds to verify your recipient and sign each card.