This tumultuous year is nearing its end – and it’s the perfect time to connect with your customers. Now is a great chance to say “thank you” to those faithful supporters that have stuck around during this difficult time.
But, how do you do that? With a powerful, personal message that honestly speaks to your customers.
Holiday greetings for business purposes have been around for a long time, but new technologies have allowed us to delight clients like never before. You can now make your message stand out in simple, yet effective ways, and create a meaningful connection with your audience that may last for years.
In this article, we will go through your business holiday card message and what it should contain, how you should structure it, and what pitfalls to avoid.
Choose the right format and send the right message
Your first instinct might be to go traditional – nothing shows that you care like a hand-written note with a signature and a personalized message.
But, sending a holiday message to clients is a business decision, and those should rarely be made based on instincts. Instead, choose the right format for the client receiving the message and for your business as a brand.
So, an online business that offers IT consultation services will likely send an email or a fun little browser-based app to say “thank you” to its customers. A flower shop, on the other hand, could send a bouquet, a flower basket, or a hand-written note from its owner. Your overall brand communication should guide your decision when sending business holiday messages.
For example, here is how Mercedes-Benz did it in a holiday card that went viral:
Source: Mercedes-Benz Twitter
Classy, elegant, and minimalistic – just like Mercedes-Benz positions themselves.
On the other hand, here is how a small law firm from Minnesota called Johnson, Becker and Associates celebrated their clients:
The difference is instantly noticeable because these two brands have a very different image and style of communication.
Use images and video
If you decide to go digital and send your holiday cards via email, make sure you include some advanced formats. Even a simple image with a headline written on it can make your holiday greeting look better.
If you want to impress your customers and show how much you care, you might want to use a video. Research shows that including a personalized video in your message can double the engagement of your audience. Users receive dozens of “happy holidays” emails from brands near the end of December, so this could be a great way to cut through the clutter.
Customers seem to prefer video as well. A study of content trends by HubSpot showed that people want to see video content and are willing to dedicate their attention to such formats, rather than text.
With an app like Bonjoro, you can create personalized videos in a matter of minutes. You need five minutes to choose your template and record a video using our web or smartphone apps for Android and iOS. Once you’re done, you’ll have a fun, personal message for your clients that’ll hardly be similar to anything they’ve received this holiday season.
Check out our guide for making personalized Christmas videos and see just how easy it can be!
Make it personal
While we’re on the subject of personalization, it’s important to mention that you should try to tailor your message to each client, if possible.
You can go to great lengths to make this happen by creating a separate video or email for each client, or use a tool that dynamically changes your clients’ names depending on who you’re sending the message to.
Even starting the message with something like: “This is our fifth year together” is a step in the right direction – it shows your clients that you appreciate them and keep track of previous interactions. You can use all sorts of customer data to create a personalized message: from their name to their buying habits.
Spotify is an extreme example of this. They take your data and create a powerful message that makes you feel valuable and in control of your listening experience. But, at the end of the day, it’s just user data. Everything is right there, in the app. What impresses us as users isn’t the fact that they knew what music we listened to – it’s the fact that they created a cool message around it and went the extra mile to let us know they care.
Source: The Verge
Keep the message short
One thing digital marketing specialists like to discuss when it comes to content is the attention span of today’s users.
People don’t read too much text on the Internet. Most of the data we have pointed to this fact. Users skim the pages, looking for keywords that carry weight and headlines that interest them. They even share the articles they didn’t read all the way through.
That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t include text in your holiday greeting. If you want to do that, you just have to follow two simple rules: keep it short and scannable. When we say “scannable”, we mean that a user should be able to read your content without giving it too much attention. Highlighting keywords, using bulleted lists, and having only one idea in each paragraph are all good ways to make your content more scannable.
Studies support this claim: making your text more concise can increase its usability by up to 124%.
This is not a place to sell your product
Holiday sales and discounts are so popular that customers have come to expect them. While you can certainly keep your promotion schedule as it is and give your customers all the discounts you want, keep them out of the holiday card messages.
A holiday greeting should be informal, thankful, and customer-oriented. There is no room here for your products or special offers. Now, if you want to include a gift or a discount subtly, without being too sales-y, you can do that. We’ll get to that in a moment.
It’s all about creating that special emotional connection that will lead to brand loyalty and, eventually, brand love.
Why do these metrics matter?
To quote just one study, users that form an emotional relationship with your brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and are much more likely to recommend it to their friends and family than the average customer. Those same customers will spend more than double the money yearly compared to your regular customers.
So, creating an emotional connection with your users will not only make you more loveable – it will also affect your long-term profits.
Give a gift to your most important clients
Since the holidays are the time of giving, why not accompany your card or email with a special gift?
It can be as small and insignificant as the discount we mentioned above but it’s even better if it’s something physical that the client can get delivered to their doorstep. Simply take a look at who your biggest spenders are (chances are you know that already) and send them a little sign of attention. Compared to the potential connection you can create with the client, the small expense you have to pay is not even worth mentioning.
Source: Aquaholic gifts
Here’s the best part – the gift doesn’t even have to be connected to your business! Here are some cool ideas we’ve had experience with:
- A set of homemade tea blends in cool little jars;
- A box with your local gourmet snacks;
- Headphones, portable chargers, Bluetooth speakers;
- An assortment of homemade sauces.
Feel free to check out some other gift ideas we like.
Don’t hesitate to talk about 2020
We know that this year isn’t a fun one to talk about, but your customers deserve credit for making it possible for you to keep running your business. And, even though 2020 was a tough year, it allows us to connect with our users, empathize, and share their concerns.
So, make sure you mention everything your business went through in 2020 and exactly what your customers’ support meant to you. There’s no doubt they will understand it, as they have most likely gone through some tough times themselves.
How do you write a good holiday card?
Now, let’s get to the practical advice: how do you write a holiday card for business purposes?
- Start with “Dear Peter” – you might think this is too personal but that’s exactly the reason why we’re doing it. The card should be emotional and polite, unlike your other promo materials that can be more sales-y or playful. Also, try to address customers by their name instead of saying something like “Dear valued customer”.
- Connect in the introduction – the first paragraph should already mention something that creates a connection between your brand and the customer. The fact that they’re a long-time customer, a new customer, a big spender, an active user – any kind of data that will draw the customer in and make them listen to what you have to say.
- Finish with a “thank you” – right before you wish your customers happy holidays, you should express thanks for their continuous support.
- Holiday greeting – don’t forget that this is the whole purpose of the message. Depending on your overall brand tone, a simple “Happy holidays!” might suffice. You can also go with a fancier “We wish you and your family all the best and we hope to put a smile on your face for years to come!”
Holiday greetings for business: DOs and DON’Ts
Finally, here are some simple DOs and DON’Ts so you can make sure you don’t overlook some simple things and make silly mistakes.
- Have everything ready on time – if this is your first time sending out business holiday greetings, you won’t believe how busy the market is in this period. Whatever you need – cards, gifts, flowers – start asking around as soon as possible to have everything ready for sending in time.
- Include your signature – this is a small thing, but try to include your hand signature in whatever format you want to send. Your design team can easily recreate your signature and incorporate it into all your cards or emails. It’s a simple personal touch with minimum effort but it shows you care.
- Nurture the community spirit – it would be great if you can do something small for your local community and mention it in your message. If your clients can get involved – even better! Holidays are all about the community, so feel free to spread the holiday cheer and share it with your customers.
- Have a fun subject – going with a subject like “Happy holidays from <my business>” is a great way to make sure your email never gets opened. Instead, make it emotional with “Thank you for believing in us, <Username>”. That way, even if the user doesn’t read the email, they have a good idea of what you’re trying to do and it might get stuck in the back of their minds!
- Make it about you – it’s not about your success or how you overcame the challenges in 2020 – if you did, it’s thanks to your customers. Don’t make the greeting card braggy or self-promotional.
- Make it too religious – don’t think of this as a Christmas card, think of it as a holiday card. Some people might not celebrate Christmas, some might not be religious, and others could be downright insulted. Focus on the holiday aspect of the message and spread joy!
- Make it generic – finally, try to personalize your message at least a little bit. You don’t have to go all the way and create a special message from scratch for each customer (although that would be perfect), but at least mention their name in the opening line.
That’s it – you’re ready to create the best holiday message for your clients and spread holiday cheer!
If you need any help – feel free to hit us up and use Bonjoro to create cool, personalized videos to send some festive greetings to your users.