One of the ways you can stand out during the holidays and build relationships with your clients is by sending out good old fashioned Christmas cards.
If you do it properly a very small amount of work can have a huge impact.
Preparation Throughout the Year
Throughout the year make sure you maintain an accurate database of your client?s addresses.
If you mail out a bunch of cards that no one gets then you?re just wasting your efforts.
When you sell a house it?s very easy to save the address.
You don?t even have to ask for it.
Make sure to ask lots of questions about your clients family, work, hobbies, etc. Store this information in your CRM system because it might help you personalize cards later.
Don?t Send Digital Cards
Email might be quick and easy but you should never send digital holiday cards.
A digital card is nowhere near as effective as a traditional one in the mail.
If you send cards by email they can easily be mistaken for spam.
Plus most people will hold on to your cards until at least after the holidays. They?ll hang them on strings, put them on a tree or just keep them on their desk.
You?ll easily be in your client?s mind for a few weeks.
Pick Quality Cards
When selecting cards make sure you get nice cards with nice envelopes. It?s ok to buy them in bulk, just make sure the quality is there.
Avoid things like jokes or religious messages.
You might find a card funny but your clients might not share your sense of humor.
Stick to generic holiday messages that can?t offend anyone.
Personalize Your Cards
Christmas cards are a perfect opportunity for expressing customer appreciation and gratitude. Not to mention well-wishes and happy holidays.
Be sure to include a handwritten note in every card.
This can be as simply as a quick ?thank you for your business.? Be sure to express gratitude for even more effect.
This is also an opportunity to bring up past conversations or ask about family members.
Also make sure you hand address every envelope.
Even though this takes a bit more time.
An envelope with a handwritten address looks more personal and is way more likely to be opened.
If the envelope looks like admail it?ll be thrown in the trash without even being opened.
Use Your Own Branding
Holiday cards also give you an opportunity to establish your branding.
By using your own imagery and style you can build associations between your brand and what your clients are looking for.
One very common strategy is to include a photo of you and your family.
This works incredibly well by establishing trust and showing that you?re human too.
Create Follow-Up Opportunities but Don?t Sell
Your cards can also give you follow-up opportunities in the new year as well.
There?s nothing wrong with politely asking for referrals, testimonials or other opportunities as long as you keep this subtle and not pushy.
Do not use your Christmas cards to promote or sell anything. These cards are solely part of your relationship building strategy.
They?re not direct sales vehicles.
There?s nothing wrong with including a business card as well.
With a business card there?s no doubt who sent the card and you?ve made it very easy for them to contact you in the new year.
Include Gifts if You Really Want to Impress
If you want to go above and beyond what?s required then feel free to include a small gift.
If you know your client has a particular fondness for a certain restaurant or store you could get a gift card from there as well.
Look back at the notes you?ve put in your CRM system throughout the year and see if you can come up with any ideas.
Get Your Cards in the Mail Early
Make sure your cards get in the mail early, the first week of December is best.
They?ll arrive before all the other holiday mail and it?s more likely they?ll be noticed.
If your cards arrive after December 25th then they lose most of their impact. If for some reason they arrive after January 1st then that certainly doesn?t look good.
Many companies are closed over the holidays and many people go away over the break.
Make sure your cards are delivered before this happens.
Holiday cards are an inexpensive way to make a great impression. They?ll also help you get more sales and referrals in the new year.
Cards are one of the cheapest forms of customer retention available. All they cost is a few dollars and a few minutes per client.
Don?t limit yourself to the holidays either.
You can send cards for birthdays or anniversaries of the day your client bought their home.
This way you can stay in their mind all year long.