How to Stay in Touch With Your Customers During the Holidays

By Marte Cliff

How many times have you gotten a holiday greeting card in the mail from a business and said (or thought) “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Christmas cards, even when signed by the whole office staff, look more like an obligation than a true wish for happiness.

Santa Claus  - photo by Barry M.

So what can you do instead? How about a newsletter – even a mini-newsletter. Send them some holiday tips or a great old family recipe. In other words, something personal that you might not send at other times of the year. Even better if it’s something they can keep and use.

If you send a full newsletter, include something just for fun. A short holiday tale, a holiday-themed puzzle, or some holiday trivia. Make it something they’ll keep around for a day or two while they do the puzzle – or something they’ll share with someone because it was interesting.

You should send cards – but only to those customers and clients you feel closest to. And on those cards, add a hand-written, personal note. Say something that shows you know who they are – and care about their lives. For instance “Hope your “human family” and those “monster pups” have a great Christmas!” Or how about “Wishing you a wonderful trip to visit the kids…”

If you really want to do a mass-mailing and can’t find the writing time and courage for a newsletter, try a postcard with a beautiful photo – or a tasteful cartoon. It will still look like a mass mailing, but at least it will catch their attention. They’ll notice who had the good taste or good humor to send it.

What about your best or most recent customers and clients? How about buying a few mini trees, poinsettias, or wreaths and personally delivering them? THAT would be impressive, and it would show them you care!

I know there are concerns that Christmas will offend someone. I can’t confidently advise you on how to handle that, because I live in an area where lack of Christmas would offend everyone! You know your area, and know what you should do.

I personally feel honored any time anyone wishes me a happy day of any kind. If they’re sharing their special celebration with me, that’s as good as if they’re sharing mine. But I realize not everyone shares that opinion.

Perhaps you shouldn’t send anything in early December. Depending on your locale, you do run the risk of offending someone. Some will be offended if you say “Merry Christmas” and some might even boycott you if you do not!

In addition, some people are so busy trying to juggle work, family, and holiday responsibilities that they don’t have much time to peruse their mail. Your good wishes could be lost in the shuffle.

With that in mind, consider mailing during the last week of the month instead – and send a Happy New Year greeting.

Everyone has a new year – no matter what religion they follow. So if you live in an area where that’s a concern, it might even be a safer choice.

For your new year greeting you can include a small “gift.” How about a one page report on the ten most overlooked tax deductions. Perhaps you could send a reminder about a new deduction available just this year. Or maybe a checklist of expenditures to record over the coming year would be most helpful. Everyone loves a gift, and tax tips are always useful.

My bottom line advice is this: Sending gold-foil, imprinted Holiday cards could well be a waste of time and money. Be a little creative, spend less money, and show your customers and clients that you’re a real person – a person who cares about them.

Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter and former real estate broker who specializes in writing for real estate and related industries. Marte’s e-book, Getting Clients, is a step by step guide to creating a marketing niche and developing it into a satisfying career. While written for real estate, the principles will work just as well for other sales careers. Learn more about Getting Clients at http://www.marte-cliff.com/career.html.
Her second e-book, The Land Buyer’s Survival Guide, is a resource for both land buyers and beginning real estate sales people – offering a guide to the questions that must be answered before it’s safe to close on a land purchase. Learn more about the Guide at http://www.marte-cliff.com/Survival.html

Marte offers a weekly ezine for real estate professionals and others with an interest in marketing. Subscribe when you visit her at http://www.marte-cliff.com