Holiday E-Cards Are Lazy. But You Don’t Have To Be.

December 23, 2011

How many ecards did you get this year?

This isn’t my first post on this topic, but every year,  I receive electronic holiday greetings and they piss me off and if you know me, I’m a stupidly positive person. So, if I am annoyed enough at something to blog about it, you might want to pay attention.   I have stopped counting the number of electronic greetings that I have received this year. Who decided this practice of spamming  emailing good cheer was ever a good idea? The “cards” are filled thoughts of holiday cheer, season’s greetings or one of the other clichés. Most have a pretty picture of snow, Christmas trees, or another typical scene associated with the month of December. These cards are sent in bulk, usually through an email marketing system or simply through Outlook.

I have received a few that had a creative design related to the company that sent it (those I gave a smirk to), but most were very generic and without thought. Yes, I suppose that some people reviewed their databases and checked off my name to receive the email (I give them credit for that effort). I also suppose that they think they are being giving or perhaps engaging in a green practice by saving paper and sending electronic greetings.

I think they are being lazy. If you are sending cards to business associates, it’s to thank them for their support or business. It’s an opportunity to let them know that you are thinking of them and that you value their business.  When you rely on technology and the simple click of a button, this doesn’t tell me you care a whole heck of a lot. It tells me that you have forgotten about the personal touch an that you have opted for the easy way out.

This year I signed about 150 cards. These went to people who I know and like and who I wanted to remind that I appreciate them. Does this make me some kind of holiday super hero? Not at all. It was work. Like sending a newsletter or writing a blog post. It took several hours to print mailing labels, sign cards, stuff and add postage and mail. I even added little stickers to the cards to add a little flair. The truth is I waited to long to order custom cards so I used the store bought variety and felt very guilty about it. (Remind me next year to start sooner.) The bottom line is that while I really do enjoy sending greetings, card don’t get signed themselves and I had to budget time to do this.

OK, So I’ve made you feel guilty enough. Let’s talk about how we can get you on the right track for 2012!

Seven Ways to Send Holiday Greetings For Business Connections

  1. Call people and wish them happy holidays. It might take you all day, but people will be happy to hear from you.
  2. Send a New Year’s card. It’s never to late to send good wishes. You can write them out while watching football and drinking beer. You can even do it in your PJs.
  3. If you had family in town for New Year’s or were traveling, send a Valentine’s Day card. Do you see a theme here?
  4. Record personalized videos and send them to people. The key word here is personalized. Greeting don’t always have to come in the paper form to have meaning.
  5. If you need to go the email route, send personal notes via email. Yes, this can be time consuming. It takes time to nurture relationships. There are no shortcuts.
  6. Make a donation to the charity supported by your client. You can’t do this for everyone, but if someone is very passionate about a certain cause, this can be a great way to let them know they are valued.
  7. Remember that December is not the only month to let people know they matter. Clients, colleagues and association members keep us in business.  Take the time to recognize birthdays, holidays and everyday. Digital communication is powerful, but nothing replaces the human touch.

To those who have taken the time to send me real cards, thank you. They are proudly displayed in my office. To those of you would took the other route, I wish you a very happy holiday too and wish you a wonderful 2o12 (because I do understand and still like you).

I’m not the only one who has this perspective on holiday cards. Here are some posts from other blogs along the same lines. Do you agree or am I just caught up in tradition?

Your Holiday Card is In the Trash

Why eCards, eVites, eGreetings, and such are eVil

Ecards Prized as Quick, Scorned as Impersonal