The holidays are officially upon us, which means it is high time that you send out seasonal cards. Holiday cards are effective tools for summing up your year and spreading good wishes to important people in your life — be those people, friends, extended family or even customers, investors, employees and partners of your small business.
Yet, before you buy the first holiday cards you see, you should be aware of a few mistakes that plague far too many seasons’ greetings. Here are some of the worst don’ts to avoid this year and all holidays to come.
While it might seem that half the year is devoted to staving off the winter holidays, the truth is that the holiday season often sneaks up on you. So, if you procrastinate your holiday cards, chances are that you will miss your window and end up delivering cards well past the holiday season. Unless you anticipate a late delivery date and design New Year cards instead, you should avoid the temptation to procrastinate. It doesn’t take long to select a design, upload your own images and messages and order your holiday cards; you can knock out this project in an hour or less, so you should set a date for it every November.
Forgetting Your Audience
When you send holiday cards to your friends and family, you should include images of your own family, a brief update on important life changes during the year and heartfelt well-wishes for your recipients. However, when you send holiday cards to business stakeholders, such personal holiday cards would be out of the norm. It is important that you create a holiday card that makes sense for your audience, which might require making different holiday cards for different groups in your life.
Unfortunately, it is easy for one holiday card to look just like another. You are sending a holiday card as a way to connect with important figures in your life, so you don’t want your card to be tossed on the pile without a second thought; rather, you want your card to be eye-catching and memorable in some way or another. For a family card, you might consider dressing up in fun costumes or using funny poses; for a business card, you could handwrite a note to each recipient, spelling out why their contribution matters to your business. If you are having trouble with what to write in holiday cards, you can find tips online.
A holiday card can be a marketing tool, but it isn’t an advertisement. When you are sending holiday cards for your small business, you shouldn’t try to use them as a way to highlight your new products or push seasonal discounts. Instead, you should use your holiday cards to sincerely connect with the investors, employees, customers and others who have helped your business over the past year.
Using Bad Grammar
There are a few key grammar mistakes that plague holiday cards; here are the errors you want to avoid this season:
- A comma should follow your closing phrase. For example: “Best wishes, x” or “Sincerely, x” are correct.
- You should only use an apostrophe in “it’s” when you mean “it is.” Its, without the apostrophe, is a possessive pronoun.
- “Season’s greetings” requires an apostrophe, but “Happy New Year” does not.
- Family names usually do not need an apostrophe. For example, the Jones Family or the Joneses are both correct.
- The “m” in “merry Christmas” does not need to be capitalized unless it starts a sentence.
Neglecting Your Contact Info
Every holiday card should come with your contact info or the contact information for your company. Then, if a recipient of your card wants to send one of their own in return or get in contact with you for some other reason, they don’t have to search high and low for a means of doing so.
Skipping the Rest of the Year
Too many people send out holiday cards and neglect to reach out to loved ones and stakeholders the rest of the year. If your business receives a positive response from your holiday cards, you might consider sending out similar cards for other holidays, like Valentine’s Day or Halloween. When it comes to personal holiday cards, you should try to keep in touch with your friends and family, making direct contact rather than relying on social media to share information about your lives.
It still isn’t too late to order your holiday cards for this year, but you need to act fast. Fortunately, thanks to this post, you can avoid these mistakes and be certain that your holiday cards will be impactful every year going forward.