There are so many things on my holiday to-do list, and I thought I’d get Christmas up by November 1 but it’s looking more like mid-November but who knows with me! I might clear the schedule and say, “Make way for Christmas!” because I tend to say I will get to it next week and then I find my second wind and I get it done that day!
When I worked in corporate marketing I learned a LOT. I am so thankful for my five year marketing job experience I had where I was able to learn so much about marketing – from the importance of handwritten cards, marketing materials, professionalism, conferences, marketing terms and acronyms, I know that experience polished me for the entrepreneur life.
I ordered 50 holiday cards for my business – these will go out to active clients and “used in the last 2 years but not in the last year” so old contacts can still get that one last reach this holiday season to see if I can remind them I’m around for 2019!
I used to use Access as my CRM but I don’t need a huge database really, I use excel to keep track of my projects and every year I go down the list.
Here’s some business advice I’d love to share with you and what I do for my own business that might help you with yours!
TIPS ON SENDING CARDS TO CLIENTS
- Send cards to clients who gave you work or referrals. I say send “up” like in my case, PR, account managers, marketing. If you are a photographer you don’t have to send to your clients but you send to say, wedding venues, wedding planners, those kind of referrals.
- Consider sending cards to those you didn’t work with this year (but want to next year). If you haven’t heard from someone within 2 years I say they go off the list but you can always email (and should be keeping in touch) throughout the year.
- Pick your top 5, 10, 20 depending on how large your list is and send a gift. I pick my top by how much money/projects they gave me that year. You can create different levels, custom gifts and think about a product that can be reused often so when they see you, they will think of you! I once had a makeup artist send me an adorable leopard print bag (thanks Lauren Snow) and every time I used it, which was nearly every day, I thought of her! Your gift doesn’t have to be that expensive either! Anything is thoughtful.
- Consider handwriting the address on the envelope for personalization – depending on the size of your list. I don’t think this is necessary though, last year I did pre-printed since I liked the way it looked.
- If there’s room, sign the back of the card.
- Don’t forget to thank anyone who has given you a referral too! They are just as important to your thriving business as the ones who regularly send you business.
- Remember everything you send should be “on brand” – from the colors you pick to the item you send!
CLIENT GIFT IDEAS
- Carmel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – mark this its perishable on the box. I have sent these out before in my corporate job and also to my own clients.
- Last year I sent customized BirdieBox to local clients which can also send to your out of state clients too.
- Cheese plates, wine openers with coasters, I went to a boutique store called UrbAna and they have adorable things and I customized a gift basket to send.
- Branded coasters – they will use it every day at their desk and think of you. I did this last year.
Remember not everyone has to get a gift, but a card is thoughtful. I am certain if you sent one out you would already be way ahead of your peers.
If you are concerned about cost, remember it’s a marketing write off and I believe in being thoughtful, generous and thankful this season. After all, I would be nowhere if it weren’t for those who repeatedly send me business and I’m so thankful for it! I also believe in sending gifts to people who refer business to you. I have heard of businesses getting annoyed when they send someone thousands of dollars of work to not get a gift or anything ! Don’t be that person, I know you’re better than that! Even sending a small coffee gift card is a kind gesture.
So whatever you do, I hope you take time to thank those you network with, and spread some holiday cheer through cards and gifts! xx