Five Holiday Card Design Tips Your Business Can’t Afford to Ignore

Sending holiday cards to clients, prospective customers, vendors and even employees is a valuable investment. Whether you want to show appreciation or stay top of mind, holiday cards—when done well—offer an opportunity to differentiate your company and strengthen your relationships.

Ask yourself, with all other things being equal, would you do business with a company that took the time to send a holiday card or the one that only called for your order? The choice is clear.

Corporate holiday cards are a simple gesture that goes a long way in strengthening relationships. Frankly, you can’t afford to not send them. But a generic, low-budget card won’t do the trick.

Show customers and prospects you care with these 5 holiday card design strategies. And if you want a little more help, we’ve got some holiday card templates to get you started!

Corporate Holiday Card Design Tips

  1. Don’t Skimp on Quality

    According to the Greeting Card Association, each year we send 1.6 billion holiday cards which account for 25% of annual greeting card sales. That’s a whole lot of cards and why a run of the mill holiday card just won’t do.

    Neuroscience tells us that our sense of touch has a tremendous impact on our behavior. When something feels nicer, we automatically place a higher value on it and feel better about the person or brand behind it. That’s why the materials you use matter—particularly during the holidays when emotions run high. Selecting a premium paper stock or using high-end print techniques like embossing or specialty coatings are an excellent way to add value to your holiday message.

  2. Make it Personal

    A 2016 direct mail study conducted by InfoTrends found that 84% of people are more likely to open a direct mail piece when they feel it’s personal and relevant. And while a handwritten card is ideal, it may not be feasible especially if you have a long list of recipients. Fortunately, variable data printing offers limitless opportunity to send unique holiday cards to each person on your list.

    For example, you could personalize a thank you message for customers and mention a particular project or product they purchased last year. For clients that you have a close relationship with, you might consider including their spouse or children’s name(s) in your holiday well wishes. In addition to text, you can personalize your card with images of a particular account team, sales rep, office or location.

  3. Send the Right Message

    Holiday cards are a way to show customers and prospects that you care and that you share in the spirit of the holiday season. They are not a sales pitch!

    Keep your message simple and make sure it reflects your company culture. If your brand is known for being a little quirky, the design of your holiday card should be too. Try a fun pop-up, die cut shape or photograph of staff in ugly holiday sweaters. The key is to make sure the message is inline with your brand and sent from the right person or team.

  4. Don’t Forget About the Envelope

    A perfect holiday card stuck in a boring envelope may never be seen.

    The envelope is often an afterthought for many print and direct mail projects. However, it should be an integral part of your design and another chance to stand out using color, texture, or personalization. One way to personalize the envelope is to use Handwriting.io—a digital technology that looks like real handwriting because every letter is different. By addressing your envelope with Handwriting.io you can send many holiday cards while still making it feel personal to the recipient.

  5. Timing is Key

    When it comes to holiday cards, the early bird wins. Once December arrives, companies will be receiving multiple cards and gifts each week, and yours can get lost in the shuffle. Plus many people take vacation during December, so if your card doesn’t arrive in time, you’ll miss the opportunity altogether. If you’re planning to send during December, it’s best to make sure your holiday cards are in the mail by December 10th at the latest.

    But who says you have to send holiday cards in December? Sending your cards at non-peak times can be a great way to stand out. Why not opt for a Thanksgiving or New Year’s card instead? Chances are they’ll be fewer cards in the mailbox, and your recipient will notice.

Happy Holidays!

Running short on time? Don’t have a designer on staff? Don’t skip your holiday cards.

Download one of our holiday card templates to get started

Tags: Services, Holiday Cards, Marketing, Print & Direct Mail

Picture of Michelle Cardin

Michelle Cardin

Michelle Cardin leads Shawmut’s creative team in developing print, direct mail, and digital marketing campaigns. Some of our work includes projects for Dell EMC, Boston College, athenahealth, Insulet, and OBP Medical. She is an experienced marketer and copywriter who enjoys helping clients solve communication challenges and create successful marketing campaigns.

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