It’s a holiday dilemma worse than trying to decide who hosts the annual potluck dinner. What kind of seasonal greeting do you send this year? You are committed to being green, but that’s a bit hard to defend when you’re mailing out paper cards and envelopes. And digital cards have been accused of sucking the joy out of an actual personalized card delivered to your door (it conjures up the “Merry Christmas Exclamation Point” video created a few years ago by comedian Jon Lajoie in which he sends lame online greetings to everyone he knows).
Should you even try to send something at a time of year when everyone’s overloaded anyway?
Of course, you should. Seasonal marketing is extremely valuable to B2B and Professional Service businesses, particularly if you can tailor your marketing message to the spirit of the holidays. It’s a way of reaching out without selling (note we said, WITHOUT selling), and definitely, a way to demonstrate your company’s brand. It also reminds everyone that there are humans behind that business of yours.
Good grief—great greetings do exist
Like any digital message, the idea is to deliver value or great experience (or both). Appeal to your customers’ mindset, and if you can, take advantage of what your business does best. What can you send (by mail, dog sled or digitally) that’s going to make your customer feel special, and if possible, gives something that truly adds to the season?
Here are some ideas of great greetings:
Create something that’s useful – keeping it all fun and light. It could be a holiday checklist, a list of this year’s top ten green gifts, the best mocktails for designated drivers, or grandma’s favourite fruit cake recipe.
One smart illustrator/graphic designer sent a package of holiday fonts to her customers so they could put together their own greetings.
A data company, known for a lot of overwhelming statistics, designed a fun infographic with stats like how much eggnog is consumed over the holidays.
The only thing worse than getting one lame, digital card, is getting two that of the same. But if you have digital artists on-site, (at least one will do), designing your own one-of-a-kind digital message is a great chance to let staff build something fun and creative (and show off your skills to your customers).
A video greeting from “all of us to all of you”, short and sweet, can deliver a sincere message with a personal touch (and perhaps humour), e.g. ugly sweaters, hats and all.
Spotify makes it easy to create a holiday playlist to share with your customers. Give it a unique name, and perhaps invite contributions to your playlist.
A pet-friendly brand sent a clever email with holiday-themed cartoons, feeding safety tips, and other holiday survival techniques – related of course to pets.
Make your greeting part of an online photo or video competition, with prizes.
And the winner is…
The ultimate greeting? One company came up with the idea of giving customers the gift of “peace of mind”. Their digital greeting was a recording of a fake conference call that could be ordered via an 800 number. Anyone needing a bit of peace of mind over the holidays could just play the conversations over their computer in order to tune out the world around them.
Not everyone can be that creative, but it’s a great example of getting inside your customer’s mind and giving them what they really need—or at least, what will make them smile and feel appreciated.
Try not to overthink your greetings, just remember you’re trying to get closer to your customers and not sell anything to them. This year for our customers, we created a custom blend coffee called Marketing Fuel with our friends over at Sparkplug Coffee. Founder Kara Insert and I met this year and I fell in love with her product! She has taken on the mission of NO MORE BAD COFFEE! She has created a subscription option that mails you freshly roasted coffee right to your door. It is delicious.
Happy Holidays from Maguire Marketing Group! But hey this is not a holiday greeting and we are trying to sell you something. If you need help with your holiday gifts - it is not too late. Reach out to us now!