It’s been a strange year for most of us.
We’ve been working without our colleagues, celebrating without our friends, and keeping our distant relatives at an even further distance than usual.
And as if things couldn’t get any stranger, it’s a year that’s about to finish with what could be the strangest holiday season of all.
We might be looking at a Christmas without big parties – without meeting friends and family, and without the extended gatherings and Christmas dinners, we’re all so used to.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t still keep in touch.
With so many families and groups of friends keeping a safe distance through the holiday season, people all over the country are looking for new (and old!) ways to send their season’s greetings to the most important people in their lives.
Christmas Cards are a physical presence in an isolated time
In a more normal time, Christmas would be the part of the year when old friends and distant relatives reconnect – and when thoughtful businesses would extend a personalised greeting to their most valued customers and clients.
You’d be seeing family members you hadn’t met for months – or friends you might not have seen since Christmas last year. And after nearly a year of lockdowns and social distancing, that would have been a welcome blessing.
But this year, we might not get to meet people face-to-face. (Or at least not as many as we’d like.)
And without that physical connection, a Christmas Card could be the next best thing to being there in person.
When you send a physical card through the post, you’re giving someone a tangible experience. You’re giving them a concrete keepsake of how much you mean to them – a lasting souvenir they can add to their collection, that can sit on display throughout the entire holiday season.
And if you’re running a business, it’s no different when it comes to your customers. You might have spent years building real-world relationships in face-to-face meetings (or establishing a presence in the local community with a high-street space).
But if you’ve spent this year behind closed doors, taking online orders and delivering customer service through emails, a physical Printed Christmas Card can be a useful reminder that you’re a real business made of real people in a real building – and that you value your customers enough to get a real message into their hands, no matter how far apart we all need to stay.
They’re a personal touch in a digital age
By now, we’re all used to Zoom and Skype. An email is just an everyday memo, and an e-card is usually a last resort when you’ve almost forgotten a birthday.
But with a hand-written printed Christmas Card, you’re adding a personal touch. You’re showing someone that you weren’t content to tap a keyboard and hit send – or to choose a JPEG and enter an email address.
Instead, you’ve taken time out of your day to think of them. You’ve ordered a card, thought of a message, written it out by hand, sealed an envelope, and visited a post box.
Of course we all know that these things aren’t strictly necessary. But there’s a sentimental value to the act itself: spending time and taking care with something as simple as sending out a message.
And that’s the kind of extra mile that makes a huge difference for your business. According to Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to buy when brands offer a personalised experience – and there’s nothing more personalised than a handwritten message delivered straight to their door.
They’re proof of a lasting relationship
Let’s be honest: you don’t send a Christmas Card to everyone you know.
It’s almost like an annual ritual. Just like Santa, you’ve got a list of everyone nice – and if someone’s on your Christmas Card list, that’s because they really mean something to you.
It means they’re not just a fair-weather friend or a passing acquaintance. It’s a sign that you’ve got a long-term, ongoing relationship with someone (even if you don’t see them very often), and you intend to keep on showing them that you’re thinking of them (even if it’s only once a year!).
It’s not something that’s reserved for personal relationships – and it’s not something that’s lost on the receiver.
Every year, we get orders for Christmas Cards from small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers, all of them sending out handwritten cards to their clients and customers. And while we don’t have any solid statistics, we can say with confidence that this is the kind of extra-special professional touch that we love to see as customers ourselves.