This is part two of a two-parter post. Last week: How to Write a Stunning Holiday Letter for Your Friends and Family.
December. Yes, already. Wow, that year really flew by, didn’t it? It’s time to wrap up the year and plan ahead for next. But somewhere in there you’d really like to send your clients some holiday cheer. (Just more than one week to go!)
We all want to keep in touch with our clients, especially those with whom we haven’t worked in awhile. Writing an annual holiday letter is a great way to remind them of your skills. Of course, you don’t want your year-end cheer to decorate the trash can. Here are some ideas for crafting copy that prompts phone calls:
Remember – Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Yes, sometimes it’s tough to be PC all the time, but stick with a “Happy Holidays” message to avoid any card-in-mouth situations.
Plan your card. What is your goal? Are you simply sending good cheer with a message? Do you want to use this letter to inform old clients of a special holiday deal? If you have a regular e-newsletter, you may prefer to keep it simple. If you rarely send mailings, it’s a great time to mention some big news or upcoming special.
Practice the art of brevity. I mean it: one page only or less. Remember, your clients are busy, too. And they’ve got a lot of holiday mailings on their desks. (Besides, shorter will take less time.) If you’re simply sending greetings, one paragraph is fine. If you’re offering a round-up of the year or announcing something new, a few more are fine.
Write as if you were speaking to the client in person. They want holiday spirit that sounds like the person with whom they work.
Tell a story. The client is the story. Even when you’re writing about you. Find a way to make your holiday cheer about your work together this year — and the work you will do in 2012.
Avoid sounding salesy. “Please hire me!” doesn’t channel the holiday spirit.
Leave the self-deprecation and colorful jokes for your personal letter. Yes, you want to stand out, but why risk losing a client by sounding juvenile?
And it’s not just about the copywriting …
Consider paper (preferably recycled). It’s so easy to to send an email card, and even easier to overlook them. If you have a real message to impart to your clients, take the time to send it on real paper with a stamp and everything. It takes longer, but think about the message it sends.
Think unique. Everyone is sending holiday cards. How can you make yours stand apart? Maybe you can incorporate your product? If not, choose a funny card, choose individual cards for each client or buy some that are handmade locally.
Skip the photos. This isn’t your personal letter and they don’t want to see your dog, kid or a cheesy office group photo.
Sign your name and add a handwritten sentence. I know you can’t hand write each one, but include a short handwritten tidbit relating to your past work with the client if you can. If the client works with more than one person at your company, have each person sign his/her name.