Flight School

Holiday greetings or not? 

Are you team holiday cards or not?

‘Tis the season and while we are doing our regular work, here comes year-end and the holiday season. This year, like many in the recent past, I’ve received questions like:

Should I send Christmas Cards?
Printed ? Digital? Email?
What should I say in my year-end message?
How should I contact my donors?
Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah (Chanukah?), or Happy Holidays?

These are the wrong questions. Let’s get real about holiday greetings, Christmas cards, and year-end messages.

Holiday Greetings

The holiday season presents a wonderful opportunity to deepen the bond with your customers and your supporters. But, there is a right way and a very wrong way to go about it. Here are four key points that will help you decide how to approach season’s greetings.

1. Consider your audience

When we get into the question of specific holiday greetings, or even format – you should consider your intended audience. For example, if you are a Christian church or ministry – ‘Merry Christmas’ is appropriate over ‘Happy Holidays’. If your audience is concerned about the planet, skip the printing and use digital delivery instead. Think about who you are reaching out to and choose the right format and messaging for them.

2. Check your relationship status

This is IMPORTANT.  You should be connecting with your clients, donors, network, etc. regularly. If you aren’t, this is not the time to reach out. Skip the holiday cards, end-of-year messages, and calls for support.  I realize that someone is clutching their pearls right now exclaiming ‘We have to send holiday cards!” Nope, you don’t. Without a relationship it is meaningless. No one will be sitting there saying ‘”You know, we never got a Christmas card from our insurance company this year.”

If your audience hasn’t heard from you all year, hearing from you this time of year is inauthentic. Instead, make a plan for how you will create a genuine connection in the future.

3. Make it meaningful

Before you design or send anything THINK. What would be truly meaningful to your recipient? Can you save them time or money? Can you show real appreciation and results from their donations? What can you do here that will make them feel good this time of year? If possible, include a personal note or message over a generic one. If your message isn’t meaningful it will hit the recycle bin before the ink is dry.

3. Choose your own timing

The day after Thanksgiving the number of unread messages in my inbox gave me anxiety! Everyone is sending messages, emails, cards, catalogs, etc. Your holiday message is just one voice in the chaos. Is this really the best time for you to connect with your audience? Perhaps you can choose another time to reach out. How about a Valentine? Thanksgiving note (we are Thankful for you)? Could you create a day specific to your organization to inspire your donors where you are not competing with other voices? It is OK to do your own thing!

After considering these points you may be joyfully creating your holiday cards, or thankfully crossing that item off of your to-do (and guilt) list. Both are OK! If you realize that you don’t have a consistent relationship with your audience, we are here to help you develop one! Let’s chat.

And, however you celebrate in this season we wish you a time of joy and prosperity.







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