Pet Peeve: Marketing in Holiday Cards

Posted by on Dec 23 2014

Call me anti-Grinch.

I love when I receive holiday cards from vendors, colleagues and other business contacts. What I hate, though, is never receiving any other communication from them all year, and then when they finally do send a holiday card, there’s a promotion for a sale or a discount coupon. Really people, get a clue!

I received a holiday card today (a “thank you for Thanksgiving” card) from a vendor that I haven’t heard from all year. Inside was a coupon for a discount on her service. So, she ignores me all year, doesn’t keep up with major changes in my business (like a new address), then tries to sell me something in her holiday card. Yuck.

The card went right into the trash.

Don’t these folks understand that sending the holiday card from the business, without any other marketing message, is a great way to market? It builds rapport and trust. It’s a subtle way to say:

“I believe in the power of abundance and relationships so much, that I don’t need to send you marketing messages at the end-of-year holiday season. Instead, I simply wish you joy, happiness and success in the New Year.”

Whatever happened to creating friendships with our clients, customers, vendors and other business colleagues? A holiday card is a chance to connnect, a chance to build rapport, and a chance to share warm wishes with another human being. Don’t smear it with crass commercialism. (Wait until AFTER New Years, then send them your offer!)

I’ll get off my soap box now.   🙂


4 comments for now

4 Responses to “Pet Peeve: Marketing in Holiday Cards”

  1. Marlene HielemaNo Gravatar

    And here I was trying desperately to get my PayPal coupon set up for my Christmas newsletter. I shall abandon that plan immediately!

    Great advice, as always!

    15 Dec 2010 at 8:58 am

  2. Lin ENo Gravatar

    I love getting Christmas cards! Don’t love getting ‘sold’. Great post.

    15 Dec 2010 at 12:22 pm

  3. Pat achillesNo Gravatar

    I’ve created holiday cards for companies as part of my business as an illustrator for years now. Happily, they’ve all been great companies, savvy enough to know that a greeting should be a greeting and not a coupon. I think, if some businesses slip up and promote a deal on a product, they are probably (mistakenly) thinking that they are giving a gift in a way to their client or colleague. When I work with them we try to ‘give value’ by being creative and fun in the outside illustration, and sincere in the inside sentiment. It must work pretty well, I have many repeat customers.

    05 Nov 2012 at 5:03 pm

  4. Mary KaplanNo Gravatar

    Couldn’t agree more! I received a birthday card once from a “good” friend with a 20% off coupon for her Mary Kay Cosmetics business. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

    16 Nov 2012 at 2:30 pm

Category: Marketing