Most individuals receive an onslaught of holiday greetings via email and post starting as early as October and continuing into the New Year. With all of this feverish well-wishing, it can be difficult for one individual email to stand out. This puts added pressure on those responsible for producing and circulating corporate holiday emails.
Some companies use humor to make an impression, while others still question whether or not humor is appropriate for the corporate setting.
According to Small Business Trends , which published data from a 2009 press release from Hallmark Business Expressions,
in a survey of 2,300 customers, conducted by Harris Interactive, 62 percent expressed interest in receiving humor cards from a company with which they do business and 65 percent said receiving a humorous business greeting card would result in a positive feeling towards the company.
However, Hallmark’s corporate humor collection shrunk considerably in 2011—retrieving only one card on a humor search—suggesting that there has not been a high demand for these types of cards.
A similar phenomenon can be observed on other sites selling corporate holiday cards and email templates. Most humor searches yield few results. The current trend seems to focus on whimsical graphics rather than downright funny text. Polar bears ice skating, cartoon Santas in business suits, puppies and kittens in Christmas wear, porcupines decorated with lights and references to the North Pole are the prevailing forms of humor in this year’s collections. With a few exceptions which feature, flossing reindeer, and a team of children on the naughty list, accompanied by their lawyer, to see Santa. But most of these exceptions are occupation specific.
When selecting an email template or generating your own text, remember that humor should be light-hearted, appropriate and should not target or demean any individuals, groups, faith celebrations or your company in any way. If you feel uncertain about whether or not humor is appropriate in your specific setting, it is probably best to consult a superior or use one of the other strategies below to garner attention.
Make Emails Personal
Personalize your holiday emails by using individual names in the greeting line. “Dear Customer” says “I don’t really know you”, whereas correctly-spelled names show familiarity.
Use Unique Email Designs
Stand out in the crowd with colorful, interactive graphics and unique layouts to support your text. Remember not to clutter your email visually, but rather to focus the reader on the most important information you want to convey. Templates are available online to help you craft and design your own. Templates range in cost from free to marketing programs with monthly rates upwards of $20.
Appeal to Your Customers
A holiday email is an opportunity to thank customers for their loyalty but should also accomplish the following:
1. Remind clients you exist.
2. Attract new customers.
3. Appreciate existing customers.
Remember to include the following marketing components in your holiday emails:
- links to your website,
- hot items from annual or seasonal catalogs,
- gift guides and any other element that can tastefully showcase your services.
Email attachments need to be less than 2MB, and we recommend that you host documents online when possible.
Update Your Email Contact List
The best way to handle email lists is to update them regularly throughout the year. Be sure that you have the correct addresses, names and titles for all your intended recipients. Do a little research to collect contact information for potential clients to add to your list.
Send Corporate Holiday Emails Early
If your emails are being sent to corporate accounts, it is best to send them in early to mid December. Many people take off for the holidays and you don’t want your email sitting in inboxes until the new year. Retailers should send out holiday emails as early as possibly especially when marketing seasonal goods.
Is an Email Enough?
For many clients or prospective clients, an email is sufficient to convey your thanks, well wishes, and opportunities for future business partnerships. It is also a cost efficient and timely method for transmitting your holiday greetings. However, tasteful gift baskets or another tactile expression may be the way to go with your most important clients. Bribery is never necessary, but remember, you cannot eat cyberspace.