Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Cards – A waste of your time? Probably! Unless…

As I write this I’ve just received my first Christmas card of the season. It’s from a fabulous lady called Namita I met maybe 3 years ago in Darwin, Australia and she’s a prime example of how to ensure your Christmas cards aren’t a waste of time.

What can we learn from Namita:

1. Leader of the pack

Namita’s card arrived first. I remember the first card. I do not always remember the 200th card arriving on the 19th of December. When do you send your cards out? Are you first, or are you mixed in with the blur.

Tiny tip: set a diary note for the 14th of November, 2008 (recurring each year) to remind you to prepare and send out your cards so that you can be first next year.

2. The thought and care was obvious

Namita’s message inside the card was personalised and thoughtful. As a speaker and as someone who loves to give out a lot of business cards over the year I tend to get a lot of Christmas cards. This is lovely, but it also is a huge opportunity for me to see the absolute worst trends in sending out Christmas cards.

My least favourite Christmas card mistakes include:
• The card with a stock standard, small un-personalised message (c’mon - why bother?)
• The card with only a scrawled signature or even worse, just a stapled business card (puh-leese!)
• The message obviously written by an assistant or someone other than the person sending it

3. She’s a savvy business woman

Namita has just launched a new business: http://kidimpressions.com/ and she took the opportunity to send a letter about it, a brochure and to offer me a holiday gift of my own book! She doesn’t know it, but I usually get a personalised book for newborns – and I had been using one of her competitors up until now. Not anymore!

Tiny tip: A little gift that promotes your business is ideal – but also consider small items that will give a big bang for a buck. One of my favourites is a scratchy lotto ticket, sure most people won’t win up big time – but imagine if someone were win $10,000 – how much favourable word of mouth would you get then! (In fact – I’d give you great word of mouth if I won $10!)

4. Rocking the database

Namita also took the opportunity to congratulate me on my second wedding anniversary (this girl obviously knows how to database like a rockstar).

Tiny tip: Whenever anyone mentions a birthday, anniversary or significant event, jot it down, put it in your phone and database it. It’s a small effort but one most people won’t make.

Challenge for the week: See how many extra special dates (birthdays etc) you can gather for your database this week. My favourite tips include sneaking peeks at people’s licences when checking onto planes, showing ID etc (thanks to my mentor Glen for this one!) and asking what star sign people are and working from there. You can be a bit cheeky with it or alternatively – you can just ask people!

So Namita get’s an A+ on my Christmas card experience with her. To follow are some of the other tips I’ve learnt over the years.

5. Remember not everyone celebrates Christmas

I like a “Seasons Greetings” card myself purely for this reason.

6. Do them as you go

If the idea of hand writing all those Christmas cards at once is about as appealing as licking the underbelly of a sheep, consider writing them throughout the year. Real estate agents for example could write the cards as soon as a property they’ve sold settles when they add that client to their database. The Christmas card can then be thrown in a box and hey presto – when November comes around half your work may already be done.

7. Don’t rely on your brain

I have a category in my database which tells me who I need to send Christmas cards to. When I add someone to my database I decide if they’re getting a Christmas card and categorise them appropriately. It means come November, my cards are a no brainer. I print off my list, remove anyone, add any last minute people and write away to my heart’s content. And don’t think you need a database to do this – just keep a list as you write out this year’s along with addresses and I promise you, next year you’ll find it all the easier.

So there you go, 7 simple steps which, if implemented correctly, will make all that time, effort and stationery worthwhile. If you want to practice – I love a Christmas card: Kirsty Dunphey, PO BOX 7713, Launceston, TAS, 7250. Pop in a note if you’d like some feedback on your card!

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 5 comments


I read your artical until the second paragraph, when I realised you are still a selfish woman!

Did your mother never tell you "It's the thought that counts"? you have missed the true idea of Christmas here Kirsty! The very fact that someone took the time to send you a greeting or cheer at any time (regardless of quality) is a beautiful act of kindness, that you have rendered a waste of time! unless of course it arrives first! then you will accept it and put it in your scrapbook! You have a lot to learn as a Women!

Gee that's a bit harsh. I read Kirsty's blog and I don't agree with everything that she says, but to announce that she is a selfish woman and that she's missed the true idea of Christmas because she doesn't like impersonal cards (who does?) is a bit of an extreme leap. And what does that have to do with being a woman, exactly? Spare us your beautiful acts of criticism.

Well well well... a little animosity here... don't you just love the fact that blogging allows you to do that?

Captain Australia... this article was written as a post to assist the people that read my blog (typically business people) in having their Christmas cards make an impact.

I stand by my statement that if you want the card to make an impact - be there early and take a little time with it to make it personal.

I like the fact that the post stirred you up enough to make a comment though!

Denise :o)


I have spent a good many years of my life as a salesperson of one product/service or another.

I always sent out my Christmas/seasonal cards handwritten, both the address and sentiment inside.

I also have gotten a good amount of repeat business immediately after the holidays when my customer/clients call to thank me for their card.

Even now when I get a printed, labeled holiday card from other salespeople ~ how hard is it to write it out?

Just food for holiday thoughts...

Virginia, USA

First let me say Merry Christmas - I look forward to more of Kirsty's blogs in 2009.(I only just found you).
Sending cards at anytime of the year to people you meet can have a huge impact on the lives of the people you send them to.I make a habit of collecting names and address's of people who serve me.
An unexpected card on a Birthday or just a plain Thank You can bring you business for years to come.
I have found an awesome tool that allows you to send a persoanally mailed card,with your own handwriting,complete with database all for less than $1.50.You can even use photos & it is printed right here in Australia.
I have set up a gift for you this festive season.

Try it for Free - Send a couple of cards on me - 1 to yourself and 1 to someone you love.
User name : peneena
Passwword : peneena
Your Card is coming Kirsty.

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