This Holiday Season Break Away from “Me-Too” Mailings
November 1, 2011

This card was printed on recycled chipboard and mailed in an apple green envelope. It’s a unique example of how to zig when everyone else is zagging.

Oh boy, another holiday card. I can’t wait to open it and see yet another card with little to no personalization, no handwritten note, and obviously no thought other than get the darned thing out the door and off my to-do list.

Here are six fresh ideas to rethink your holiday mailing approach. After all, if you can’t do it well or different, perhaps why do it at all.

Skip the Holiday Mailing

You may want to do a New Year’s mailing instead of one during the busy holiday season. You’ll miss the mailing glut — 20 billion letters, packages and cards were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.  Instead surprise your clients with a powerful message to start their business off with a business-boost message you’ve crafted just for them.

Pick a Different Medium

Stand out by sending your holiday message on anything but a holiday card. Consider sending a gift tag, jumbo postcard, 3D mailing, flash drive with a holiday carol on it, an invite to a fruitcake toss, or even a movie DVD for your A-list clients.

Don’t Be Slick

Don’t jump on the bandwagon by purchasing fancy, corporate, foiled cards so available to the masses. Produce something that looks homemade, vintage, hand-drawn, or crafty. Perhaps have your children draw the art or consider finding a letterpress shop or mimicking the old-fashioned look.

Get Writer’s Cramp

Even if you have preprinted information on the business greeting card such as your name, you need to add your handwritten signature. The most memorable holiday cards should have your personal signature and a short handwritten message.

And for even more oomph, don’t use computer-generated labels. They are impersonal and make your holiday wishes look like a mass mailing.

Scrub a Dub, Dub Your List
Use the month of November or December to call to say Happy Holidays personally and at the same time verify titles and addresses. Once your data is scrubbed, segment. You don’t have to mail to the world or your entire database. Nor should you.

Sending greeting cards is a 200-year tradition that involved sending only to the select few elite and wealthy in the early to mid-1800’s.  Most of the early greeting cards were hand delivered, and many were quite expensive, but they soon gained mass popularity with the introduction of the world’s first postage stamp issued in 1840.

Slap on a Cheery Stamp

Finally, you might want to skip the meter machine when you’re doing the mailing. Although you could save a few cents, having a holiday-themed stamp on the envelope is a much nicer touch.

The holidays are a time to be joyful. So please use these six simple ideas to share your holiday or New Year’s message uniquely, effectively, and with true joy. Otherwise, what’s the point

Holidays by the Numbers

  • 232 – Number of years the U.S. Postal Service has been delivering holiday cheer.
  • 20 billion – Number of cards, letters and packages to be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • 4 billion – Number of letters mailed over the holidays.
  • 82 million – Average daily number of First-Class Mail cards and letters mailed.
  • 960 million – Number of pieces of mail processed on Dec. 15, the busiest mailing day of the year.
  • 700 million – Average number of pieces of mail processed daily.
  • 826 million – Average number of pieces of mail processed daily during the holidays.
  • 20 million – In pounds, the amount of mail the Postal Service will process for overseas military installations, including war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • 7,400 – Number of Post Offices with expanded hours.
  • 214,500 – Number of vehicles used to transport holiday mail, including 188,336 half-ton trucks.
  • 17 billion – Number of holiday stamps the Postal Service printed this year.
  • 130 million – Number of customers who visit the Post Office during the holidays.

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