It’s still summer, but many firms are already planning for the winter holidays. There will be events, gifts, and print and/or electronic holiday cards.
Last year the best electronic card I received was a link to a tongue-in-cheek video from Leisawitz Heller. The writing was very good, and I have to say that the attorneys did a great job of staying in character.
The firm managed to cover all of their practice areas in an amusing and entertaining way. I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with this year, although I believe that their effort was truly unique and will be difficult to surpass or replicate.
Each year I highlight just one; the very best I receive from the hundreds of law firms which are kind enough to include me in their mailing list. One year a personal letter which recapped business and personal events over the year created such an intense feeling of “relationship” with the attorney who sent it, it was an easy decision. For 2015, Leisawitz Heller made it another easy decision. Other years it’s been more difficult to ferret out extraordinary from ho-ho-hum.
I have just a few tips:
- Whatever you do, do it early. There is nothing as disappointing as a card which arrives after the holiday has passed.
- Don’t overthink the small stuff. Some firms feel that having the signature of all lawyers on each card, or a hand-addressed envelope, will make the card more memorable. Not so.
- Personalize if you can. Rather than sweat things like hand-addressing, putting a simple handwritten “Dear Client” at the top inside of the card is memorable, as is any other short personal message. I still remember cards with notes like “I know you can’t wait to get back to gardening in Spring . . . almost there!” Depending on the size of your mailing list, you may want to carve out only the top 10%, or best referral sources, for this type of personalization.
- Consider other holidays. Remember that Christmas is the largest mailing, and it’s hard to stand out in that crowd. Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful. What better time to thank clients and referral sources? Even Halloween can be utilized cleverly as a “touch” with clients and referral sources. It’s usually memorable.
- If your budget is limited, get more bang for your dollars with an electronic card. What you save on postage you can budget for creativity and quality.
- If you’re planning an event, get your invitation out early. People have too much on their calendar that time of year. If you’re not one of the first to reserve the date, you will not have a decent turnout.
Wondering what I do? Some years I do nothing. Most years I do a limited mailing to clients and key vendors and referral sources. I use a high quality memorable card. But I order several designs, so that when multiple people at the same firm get a card from me, they get different designs. It’s noticed. I also try to include a personal message in each card. At a minimum I write their name inside the card. And yes, my 2016 cards are already ordered and here.