Writing Christmas wishes with a wish

Writing a Christmas card
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready…

If you’re struggling to come up with an original idea for writing Christmas wishes, I have a word of advice: don’t. Let’s not forget that Christmas and New Year wishes are a little opportunity to tell someone that you are thinking about them. This is one time when you can put your marketing pen aside and just wish people something nice.

Is a greeting card better than an e-card?

I often hear people debating the relative merits of paper cards and e-cards. It usually comes down to a discussion about price. E-cards are faster, cheaper to send and easily customisable. What’s not to like?

Well, how about impact? I remember visiting an office and seeing a paper card I had produced pinned to the wall SIX MONTHS AFTER CHRISTMAS. Compare that to the lifespan of an e-card: roughly 2 seconds. No matter how naff they might be, I always keep paper cards lined up on a shelf for at least a few weeks after Christmas. For me, there is no comparison. Remember also that you usually sign paper Christmas cards, creating a direct human link to the person you are sending it to. Personalise it. Say something nice. Say something simple.

Why not benefit from a seasonal offer?

If there is one thing that is guaranteed to move my finger to the “delete” button, it’s the e-card that comes with a special offer. Is this a sales pitch or seasonal wishes? Make up your mind. Do you send cards to your family and mention in passing that you have an affiliate link at a hotel or a good money-making deal that expires in 72 hours? Why should I be different? Do you think people will react in any other way than to scrub the e-mail?

Separate those messages. A good sales pitch with a special offer is always welcome. Greeting cards that sound like a flaky second-hand car salesman routine I find insulting. And irritating. And clumsy. And amateurish. Are you sure you want that to be the message you are sending?

I was quickly nauseated by all the recent Thanksgiving messages I received with special offers as 1) no-one  celebrates Thanksgiving outside the US (don’t forget to target within your list) and 2) if I wanted to buy an e-mail list/consultancy/software upgrade I’d use Google or Bing, thanks. I wouldn’t buy it from someone that tricked me into reading their message. I want to feel upbeat, not that I’m getting an upsell.

In a word: thanks

So take this opportunity to say thank you, to tell people you think of them occasionally outside the sales cycle, to share a little thought about life or the world. On a more philosophical note, remember that giving is good for your own morale. And the simplest thing we have to offer is thanks.

If you’re looking for more effective writing in the New Year, just contact me.

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