The firm holiday card; a true indicator of the culture and branding of your firm, as well the ability of your senior legal marketers to plan ahead. The concept of planning for the winter holidays in October is difficult to digest for most people, as we have yet to pass Thanksgiving and Halloween. Yet, it is necessary for legal professionals to begin preparation for the holidays now, as, by the time December rolls around, it is far too late to organize any sort of business development initiative. So when it comes to law firm holiday cards, where do you start?
1. Start with the basics: decide what you want to say to your clients.
Your law firm’s holiday card is intended for clients, contacts, referral sources and the like. Do you want to use this year’s card to build stronger relationships with your connections? Do you want to say thank you to those who supported the firm over the past year? Or maybe you simply want to wish your clients the best for the New Year? Determine the message you wish to deliver to your contacts, and decide whether or not a holiday card is best suited for that particular message. Depending on what the message is and to whom you are sending it to, it is possible that alternatives such as gifts, receptions, or more formal lunches and dinners, may be more appropriate.
2. Determine your budget.
Have you set aside a budget for holiday marketing and business development initiatives, in particular, holiday cards? Think about the investment your firm would like to make on business development this holiday season – both financially and from a time management perspective, and decide on the resources you wish to allocate to holiday cards.
3. Should you go paperless?
While sending holiday cards electronically allows you to reach a greater number of people more quickly and at a lower cost, and it is more environmentally friendly, there is something to be said for a law firm that takes the time to craft a personal holiday card and mail it to each individual on their list. For those wish to send a paper card and are concerned about the environmental impact, there are plenty of ways to alleviate your worries, including choosing recycled paper products and sourcing from local printers who use FSC certified papers. There are many options that are environmentally conscious and won’t break the bank. For a gesture that is usually only made once a year, sending a paper holiday card in the mail can leave a lasting impression on clients and other contacts.
However, as more and more law firms decide to go paperless, e-cards are also a great opportunity for your firm to stand out. Our inboxes are always full in December, and there is a chance your e-card could go completely unnoticed. An e-card may be the right choice for your tech-savvy clients, or for your contacts who are constantly on the move. On the other hand, the traditional paper card is ideal for those connections who will appreciate the extra effort and thoughtfulness. With a paper card, you can send personalized, handwritten messages, and the person receiving your card can display it in their office. Regardless of the form you decide to use, you want your recipients to remember your law firm as “the one with the really [insert positive description here] holiday card”. The point is, you want it to be memorable. Which brings me to the importance of branding on your holiday cards.
4. Leverage your brand
It is important to remember that sending holiday cards is a business development effort. You could spend a ton of time and money on developing a well-designed holiday card, but if it lacks your firm’s branding, are you really capitalizing on every opportunity to spread brand awareness? Ensure that the holiday cards your firm sends out this season reflects your firm’s attention to detail, without the recipient feeling like they are receiving impersonal corporate junk mail. It is important to make the holiday message and design the most important parts of the card, and if done right, your brand spirit will effortlessly shine through.
If you are looking for inspiration for this year’s holiday card, feel free to reach out to us for tips, or go to our blog post on last year’s top holiday cards to learn some do’s and don’ts!