The holidays are a special time of year, a chance to connect with the people who matter most in our lives. For law firms, the holidays are a great opportunity to show clients, staff, lawyers, and the broader community how much you care. This is especially the case in 2020, a year that has been challenging to say the least.
Ensuring your firm’s holiday card, and the message it sends, resonates with your clients, community, and team, has never been more important.
Here are 5 holiday card best practices we’re focusing on with our clients for 2020.
1. Focus on Your Message
Both lawyers and marketers understand the importance of conveying the right message at the right time. Your firm’s holiday card reflects on your firm’s brand, so you’ll want to get this right.
It’s also important to be sensitive to current realities. We are living in extraordinary times. The ongoing global pandemic has raised justifiable fears about health and safety. It’s also resulted in economic uncertainty and generated substantial challenges for law firms and the clients they serve.
There has also been a renewed focus on issues of racial injustice in recent months, creating awareness that racism, and race-based inequality, remains a pervasive problem. This has led many companies and firms to reflect on their own diversity initiatives.
Your holiday card does not have to focus on these issues, but you also don’t want to be tone deaf. Ultimately, your message and tone should account for the sentiment of our communities.
2. Determine Your Medium
How are you going to reach your audience? This question is especially key in 2020, as many clients may be working remotely and some may be isolating or subject to shelter in place orders. A second wave of the novel coronavirus could also send those at work back home. It’s difficult to predict how the situation may evolve.
A print-only strategy may be risky. It would be a terrible shame for your firm’s beautiful printed card to sit unopened in a vacant office building. You might be able to send it to home addresses, but gathering these might be time intensive and there may be privacy implications to collecting this personal data. Also, there may be issues with USPS delivering your card on time.
While hardcopy cards can be impactful, you may wish to consider augmenting a print send with a digital send. Digital also has the advantage of being generally lower cost and easier to determine how many people received, opened, and engaged with your card.
3. Finalize Your Budget
Different card options cost different amounts. If you have significant volumes, print generally costs more than digital and custom usually costs more than pre-designed options.
Factors that Impact the Cost of Print Cards:
- Custom v. pre-designed
- Quality of paper stock and envelope
- Embellishments, e.g. foil
- Mailing and delivery
Factors that Impact the Cost of Digital Cards:
- Static design v. animated (and complexity and length of animation)
- Stock or custom photography and/or video
- Email marketing system costs
The lowest cost option is to send a simple, static electronic card through an email marketing system. Higher cost options include custom animation and beautifully designed print cards. These higher-cost options are also more impactful, unique, and memorable. But, with the right messaging and design, success is possible at every tier. Avoid a pre-designed card if your budget allows.
4. Incorporate Your Brand
Consistency is an essential part of building a great law firm brand. Your firm’s holiday card should reflect your firm’s visual brand. Recipients should only need to glance at your eCard or print card to make a positive connection to your firm. Ensure that your firm’s colors, typography, logo, and other visual brand elements are used in the card.
Your firm’s verbal brand, including your firm’s guiding values and messaging, should carry through your holiday card as well. This can be subtle and brief, as little as a tagline, or you could go further and incorporate more robust messaging.
This may also be a good opportunity to share news of your firm’s good works: Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, volunteering activities, pro bono work, and charitable contributions.
5. Leverage Your Card Across All Channels
It’s a safe bet that our inboxes will be inundated with holiday cards come December. Due to the pandemic, more firms will be switching to an eCard this holiday season.
How can you stand out? For eCards, the email subject line is critical to your open rate: make every word count.
It’s also a great idea to leverage your card across many digital challenges to increase visibility. Post your card on all firm social media pages and encourage lawyers and firm professionals to share with their own networks (you can send them links or notify them through LinkedIn to make this easier!)
Don’t show your beautiful creation on a vendor website. It’s your content, embed it on your firm’s website instead. Featuring your holiday greeting on the homepage is another great way to ensure that it is seen. You might also want to speak with your IT team about placing a link to the card in the firm’s e-Signature for the duration of the holiday season.
The best time to start thinking about your firm’s holiday cards is in the summer before. The second best time is right now.
We provide a full suite of holiday card services for law firms, including custom design for both print and digital formats. If you’re interested in learning more, we invite you to get in touch with fSquared Marketing today.