Sending holiday cards to your clients can be an effective marketing move, and an all-around kind human gesture. Holiday cards depict the softer, more personal side of your business which can strengthen client-attorney relationships, reinforce your brand, and generate leads at the same time—that is, if they’re done correctly.

Holiday cards, while seemingly simple, can be inappropriate and even offensive if you don’t take the time to think about what you’re sending and to whom. Before you draft up a bunch of holiday cards and send them out to your clients at random, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep good will towards men on both ends.

Keep Your Holiday Cards Holiday-Generic

There are many religious observances celebrated during the month of December, so unless you know first-hand of your client’s denomination, or lack thereof, send a holiday card that’s generic as possible. Pine trees covered in snow, ice skaters on a winter’s lake, decorated snowmen, etc., with a card insert stating “Season’s Greetings!” will do just fine.

Keep Your Holiday Cards User-Friendly

Although this is specific to each client’s case, it’s an important reminder. Don’t send a holiday card featuring a loving family opening gifts around a tree to a divorcee client; children building a snowman outside a beautiful home to a client facing foreclosure, etc. These details are extremely important to keep in mind, as sending a card like this to your client can not only hurt them personally, it can cause them to question you professionally, and how much you understand about their case.

Sign One, Sign All

If your firm has over 20 partners, you can probably skip this point. But if your firm is a practice with less, it’s important that all members of your firm sign holiday cards—including receptionists, paralegals, and junior partners. A quick signature by you when five other members are actively working on a client’s case is rude.

And make sure signatures are hand-signed in ink. Nothing wishes a genuine “Happy Holidays!” like a card with your firm’s name stamped on it, and not a single signature. You’ve received these cards. How did you feel about them?

Email Marketing Doesn’t Work For Holiday Cards

Email campaigns can work great during holiday months, as they inform your subscribers of business objectives for the coming year, events taking place, etc. But for holiday cards? Don’t do it. An email blast is exactly that—an inclusive tool that hits everyone on your list. There’s no customization or personal attention here. And for a holiday card, this will be poorly received.

Send Holiday Cards Early in December

To accommodate all of your clients with holidays taking place throughout the month, send your holiday cards the first week of December. This will ensure that your card is timely delivered during the mailing season boom.

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