These past few days I have been receiving a variety of holiday greetings ranging from individuals and/or companies. I always get excited when people send me holiday greetings. However although there might be exceptions when I see it is for an email of a company to send a general corporate email to possible clients or clients like for example sending out something that is of value for the recipient.
Something that irritates me is when I see message after message in my inbox that was created for a list of individuals. The issue is that I understand why companies send season’s greetings via email but when even individuals, friends, family members decide to send you a generic message I think it is a little too much.
A few things that I think make the holiday greeting lose its pure essence:
Leaving the Entire Distribution List Visible
Not only are you sharing your list with the public it also opens the door for unsolicited emails to be sent from one of your contacts to another of your contacts. It can create discomfort and even make some of your customers lose your trust.
Insert Name Here Message
Nothing says I really did not care about our relationship and much less has time to send you a personalized greeting message like making a generic message and sending it to x amount of people. If the only thing that is different in each message you send to a group of people is the name of the person, I think it is better if you don’t send anything.
Don’t Self Promote yourself or products
If you really wanted to send me a positive message during the holiday season maybe try to not to sell me a product or brag about all the accomplishments you have. It makes even worst when I see false claims of individuals calling themselves experts and they clearly don’t know what they are talking about. A good example was an unsolicited email (better known as spam) that mentioned how the company that sends the email was full of web design and development experts. However their content is uploaded into the website in PDF format which can be detrimental to any online effort.
Not Refreshing Your List
If I spoke to you in 2006 about a possible project and we are approaching 2012 and you never got back to me then and we have not spoken since why would you decide to send me a holiday greetings now. I recommend periodically (at least once a year) validating that those on your list want to be still receiving your messages and communications. (4 Ways Of Keeping Your Email List Fresh)
Don’t Send Holiday Offers to Random People
Many individuals try to hide an offer with a moving .gif (image) and a happy holidays image. If the person that you are sending the content or info did not request to receive messages from you keep in mind you are spamming them and possible doing something illegal.
The Generic SMS
Companies and individuals do this (I am guilty in the past of this). They take a full list of people and just include them with a generic holiday message. The funny part is that most of the replies end up being pretty generic. If you feel like that person is that important enough for you to send them greeting take the time to create a unique message.
I recommend fixing it!
I mentioned a few of the things that irritate me but I think by doing the following you can probably create better relationships with your costumers.
Create a Personalized Video Message
My good friend and business partner Chris Brogan created a unique video sending holiday wishes to my family and myself. Not only did he practice his Spanish he also made me smile with his humor and the genuine affection he can project (even through a video). If you can’t sit in front of your customers take an afternoon and create a few videos where you send a unique message to each recipient.
Do you need help with creating a strategy to make your business or yourself a bit more human? As a Partner of Human Business Works along Chris Brogan, Rob Hatch and the rest of the team we can help you connect in a better way with your clients and community by “Amplifying the Human Digital Channel”.
Write a Short Personalized Message
If you prefer to write go ahead and make a unique message for each recipient. Make sure you demonstrated that the message is unique for each recipient.
Make sure a Human Sends the Message
I decided to create a holiday family post card of the family and contacted some of my business contacts as Raúl not as my company CIMA IT Solutions Corp via a generic company email. It is critical that you communicate as a person and not as a logo or brand name. People like to engage with humans not logos.
These are just a few ways you can contact your clients during the holidays or during any other event in a way they get the message that you care about them.
In 2012 I will be working along Chris Brogan, Rob Hatch and the rest of the Human Business Works team to help more people create solid communities without forgetting that he human aspect is not only critical in social networks and online presence, but in the most basic sense of communication.