The Reasons Why Holiday Cards Still Work in The Digital Age

‘Tis the season… for sending holiday cards to your clients. Never mind about Halloween; Christmas and the New Year are the cherries on top of the year – and it’s a must for you to start listing your today’s clients, as well as your past clients. That’s right – don’t forget about your past clients. Here’s why.

You see, acquiring new clients is resource-intensive. Keeping your current ones is proven to be more cost-effective. But you shouldn’t forget about yet another type of clients: Those who have done business with you in the past, and for some reasons – perhaps it’s because of the lack of engagement on your side (gasp!) – they aren’t ordering from you anymore. The holiday seasons are always the right seasons to reach out to your past (read: ex-) clients.

Season greetings card - example
image via Basic Invite

But why holiday cards when you can just reconnect via email, SMS or other messaging tools? The answer is romanticism and personalization.

Romanticism rules

Do you love the 70’s music? I know I don’t, but many do. But why do they love oldies? Most likely than not, its’ because you are sentimental and being romantic about the old days. This also holds true with business relationship.

Most of us are being romantic about our business relationship. We remember the pleasant feeling we have when receiving something unexpected from a business.

Thank you card
photo credit: Michael J / Flickr

Did you know why swag in trade shows still work? Because people are still paying attention to the fancy things that are visually appealing and something that they can feel and touch. Cool swag spark conversation, and most likely than not, they’ll end up on your office desk for quite a long time. Chances are, you glanced over them a few times in a day, subconsciously remember the moment you receive them in a trade show.

That’s romanticism in action, and holiday cards play the same role, too.

Some moments ago I received a handwritten holiday card from a former business partner from a different country in the other part of the world. It’s a simple season greetings card, with a message that says it was a pleasure collaborating with me. It’s signed by the CEO. I remember that the card end up staying on my table for days – it’s the lingering hint of heartwarming feeling that keeps me thinking about the business. Even now in this article, I’m talking about the little event that happened nearly eleven months ago.

(I hope he’ll send me another one for this year!)


I know, I know – automated season greetings you receive via WhatsApp, Gmail, etc. from your insurance companies, service firms and other organizations that do business with you are a bit lame to be honest with you. But those works – that’s why they’re keep doing it. However, what if those companies step up in their game, sending personalized holiday cards to their clients – and past clients, too?

Custom Christmas card
photo credit: Lauren Manning / Flickr

“But it’s so old-school!” you scream. Well, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’m one of those ‘old dudes’ who love old school things. But to clarify, I’m about as cutting edge as those in their 20s. I believe in social media, 3D technology, AI and cloud technologies. I think that sooner than later, laptops will become obsolete and business people will only use smartphones for business.

But I still believe the value of the effort to engage in a business relationship in a more personal way. I’m not thinking about the rise of the bots in customer service that are able to understand each customer’s preferences through the big data they processed; I’m thinking about a CEO or a company who took 2 or 3 minutes of her limited time to send a personalized holiday card for me, a former client.

I don’t know about you, but I think not many businesses can do that. And as not many can, I’ll be most likely to do business with the CEO who sent me the personalized holiday card. Why? Because the company is now on top of my mind – the best ‘real estate’ for their brand.

If your brand stays on top of your market’s mind, you win.


Spending your hard earned money on holiday cards might seem like a bad idea at first. However, I believe that customer relationship should be weigh in gold. Holiday cards – along with any other tools like trade show swag – can help fostering relationships between your company and your client. As engaged clients will likely to do business with you, the ROI of such tools is very promising.

So, what do you think of holiday cards? Are they a waste of money, or still matter in today’s digital world? Please share your opinion.