Have you noticed how printed Christmas and holiday cards have pretty much disappeared from the corporate world?
The trade-off between writer’s cramp and hitting ‘send’ is a no-brainer. What’s not so obvious, is that going digital throws up a painful new dilemma: what to write?
With a printed card, a short message is seen as a personal gesture. The recipient gets why you’re doing this. When you have 100+ cards to write, doing more than just signing is a big thing. But with an email, everyone knows you only have to write one. And it really should be a good one.
So, how do you write the perfect Christmas email?
You’ll need to start with a greeting. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so it’s best to keep it simple. Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays or even Happy Everything will work nicely. Add an image behind it and you’re on your way.
For the body copy, ignore the rules about less is more. Instead, think of this as a perfectly curated gift basket. And this is what you need to include:
- A warm heart
- The real deal
- An unexpected gift
- Something to share
- Something practical
A warm heart – This is where you thank and acknowledge people for the past year. Think of what you want to say to your favourite customer, supplier or business associate and write that down. As your mum says, “Be gracious”.
The real deal – This really goes hand-in-hand with the first gift. It’s about being genuine in your thoughts and tone of voice. You may need to modify what you’ve said (just a little), so that it doesn’t sound cheesy to people who don’t know you as well, or who know they belong in the difficult client category.
An unexpected gift – Just because it’s an email doesn’t mean you can’t share something nice. Maybe it’s a story about something heartwarming that happened during year. Or it could be some knowledge that your customers will find invaluable. Or a gift certificate if you’re in the business of selling your time or money. Or give your time and make yourself available when everyone else is closed. Being generous gives good karma.
Something to share – This one isn’t about things. It’s about sharing you. Put a question out there – or a favourite holiday quote. Or add something quirky that others can respond to. Encourage people to continue the conversation. In short, be engaging.
Something practical – Bottle openers aside, what your customers and colleagues will really appreciate is knowing when you’ll be back. Let them know how long you’ll be closed – and how to contact you when it’s urgent.
With the gift basket sorted, you can wrap it all up with a cheery signoff or best wishes…
And then hit that send!