Christmas songs have been piped around the shops for months, tinsel and other sparkly adornments have abounded since August, all the big stores are battling it out for airtime for their latest big-budget seasonal commercial and we’ve fought our way through the bargain encrusted shopathon which is Black Friday. So, you know what comes next, don’t you? Yes, it’s the marathon of mammoth tasks, the Christmas card sending!
Christmas or holiday cards make your customers feel loved and cherished – it is a big surprise to us how personally clients take these seasonal offerings when they’re sent out in their thousands, but most clients still love to receive a Christmas greeting from you. But the cost and time involved in sending printed cards is becoming prohibitive.
It’s time to show your clients and potential customers just how creative and smart your business can be by sending out electronic cards with some great video and/or animation to amuse and delight – and of course, you benefit by being able to track return on investment from email opens, click-throughs, shares, views and likes on social media, which is simply impossible from the printed versions.
Get your team to have a little creative brainstorming session to come up with ways to get your company brand and message out via your Christmas card. Is your card going to be cute, funny, serious, clever? Can it be all of those things?!
It could incorporate a competition within it, or some simple snow and lights animation.
Sites such as Jib Jab allow you to upload images to create your own personalised team card which can be very funny to watch, whilst always making sure that your brand message is consistent and that no offence can be caused and no message misconstrued. Make sure that you use good photos of your team though. Even if it’s ‘just a bit of fun’ it’s always good to ensure that the imagery is sharp and professional.
Of course, you can use custom video to create your card, and this can often be produced at the same time as other video footage, perhaps shot earlier in the year – it’s a good idea to consider this in advance when progressing other projects.
Your e-card can be sent by email as a static graphic which can contain a ‘click-to-watch’ instruction which links to the actual animation. This is a useful consideration as email applications don’t often have the capacity to support complex animations, so your e-card would need to be hosted on a server. Your IT guys or your video production company can point you in the right direction for the technical stuff.
You can even send e-cards via MailChimp (or similar) and this clever little app will walk you through the process in easy stages and take care of your data protection compliance too. If you’re not sending too many, you can even do it for free.
Don’t forget to encourage your clients to share your card on social media, and you can, of course, upload it to YouTube and create a page on your own website to display your creative talents. The URL of the card should reflect your own website’s URL for consistency of marketing and branding.
The video or animation of your card should be short – Christmas is, after all, a busy time of year and most people are inundated with emails that often get deleted without even being read. Thirty seconds to a minute is about as long as someone can spare from their day job, so make sure that your delivery is slick and catchy.
Make sure that your e-card plays well on phones and tablets too – it’s important that it looks professional on all types of media to engage the most people and project a good image for your company or business.
And, at the end of the day, if you still want to send out a few personalised cards to your best clients, then go ahead, they’ll appreciate the thought. But make sure you’ve showcased your super skills in video and animation too so that they can see that your company is great in 365 degrees.
Merry Christmas to one and all!
(Think you might need some help? Get in touch – we can fix up some quick animations for the Christmas period.)