Christmas cards: useless spam or valuable gesture?

It’s Christmas, the season of good will to all men, but we wanted to know whether the traditional good will gesture of sending Christmas cards was appreciated at this time of year or not. And if not, why not? We asked a selection of clients and suppliers to answer a few questions to help us find out whether Christmas cards from companies feel significant or ‘spammy’!

 

1. Can you recall the best Christmas card your organisation has received and what made it so good?

Our clients reported that the best Christmas cards were personal and not generic – having the obligatory signature from each member of staff didn’t cut it – they appreciate a personal message to make their card unique.

Others said the best they had received had some sort of interactive element to it. Amanda Langstaff at Quarmby said “It was a card I received last year, it had a scratch panel advent calendar on the front which meant I interacted with it every day for the whole of December.”

 

2. Do you like receiving Christmas cards or do you prefer something different, if so, what might that be?

Given the choice, everyone said something different! That’s not to say that the Christmas card is obsolete, but clients said that the card should have something unique about it that makes it stand out.

A few said something useful would be good like a calendar, one client mentioned receiving a flat pack ‘build your own reindeer’ which went down a treat, others mentioned different formats might be welcomed such as videos or a game.

 

3. Is a physical card important or do you prefer something digital?

All but one of our responses said they would prefer something physical to actually grab their attention and for them to see it personally. They said that they’d deleted digital cards in the past without even opening them because they felt they were impersonal and could be sent to hundreds of people with one click.

The only concern for one client was that printed cards were not environmentally friendly.

 

4. Do you think giving to charity is important in place of cards and, if so, which type of charity do you think should benefit at this time of year?

We had a split decision on this one with some clients saying that in most cases they would think giving to charity was better and some clients saying that, although charity is important, they wouldn’t think any more or less of a company if they gave Christmas cards away rather than a charitable donation.

One client said maybe the cards could be bought from a charity for a win-win situation.

Charities mentioned were mainly to do with the homeless like Shelter or elderly like AgeUK

 

5. What do you do with the cards you receive?

Some clients said they liked to decorate their workspace with Christmas cards but ultimately everyone recycled them (some immediately!).