Saturday, November 12, 2011

Business Holiday Card Etiquette

In the season of giving and reflecting, many companies send holiday greeting cards to their colleagues and clients. This seasonal gesture is a nice way to let your recipients know that you are thinking about them and that you appreciate their business. Here are ten etiquette tips in sending a business greeting card that will help insure your good intentions:
  1. A holiday card is usually sent to someone to whom you do not give a gift.
  2. Send to Christian friends cards that show religious scenes, such as the Nativity scene or Christmas angels. Also appreciated are cards with Christmas trees, wreath, Santa, sleighs, candy canes, and Christmas bells. Christmas is always observed on December 25.
  3. Send to Jewish, Arab, Moslem, Hindu, or Buddhist friends greeting cards that wish everyone a "Happy New Year" or "Season Greetings" or any other non religious statement of good wishes. Many Jewish people also like cards for Hanukkah. Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration that begins on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev, which usually falls during the month of December. In 2011, Hanukkah is celebrated from sundown on December 20st through sundown on December 28th. Also good to remember around the holidays, is the Kwanzaa holiday. The Kwanzaa holiday is not intended to substitute for Christmas, but rather to provide a time to focus on and celebrate African-American culture and traditions. Kwanzaa is a seven-day holiday celebrated each year from December 26 through January 1. Kwanzaa is unique because it is a holiday with no religious, political or heroic associations.
  4. You can begin to send greeting cards as soon as Thanksgiving is over.
  5. Make sure your card is not too cute, overly funny or in poor taste.
  6. Most often when sending a business holiday card, it is sent to the office of the recipient, addressed in his/her name only. If you also know the person socially, it can be sent to his/her home. If you send it to someone's home, then it should be addressed to both the recipient and his/her spouse (even if you have never met the spouse).
  7. The address should be hand written (I suggest in black ink).
  8. Do not include a business card with the holiday greeting card. As your intentions are to offer holiday sentiments, they should not be overshadowed by the appearance of promotional activity. In general, you should always wait to be asked for your business card, rather than presenting it to the recipient.
  9. Use a postage stamp, preferable a holiday stamp... not the postage meter.
  10. Be sure to use the honorific when addressing an envelope... e.g., Ms. Jane Smith.

 How to properly place a card in the envelope: 
  • Insert the folded side into the envelope with the design face up toward the flap.  

Mailing notes:
  • Mail cards first class so they will be forwarded or returned to you if the address cannot be located.

  • Include your return address to comply with the U.S. Postal Service's request and to help your friends keep their mailing lists up to date. 
Sending greeting cards is a thoughtful way to send holiday cheer. In today's rushed world, taking the time to send a personalized note may be a wonderful way to also show appreciation for the recipient.

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