A post for Handshake 2.0 by Donna Dilley.
Question: Should business owners include a business card within their holiday greeting cards to business associates?
Answer: A business holiday greeting card is meant to enhance existing relationships as well as show appreciation to supportive clients.
Rather than enclosing a business card which becomes separated from the holiday greeting card when opened, the sender will create a better impression by having the business name imprinted in the card. The business name imprinted alone will not suffice. The card should include the sender's original signature along with a brief, sincere message tailored to the recipient.
Although sending business holiday greetings is meant to be a goodwill gesture, many etiquette blunders loom with this activity. Astute business owners know to avoid messages or wording that could potentially offend clients. Being sensitive to the religious and cultural traditions of recipients is one way of showing respect, appreciation and consideration. If unfamiliar with a recipient's religious background, stick with generic messages such as "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays."
Avoid using computer-generated labels. Hand address the outside envelope, taking care to use the courtesy title along with the correct spelling of the recipient's name. If your penmanship skills are lacking, assign or hire someone with impressive handwriting to address the cards for you. Mail the card to the business address of the recipient unless you have been introduced to the spouse or partner of the recipient.
Purchase cards of a fine quality paper stock and with an image suitable to your business or company. Use a first class holiday postage stamp rather than a postage meter strip or a regular stamp. Mail the cards in a timely manner and avoid the holiday "e-mail" card trend.
These links may prove of further interest:
Donna Dilley is a business etiquette consultant based In Roanoke, Virginia. She writes a business etiquette column for Valley Business FRONT.