Christmas is fast approaching, and Christmas cards are one of the most traditional ways to wish friends, family and your network a happy and healthy holiday season. Business Christmas cards are often unexpected, and can really help to build morale and customer loyalty.
When to send Christmas cards is a topic that is often up for debate - postal services will have Christmas post deadlines, but in 2021 with the impact of Covid, it's advisable to give your company more time than ever to plan and distribute your festive mailer.
Whilst we're primarily aiming this article at businesses looking to send Christmas cards to their customer, clients and staff, there is a lot of useful information in here for anyone trying to get their head around Christmas posting deadlines, so feel free to carry on reading!
What do I need to be able to send Christmas cards?
Before you can worry about when to send your cards, there are a few creative decisions and data collection you need to do first.
Names and addresses
This task can obviously vary in complexity depending on how many people you're looking to send to, and if you have that data on hand. Customer data can be a breeze, however - if they've ever ordered anything, you should already have that data handy. You can quite easily export customer data from Shopify, so that's a relatively easy one to compile.
Data on your staff may not be quite as easily accessible, but if your team is big enough, HR will likely have a record somewhere. Otherwise, this could be more of a manual process, so it's another great reason to start planning your Christmas cards far in advance.
Design and copy
When your recipients open their envelope, the first thing they'll see is the design on the front of the Christmas card, so you'll want to make a positive impression both then and something that looks good enough to be pride of place on the mantelpiece. A great looking Christmas card might include:
- Aesthetically pleasing visuals that will look good displayed in your recipient's home
- A festive theme or color scheme, such as adorning your design with snow, or using the colors red, gold, white or green
- An element of your own branding, to remind them who sent the card!
Copy is another really important thing to consider, and many struggle to decide on the tone they should use in business Christmas cards. Thankfully, we've written a complete guide on Business Christmas Card Etiquette to make sure your message resonates perfectly with your recipients.
If you're sending a lot of Christmas cards, it's likely that you're going to need a bit of a hand. I remember one of my very first 'jobs' as a teenager was writing a few hundred Christmas cards for my aunt and uncle.
A few days and a very sore wrist later, these were ready to go - but my aunt and uncle worked for a small business supplying tools to mechanics. A company any bigger than that are going to need a lot more resource to be able to send to all of their customers, clients or staff.
This is where we come in - at Scribeless, we can produce and distribute the notes for you, but that isn't even the best part! Scribeless greetings cards and notes are created by an AI to make them look indistinguishable from regular handwritten cards. This gives them a personal feel that most other providers can't give, without the huge sink of time and resources it would take to manually handwrite them.
When should I send my Christmas cards?
Christmas cards are usually sent any time from mid-November until the Christmas posting deadlines for wherever you are based in the world. This obviously differs quite a lot depending on where you are in the world, so we've grabbed the Christmas posting deadlines for 2021 from USPS, Royal Mail and Canada for you.
- USPS Retail Ground Service: Dec. 15th
- First-Class Mail Service: Dec. 17th
- Priority Mail Service: Dec. 18th
- Priority Mail Express Service: Dec. 23th
- Click here for USPS Intl. Shipping Dates
- Royal Mail Bulk Mail Economy: Dec. 17th
- 2nd Class, 2nd Class Signed For, Royal Mail 48: Dec 18th
- 1st Class, 1st Class Signed For, Royal Mail 24, Royal Mail Tracked 48: Dec 21st
- Royal Mail Tracked 24: Dec 22nd
- Special Delivery Guaranteed: Dec 23rd
- Click here for Royal Mail Intl. Shipping Dates
- Local: Dec. 21st
- Regional: Dec. 20th
- National: Dec 17th
Will this guarantee my cards will arrive on time?
A lot of people want to know when to send their Christmas cards to guarantee arrival before Christmas day, but these Christmas posting dates tend to serve as guides rather than guarantees. Sending something tracked gives much more certainty, but this is manual and expensive, so probably not the best option.
Christmas tends to be the busiest time of year for postal services - there are over 2 billion Christmas cards sent in the US each year - so posting Christmas cards before the official Christmas posting dates is a good idea to give yourself even more of a chance.
We're asking customers who are sending business Christmas cards with Scribeless to have their data with us by December 10th to allow for any delays. The truth is postal services haven't fully recovered from the impact of Covid and their usual reliable delivery times are not quite as certain as they used to be.
We wouldn't go as far as to say it's never too early - customers will be pretty puzzled if they're opening Christmas cards under the Summer sun - but as soon as the leaves start dropping from the trees, it's a good time to start compiling your data so you're prepared in plenty of time for your postal service's Christmas posting dates.
Does it matter if my cards don't arrive in time for Christmas?
No matter when your cards arrive, your recipient is going to be grateful you thought of them. The effect may diminish slightly the later they arrive, but it's still the thought that counts.
One option is sending a generic season's greeting mailer, containing wishes for the holiday season, Christmas and New Year. This covers you if your cards arrive slightly later than expected, and extends your well-wishes even beyond Christmas itself.
This could be a particularly good option if you're running out of time - Christmas is a busy time in many lines of work, and businesses are often forced to prioritize more pressing matters. Making your Christmas cards broader in their messaging can be a blessing if you're cutting it close to get your mailer out in time for the Christmas posting dates. You could also focus on wishes for the New Year exclusively, as it will likely come after other Christmas post, and could stand out even more as a result!
That's a lot to remember, but the only date you need to remember if you want Scribeless to help you with your business Christmas cards this year is December 10th. Speak to one of the team today to let them know to expect your campaign, so we can guarantee it's putting a smile on the faces of your customers, clients and staff by the time December 25th rolls around!