The Business of Christmas Mailings

It’s that time of year again, folks. Break out your paper crowns, grab a cracker and pour yourself a glass of eggnog – the Christmas season is right around the corner.

It’s that time of year again, folks. Break out your paper crowns, grab a cracker and pour yourself a glass of eggnog – the Christmas season is right around the corner.

When it comes to Christmas mailings, many businesses use this as an opportunity to extend festive greetings to their customers and build their intrinsic relationships. But the important question is are you doing it correctly? Sending your holiday well wishes in mail form is better than nothing, of course, but taking the time to personalise them and adding some creative flare not only improves your relationships with customers but also makes you memorable. We all have a small internal need for personal recognition – it’s all well and good to be recognised as part of a group, but we all have unique personalities and individual inclinations and when these are acknowledged, we tend to respond favourably. You should approach every area of your business with this in mind, and you will be surprised to see how your customers and partners respond.

Marketing activity is prolific in our day to day lives, you only have to open your laptop to receive social media notifications, targeted ads, mass emails and everything in between. Direct mail is thought to be a costly endeavour in today’s modern world, but the results are still there, especially at Christmas time. The tangibility of receiving mail in a world when your bank statements are paperless, your bills are paid electronically and your savings come from coupon codes. December is going to be massive for retailers in terms of e-commerce. Almost a fifth of all online sales in the UK will be made after November 25 and throughout December, according to research from Adobe, and with cultural staples like Black Friday weekend sales and Christmas shopping, it is activity that no business is going to want to miss out on. Whether your sale is a boutique, online store or a stand in a market, it is important that businesses separate their signal from the noise and direct mail remains one of the best ways to do so.

Christmas mailings capitalise on the festive moods of millions of people throughout the UK and it communicates a positive message to your networks of “hey, we’re thinking about you!”. Research has shown that the majority of people enjoy receiving postal mail that isn’t a bill, as long as it is relevant to their needs and from someone they know or recognise. Independent research from One Poll in 2015, commissioned by Royal Mail, found an overwhelming 75 per cent of people who expressed a preference would prefer to receive a traditional card this Christmas. Only nine per cent would prefer an electronic festive greeting or social media message.

But not all Christmas mailings are the same. It depends on the quality and design of the packaging and mailshot, and for mass mailings this requires specialist machinery that can handle the task. Think about what design will work best for your audience, and what you should include to encourage the recipient to act. Your colours, images and words should be carefully considered to align with the festive season. When Christmas cards were first used the predominant colour was green. This reflected evergreen plants such as holly, ivy and mistletoe. The plants were used to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long dark winter.In the mid to late 1800s, green was replaced with the ever popular robin gracing the front of cards. Royal Mail’s postmen and women were responsible for this change as around this time the postman’s uniform included a bright red waistcoat to match the official red of pillar boxes (no pun intended). The striking uniform resulted in postmen being referred to as ‘robin redbreasts’. The robin was introduced to Christmas cards as a symbol of the postmen who delivered the cards

So how do you stand out from the crowd? Dimensional mail, as opposed to traditional, flat paper in envelopes is one way. High-quality envelope personalisation printing is another. Whatever you’d like to do to make your mailing stand out, more often than not it can be achieved with advanced printing and packaging solutions. Ignore it and you’re enacting business malpractice – Christmas direct mail isn’t going anywhere. It continues to perform sensationally, and the more unique and creative your mass mailing is, the greater results you can expect.