The holidays present a unique opportunity for business people — a chance to connect with colleagues, customers, and clients in a warm, personal way. You get the chance to express gratitude for their partnership and celebrate what you’ve accomplished together through the year. Of course, that focus on forming relationships makes writing holiday cards for your business a little different than everyday correspondence. These guidelines can help you craft a holiday message that builds relationships while maintaining a professional tone.
Before you begin writing, keep the following tips in mind. Business holiday cards should:
In professional settings, you likely won’t know the religious background or personal preferences of each person. Keep the focus on the feelings you hope the recipient will have during the holiday season — warmth, joy, peace — rather than on a specific holiday.
Although it’s more personal, business holiday cards should match your brand’s tone. If your company is more formal, your holiday cards should reflect that. On the other hand, if your professional relationships are more lighthearted and casual, you can be more relaxed in your business holiday messages.
A holiday card from a business offers a special chance to relate with colleagues, so it shouldn’t be written as a sales pitch. Yes, write about hopes for your ongoing relationship, but don’t write messages about hoped-for sales.
With the above ideas in mind, you’ll decide whether to print or handwrite the message in your business holiday cards. Typed cards create a clean, uniformed look while handwritten cards provide a more personal feel. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you’d like to represent your business.
The specific wording for holiday business cards will vary based on the size of your business and your client list. The more recipients you have, the broader your message will be.
If you’re a small company and you are writing as an individual, the card should reflect that personal feel. Traditional opening messages, such as “Dear Mr. Smith,” are an option, particularly if you’re handwriting the entire message.
On the other hand, if the holiday message you’re creating comes from a more corporate voice, you might opt for a general printed message for the opening, with a more personal handwritten note at the end coming directly from you.
The general principles for business correspondence apply to the message you write in a holiday business card. That means you should remember the following:
- Focus on the season, rather than a particular holiday with messages such as “Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season,” rather than more holiday-specific themes (for example, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah”).
- Avoid making assumptions about the private life of the person you are writing to. Messages directly speaking to family or a married state might not apply to them.
- Include a recap of the past and a look to the future. Messages that highlight the connection you share with the recipient or speak to an ongoing relationship are appropriate ways to underscore your relationship.
The closing you choose before signing a business holiday card should be professional, but should also be as warm as the standards of your business or industry allow.
This could be as simple as changing the closing before your signature from “Sincerely” to “With Warm Wishes.”
The key is selecting a message that reflects the way you already interact with the recipient. A good test for a potential holiday business card closing is to read the words you’re considering out loud and imagine saying it to the person you’re writing to; if you’d feel uncomfortable saying it, try something a little more formal.
After closing, be sure to sign it yourself. A handwritten signature is essential for a warm business holiday card.
Holiday cards should arrive anytime from late November, after Thanksgiving, to early December. Because so many people take the last few weeks of the year off, the first two weeks of December are an ideal time to send messages when people are getting into the holiday spirit.
From a small business to a client you know well/work with closely in a more casual field:
Happy Holidays, Donna!
I’ve enjoyed our work together this year and hope you enjoy every minute of the time you’ll spend with your grandchildren this season. Looking forward to starting on the Smith Project in January.
All the Best,[signature]
From a business to a client in a more professional field:
Dear Mr. Smith,
The team at Archive Industries wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.
From an employee to a supervisor:
Thanks for all you’ve taught me in the past year. I’m looking forward to working together to make [year number] ACME’s best yet!
Use these outlines to help guide you in writing your business holiday cards this season.