That Old Holiday Spirit

December 2, 2007 at 10:10 am | Posted in Customer Service, holiday, sales, small business | Leave a comment

A couple of blogs ago, I touched briefly on an networking issue that really bugs me: people who send me unsigned corporate holiday cards. And in my haste to tell you about this irksome, vile, horrible element in our world (the unsigned corporate greeting card), you may think that this is just a wacky “Adrian thing.”

Well, it’s not.

No wait. It is. But it’s not just *my* thing. I’m not alone in this — and that’s why we need a brand new blog (this one you’re reading now) to clear this up.

Okay. Try this: have you ever received a piece of direct mail — like in your actual postal mail — and you see a handwritten note that says “Adrian, I saw this and thought of you — enjoy.” And so you start to read the material and find out what this is about, but something continues to gnaw at you from the shadows…something isn’t right…what was it though? It was the little note…it was just TOO perfect…the font, I mean. It looked like handwriting, but it was too…robotic. It was “more handwriting than handwriting.”

And then it hits you. That wasn’t a handwritten note at all, but a FONT.

You’ve been FONTIFIED. And that pisses you right off.

Why? Because you feel deceived; you feel duped. Someone “lulled” you into thinking that they went out of their way to engage you, but it turns out, you’re just a random target market database “thing.”

Who wants to be a random target market database thing? Hands up to all of you who played “random target market database thing” in the sandbox at school when you were 5. Really. When Stevie wanted to be an astronaut and Suzie wanted to be an ice skater, did you squeal enthusiastically “oh oh oh when I get older I’m gonna be a random target market database thing!”.

Chances are: no. And there’s even a better chance that, among all of your career experiences an options, random target market database thing is not on your to-do list, and has a less than zero possibility of getting on it.

When I receive holiday greeting cards that are, naturally, addressed to me and SENT to me, I expect NOT to be treated like a random target market database thing. But when I open a greeting card and realize that the sender couldn’t even be bothered to sign it — how long does that take, a nanosecond? — I get mad. I feel deceived; I feel WORSE than if I didn’t get a card at all.

I realize that nobody is entitled to a holiday card. I also realize that if someone is going to take the time to send a card, that’s SUPPOSED to be a “nice thing to do.” But if it’s unsigned, it goes from being a very pleasant gesture to being a mechanical “marketing tool.”

So this holiday season — and for everyone one after this — please, please, please sign your holiday cards. Let the people you’re sending them to know that, for a second (or a nanosecond), you took time from your busy life and thought of them. If you can’t do this, then don’t send a card at all.

At least, don’t send me one, because all you’ll do is piss me off and force me to write another blog about it.

And wouldn’t we rather focus on nicer things?

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