Have you got any yet? How sending Christmas cards can help with your marketing planning!
Have you got one yet? I have and I can’t believe it, it’s only just December!
There was that intrigue when it dropped through the letter box… “Is it?” “No, surely not.” “It can’t be, it’s too soon.” “But it does look like one….” So I opened it, and yes it was, it was a Christmas card!
Now I do like to be organised at this time of year so I will admit I have started thinking about my Christmas cards already. No doubt you have too, or maybe you’ve already bought yours? And if you’re anything like my lovely Auntie Judith you’ll have already written and posted them!
Whilst I was browsing Christmas cards at the weekend it struck me how much I was thinking about it, and strangely how much it reminded me of my everyday work planning marketing campaigns.
I know, odd right? But if you think about it, sending Christmas cards is exactly like marketing. You go through all the same steps…
Choosing the cards
You want something that looks good, but isn’t too expensive. It can’t be too cheap though as this may affect the quality. The cards need to represent you and your family in the best way possible.
And then there’s always a variety of cards in each pack to choose from. I find myself choosing different card designs for different people – cards suitable for families, cards suitable for older relatives, cards for the more religious and cards for close friends.
What to write
This is always a tricky one. Do I stick with a simple “To…. Love from….”, do I add a quick “Happy Christmas” in there, do I add a little bit more “Hope you have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year” or do I go the whole hog and include a ‘Rushton Family Update’. Whatever I decide it does take thought – I have to think about what is appropriate for who I’m writing to, what will make them feel special, what will they be interested in, what will get my message across, and what will show me and my family in the best light…?
Who to send them to
Should I send a card to our neighbours? We’ve only recently moved in so none of them know who we are anyway. But, then again, they never will know who we are if we don’t send one.
When to send them
Timing is key. Send them too early and you might look a bit odd. (Although, in Auntie Judith’s defence, she is always consistent – every year when I open that Christmas card on the 26th November I realise I should have known it was from her!).
You also can’t risk missing the last post before the big day – there’s nothing worse than a Christmas card that arrives on the 27th December!
Wait for the return
Now this the hardest bit. You put all that effort into writing and sending your cards so you want some return from it. You want people to send a card back to you.
Now I have to be honest, there have been some years when I’ve sent Christmas cards to some people and not received one back, and considered whether to cross them off my list for next year. Yes it is demoralising when you don’t receive one back – but there may be all sorts of reasons for this, maybe the timing just wasn’t right for them this year. What’s important is that they have received a card from you so they will remember this and next year when they’re thinking about Christmas cards, they will think of you.
As my husband wisely said when I bravely suggested one year that we didn’t bother sending any cards, “You have to speculate to accumulate.” And he’s entirely right (ha, don’t tell him I said that!) – if we don’t send any cards at all, then we won’t receive many back.
I know what you’re thinking though – how does any of this even relate to marketing? Simple.
When planning your marketing to schools, you need to think about:
1. What it looks like
Something that represents your brand in the best way possible.
2. What to write
Something that gets your message across and is appropriate for your audience.
3. Who to send it to
Think carefully about who you want to target. Yes, send your campaign to clients you already have a relationship with, but you also need to target new contacts to gain new customers and grow your business. Look at who you can target in UK schools.
4. When to send it
Timing is key. Is your product or service more suited to a certain time of the year? Is there a certain day or time that your campaign would work best on? Check out our Top Trends now to learn about the best day and time to send campaigns.
5. And then wait for the return.
Make sure you’ve got a plan in place to effectively and efficiently deal with any enquiries. But if you don’t receive lots of enquiries immediately, don’t panic – email marketing is all about building your brand and keeping yourself at the top of your customers’ minds for when they are ready to proceed.
And that’s it – five key things to consider when planning your marketing to schools. I hope this is helpful. And if nothing else, I hope it helps with your Christmas card strategy this year!
Don’t forget, the School Mailings team are always here to lend a helping hand with your marketing to schools planning. From creating inspirational content, to advising who the best contacts are, and getting the timing of your campaign right, our expert Campaign Managers will help you with every step of your marketing campaign.
I keep our clients up to date with the key information and education knowledge needed to plan a successful marketing to schools campaign – whether it’s our website, our blogs or our social media. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org