Why I threw away your Company Christmas Card

December 25, 2008 - Get free updates of new posts here

Recently I started receiving some holiday cards from companies we’ve worked with and I threw them away right after I opened them. Why you ask? Let’s do a multiple choice test:

a) Cause I am Jew and don’t celebrate Christmas.
b) You didn’t bother to write my name or anything personal to me / the company.
c) You didn’t spend the 2 minutes to know you could have sent me a $5 Chipotle gift card and I would have loved you forever.
d) You didn’t even include a return address or do anything that was handwritten.
e) Your generic message about working together and appreciation, made me gag.
f) All the above.

link to photo

Why is it so hard to be genuine?
I think companies should just send the other company a lot of money or at least something memorable. Sending a $.35 card with some crap message just makes me think you don’t even care.

In the great words of Little Goat, “Christmas is the time of year when you realize how little people know about you.”

Merry Christmas:)

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14 responses to “Why I threw away your Company Christmas Card

  1. V Reply

    F for FAIL.

    Spot on, Noah. If a business genuinely cares about fostering a relationship with another company, it only makes sense to add some sort of personal touch. Why should business relationships be treated any differently than non-business relationships? Standards shouldn’t be lowered for the sake of formality or ease/convenience.

  2. Katie Reply

    Reason A is why I’ve stopped sending Christmas cards to anyone. Yes, a lot of Americans celebrate Christmas… but it’s pretty insensitive to assume everyone does. So now I’ve started wishing everyone Happy New Years instead. Works for everyone… and since I don’t have to rush to get things in the mail so early, I can spend time personalizing them. 😉

    Pretty annoying to get the generic cards like that. Mine go in the trash as well. (Except for the very generic one that gave me a $15 gift card to their store with no restrictions… that has me all excited about their after holiday sales!)

    I hope that you’re enjoying this time of year anyways though. And Happy New Year, a little early!

  3. Colleen Reply

    heheh, love the name of ur blog! Great minds think alike. in the past it was a nice touch to get a card at all from a co, because most didn’t track their customers or prospects that well, so just the fact that they cared enough to send you a greeting at all, impersonal though it be, gave them a leg up. But now that everyone has advanced CRM, the bar is raised and we get tons of it, so only the creme de la creme gets our attention.

    I remember thinking if I just had all the money companies spent on sending me crap I could fund the startup I’m cooking on. Here’s a novel idea: The company just starts randomly depositing $0.50 in people’s paypal and adds their promo pitch to the notification message. And if they were smart and had me in their DB they could personalize the message to match my known buying history. Similar to your GC to chilpotle idea. But even a $0.50 “cold-call” would get my attention!!

  4. Vanae Reply

    glad you brought this up dear.
    i was thinking the same exact thing, as i opened up cards from partners that didn’t even bother writing a personal msg.

    every year, i always send out silly photocards with a personal mg.
    if you’re going to invest the time & money, make it count.

    happy holidays jew-boy!

  5. David Reply

    I thought I was the angriest Jew around holiday time. Nice, Noah. Do you go the extra mile to correct the checkout clerk at Safeway when they wish you a Merry Christmas? The little things count!

  6. Mark Reply

    I had this conversation the other day. I’m sick of these photo cards we keep getting. Sorry I don’t have kids but unless it’s a picture of me or porn I really don’t care to look at anybody else. Send me a picture of naked people and I might get the spirit! Happy Holidays – Cheers!

  7. Kevin Reply

    Haha good post Noah. I still feel like something is better than nothing at all – after all those $5 chipotle gift cards really stack up when you start mailing 100s.

    Hope you’ve been having a good holiday break. I’ll be in Vegas for New Years if you’re still around

  8. borcho Reply

    Good point. It is rather stupid to send Christmas cards instead of ‘happy holidays’ cards. However, I have found sending holiday cards along with your business card quite useful: 1) if you work in a hectic service industry, it’s an excellent way to remind other folks (especially clients) they are still on your radar, 2) if you changed positions, they get your updated contact info, and 3) they may actually like the card…

    Happy Hanukkah & New Years!

  9. Patrick Jarrett Reply

    I wrote a post a few days ago about this sort of thing. I’ve gotten on the mailing list for a local State Farm agent and his letters are purely formal, mail merge style letters with a printed name for his signature.

    If he had even just taken the time to have someone sign his name in real ink that would be such a better impression. But I, the potential customer, am not even special enough to warrant a signature and instead get a printed form letter from a company that is supposed to make me feel like a person with a local agent.


  10. Games-boy Reply

    Why so sad? You may not take such a trifle so close to your heart. A formal letter addressed to everybody and nobody at the same time should be treated with no emotions.

  11. cleaning business Reply

    We offered all of our customers and incredible deal and made it about a new year and a new beginning, nothing about Christmas and we were shocked how well it did. I guess pluralism is going main stream- finally.

    It clearly meant allot more than just a default “Merry Christmas” mailing.