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It’s getting closer and closer to the Holidays, and now is the time (before it gets too close) to think about doing your holiday card mail-outs.  Even if you’re reading this post at another time of year, these tips can apply to any type of mass mail-out.

1. As I just mentioned above, plan your mail-outs well in advance – Don’t worry about your friends and colleagues scoffing at you for starting these things so early.  Let them scoff, they’ll be jealous when there’s a week to go before the holidays and you’ve got everything on your list already done!  Avoid the stress and plan ahead.

2. Pay attention to detail – Make sure that if you’re including something like a letter with your cards that you’ve proofread it and checked it for grammar and spelling.  With another nod to my first point, if you’re rushed then you will most likely end up making silly mistakes and they won’t look professional.

3. Get help if you need it – If you don’t have the time to create the mailing lists, print off labels, print letters, sign them, stuff the envelopes, stamp them and send them off yourself, get someone to help you!  If you have an assistant, great.  If you don’t, or if your assistant is already super busy with other things, consider outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant.  Or, if you think you have the time but aren’t familiar with some of these steps, still consider outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant – they have the know-how and can finish the job way faster.

4. Keep it simple – Some people like to use special holiday stationary and this is fine, but try to keep the pattern and pictures professional and simple.  Nobody likes to try to read a letter with a bunch of background craziness distracting them; how annoying!

5. Make it personal – Include a real signature and/or personal note on every card or letter.  If it’s easier, choose a handful of your most faithful or your favourite clients and write them a personal note, but make sure that everyone at least has a bonafide hand-written signature in either a card or a letter.  It shows that you’re paying attention to them and that you care to take the time to include a personal touch.

6. Include a return address – I’ve made this mistake before by sending out a huge mail-out with no return address included, and then way later I find out that this or that person didn’t receive their card!  If you include a return address then you’ll know which cards did not get delivered and you can follow up to find out what the correct address should be.

7. Mail everything a few weeks before the actual holiday date – Use your discretion with this.  For example, if you are sending Christmas cards there is no harm at all in folks receiving them weeks in advance – they can display the card at their home or office (and remember you every time they look at it), and it gives you a chance to possibly catch and re-send those cards that had an incorrect address.

Holiday mail-outs of any kind don’t need to be complicated and stressful, but they do require planning, organization, and plenty of time for execution.

Remember that if you want to save yourself time and money, partner with a VA to help you keep your holiday mail-out goals on track