For more than 150 years, people across the US and Western Europe have sent holiday cards as a means of spreading holiday cheer, goodwill and reconnecting with the friends and family they don’t see every day. It’s a beloved custom, one that reminds us of the value of print in an increasingly digital world.

From news about holiday or end-of-year discounts and special offers to simple heartfelt greetings that let them know you value their business, the holiday season is also an excellent time to reconnect with your customers. With the right strategy and the right equipment, print can be one of the most effective ways to do so.

Here are 5 strategies for using print to help you reach your customers this season:

    1. Mailers and Postcards. For business owners who are looking to not only reach their existing audience but potential customers as well, mailers and postcards advertising your end-of-year specials or new customer incentives can be a great way to generate new business. The key is making them stand out. A recent SmallBusiness.com survey found that in 2016, SMBs dedicated 23% of their percent of their budgets toward print and direct mail advertising as part of their overall marketing plans.
    2. Direct Mail. In this case, we’re talking about holiday greetings. For small and mid size businesses especially, a sincere message of holiday cheer, or a genuine ‘thank you for your business’ message, will go a long way toward encouraging customer loyalty. In an age where we are all swamped with email (the average consumer receives more than 100 emails in their inboxes each week, yet only 16 pieces of physical mail arrives in their mailbox in the same time period) direct mail is a great way to differentiate yourself, especially during the holidays. It’s also highly effective, with a 3.7% response rate, compared with 0.2% for email and 0.1% for paid search. Combined, direct mail outperforms all digital channels by 600%.1 Xerox is making it easier than ever for you to create and send seasonal greetings with a wide selection of downloadable holiday cards and templates geared toward small business audiences. Find the one that’s right for your business here.
    3. Holiday/New Year Marketing Materials and Brochures. The approaching New Year is the perfect time to refresh your marketing materials and brochures. With holiday campaigns in motion and new eyes on your business, it’s important to showcase it in its best light. This is also a great opportunity to update your information and ensure that you’ll start your first quarter on the right foot. Consider making updates to the home page of your website as well to be sure that all information is consistent and that your business is branded across all mediums.
    4. Updated Business Cards. The same is true for your business cards. As holiday networking events and parties have your staff interacting with more potential customers than at any other time of the year, it’s important that their business cards – the one material that all those potential customers are sure to see – accurately represent your business and are refreshed in time for the new year.
    5. Branded Envelopes and Letterhead. An envelope is your customer’s first impression of you. They’re also an opportunity to cement your business in your customer’s consciousness. Be sure that those carefully crafted holiday greetings are branded from the outside all the way through to the message. If you’re refreshing your other marketing materials and business cards, this is also the perfect time to invest in branded envelopes and letterhead and the remainder can be reused for future holiday seasons. Once you’ve identified the right print solutions to help you reach your audience, the next challenge is figuring out how to make your marketing materials stand out from the crowd.

      Adding premium metallic ink creates a wow factor you can’t get any other way. Gold and silver metallic printing is especially powerful during the holidays, adding sophistication and elegance and making sure your materials are distinguishable– in the best way possible. Metallic inks have always been a popular and sought after means of helping businesses differentiate themselves from the crowd, but until now they’ve also been a formidably expensive option as well. Historically, small businesses have outsourced the application of the gold/silver foil as a post-print step, which adds more cost and time to a project. With Xerox dry metallic inks, gold and silver can be done inline, during the regular printing process, meaning it’s less expensive and the job gets done faster and more affordably, in time for holiday mailings.Finding a local printer who offers this service is an ideal cost conscious option for small businesses that want to take the quality of printed documents to a higher level without investing in a new printer. For businesses that rely on printing as their core, it would be wise to consider investing in the Xerox Color 800i/1000i printer to help you grow into the future. Looking to print clear, high quality images quickly and efficiently, at a price that doesn’t break the bank? Trust your holiday (and year round!) printing needs to the new Xerox WorkCentre® 6515, a multifunction printer with a remarkable 1200 x 2400 output quality and rock solid reliability. It also comes equipped with extra high capacity color cartridges that can produce between 4300 and 5500 pages without the need for replenishment, so you can not only print beautiful, high quality images (like your holiday greetings), you can print more of them, with less interruption. Whether it’s flat or metallic, a full facelift or a simple refresh, investing in the right print strategy and in quality printed materials can help you catch the eye – and the New Year budgets – of your customers. 

1. Source: DMA 2015 Response Rate Report

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