‘Tis the season to send holiday cards! Holiday cards with a hand-written personal note inside, that is.

This is one of my most favorite marketing tactics for just about every business, but especially for consulting companies like mine. It is also fabulous for people in transition, and that’s when I originally became enamored of them.

Here’s why: When I was in transition, I felt like I was always asking people to help me. As amazing as everyone was, it was psychically pretty draining. The holidays, and holiday cards, presented a terrific opportunity to say just hello to people and remind them that I existed without asking them for anything. It was so refreshing. It also enabled me to set the stage with them for get togethers in the coming year.

When I started my own company several years later, one of my key marketing strategies was to remind people that my business existed. Holiday cards with a handwritten personal note allowed me to do this. They also provided me with the perfect opportunity to take the time to thank clients, my champions and everyone who supports my business.

When I first started, I would send out 200-300 cards – that’s a lot of ink-stained fingers! I would literally start by ordering my cards in October to ensure enough lead time to get them all in the mail by early December. Now that I have incorporated other kinds of touchpoints into my marketing mix, like newsletters, I have narrowed down the list of recipients, but I still love taking the time to write personal notes to those on my shorter list of 75 or so.

And I still find myself exhorting others at this time of year to write those cards!

Since founding Argentum, I have also added an extra touch to my cards by making a donation in each individual recipient’s name to a charity that is important to the community. The custom note inside my cards this year includes: In the spirit of the season, a donation has been made in your name to Vital Bridges, a Chicago organization that provides food and shelter to very needy people affected by HIV/AIDS.

In the spirit of the season, I hope that you’re able to find a way to take a moment to stop and say hello to the people in your business life who are important to you! Learn more about Vital Bridges and/or if you’re interested, Argentum is sponsoring a matching gift program this season for a GiveForward fundraiser for Amber, a 16 year old with brain cancer.