One of the best investments for your business relationships is to send holiday cards. It’s an excellent way to stay in touch and to show gratitude in your business relationships.

It’s practically guaranteed to put a smile on your recipient’s face. Without appearing to be mercenary showing an interest only in profits, a holiday card helps you to maintain top-of-mind awareness simply by showing your appreciation.

But you must do it right. If you have a lot of cards to send, it’s time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Treat it as fun. Take the time to show you care.

Here are six etiquette tips:

1. Don’t procrastinate

Show your respect and appreciation to valued business associates. If you wait too long the people might think they’re an after-thought.

So order your cards early. Cards should be mailed the first week of December.

It isn’t always necessary to order cards. You have a couple of options. If you haven’t ordered them early, either buy high-quality cards or plan to send “happy New Year” cards.

2. Don’t scrimp

Don’t choose the easy option. The cards you send should convey your warm feelings for your associates. Email or social media greetings are considered gauche by valued clients.

Your associates will feel more valued if you go to the trouble of addressing and mailing a nice card.

They’re a source holiday joy. More than likely your associates will post your cards in their offices for everyone to see.

3. Do be empathetic

Some business associates will be religious; others aren’t. Remember a holiday card should be all about your recipients.

Be sensitive in your messaging – mail cards that reflect your recipients’ values and philosophies.

For example, some might openly celebrate Christmas or Hanukah. Others will be happy to receive a generic “happy holidays” card.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

Dale Carnegie

4. If you order cards do have your name custom-printed, but hand-address the envelope

Many companies order cards with custom-printing to reflect their professionalism. Such cards should still be signed personally by you.

Whether you custom-print your name or not, always hand-address the envelopes. Never use a pre-printed label.

Use a formal title, such as Mr., Miss, Ms., or Dr.

Personally, I understand companies’ motive for custom-printing cards. But as management consultant, I’ve always favored a more personal touch instead of printing my company name.

This approach ensures a more personal touch and stronger relationship.

5. Do use the right type of postage

Don’t use your postal meter. Use a personal touch, and neatly put stamps with a holiday motif on the envelope.

Make sure the stamp mirrors the type of card you send.

6. Do write a personal message on each card

Even with your beautifully printed business name in the card, it’s still important to write a personal message. Give it adequate thought before writing your note.

Personalize it — whether you want to show gratitude for the person’s business or relationship.

If you have new contact information, enclose your business card with a note explaining that your contact information has changed.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more business relationship-etiquette tips:

Tips for Dining Etiquette with Your Boss or Anchor Client — Whatever the important business occasion, it’s helpful to hold your meeting away from the tense hustle and bustle of a corporate setting. The right ambience for deal making is often an opulent restaurant with sumptuous food. That’s been my preference.

Make More Friends at the Office with 6 Etiquette Tips — In many companies, good etiquette is nonexistent and office co-workers fail to make friends of one another. Lack of trust and turmoil is seemingly evident everywhere. You don’t have to like everyone, but it’s best to be respectful, and assertive versus aggressive. That makes for good office relationships.

6 Top Tips for Etiquette in Business Travel — If you’re into people-watching, the airport is an entertaining place to be. You’ll see all kinds of personalities. That’s especially true for the wide variety of business travelers. For successful trips, business travelers share one common trait. They need to be mindful of business etiquette.

18 Tips for Productive Behavior to Win in Office Politics — Most people troubled by office politics are too focused on the behavior of their adversaries. Stop giving away your personal power. Don’t think or act like a victim. Here are 18 valuable tips to win in office politics.

Listening Skills to Improve Your Relationships and Business Performance — What counts in communication? Listening skills for discernment and trust. Discerning people are the most successful and listening skills are important for discernment. That goes for athletes and management, alike.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” 

Dale Carnegie


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.