Yes, you can still send out your cards, even if your marketing budget is running out. Christy Murdock offers simple strategies to connect with your SOI before the year’s out.

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This is the time of year to reach out to your sphere of influence with some warm and sincere holiday greetings. However, you may be cutting costs and considering cutting back on your holiday card mailing list.

We want to help you make a big impact, even if your budget is smaller than in years past. Here’s how to make merry while also keeping an eye on the bottom line.

Make it affordable

While you may feel that putting together a holiday card mailout would be too expensive, there are many affordable options this time of year. Here are some of the most cost-effective places to order your custom holiday cards:

  • Groupon offers deep discounts with many print shops.
  • If you’re a member of Costco, you may be able to order from their online photo center.
  • Staples and other office supply stores often offer custom printing for holiday cards.
  • There are many online retailers like Zazzle, Vistaprint and Shutterfly that offer cards at a variety of price points in a variety of styles.

The long and the short of it is — shop around for a bargain. With so many options, you’re bound to find something that will fit your budget.

If you don’t have the time or money for custom cards, shop around for holiday cards at discount stores like T. J. Maxx or Marshalls. If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider sending new year’s wishes instead of mixing in with the December holiday season.

If you absolutely can’t find a way to swing physical cards financially, use Canva or PicMonkey to design a beautiful, custom email to send to your email list.

Make it personal

In the interest of speed and efficiency, you may be inclined to automate the process of sending out your card by printing out the envelopes and popping them in the mail. While that will no doubt ensure they get to the recipient quickly, it won’t do much to make an impact.

Instead of a pre-printed envelope, enlist the help of everyone in the office to hand address envelopes or hire some taskers to come in for the day and help out. You may even want to apply the stamps a little crooked so that they have that “by-hand” look.

Make it meaningful

You don’t need to limit your card’s message to a generic “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” Consider a favorite quote or a heartfelt word of thanks. Let people know what they’ve meant to you as clients, colleagues and friends and tell them you’re here for them in the days ahead.

Make it memorable

Want to make sure the recipient of your greetings holds on to the card you send long after the holidays are over? Consider forgoing the same-old same-old card in favor of sending along some special memory of your time together. 

Print out a picture of you with your clients on closing day and include it inside the card. Write a favorite memory of your time with them or a funny thing that happened during their transaction. Send them the recipe for the cookies you served at their open house — the ones they swear single-handedly got the house sold. Draw on those special memories to reconnect in a way that truly matters.

Make it you

Is pink your signature color? Why send red and green holiday greetings? Are you a passionate pet parent? Send a photo of you with your fur babies instead of a glamorous headshot. Are you a die-hard college football fan? Send bowl-game greetings instead of holiday greetings (and tweak your rivals at the same time).

There’s no reason you have to be like everyone else and no reason your holiday cards have to be like everyone else’s. After all, standing out is the name of the game when it comes to marketing — and connecting with your sphere of influence.

Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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