Law Firm Holidays Cards: Mistakes and Best Practices

Dec 11th, 2012 | Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief

I received three Thanksgiving cards from three different firms. One was a custom design that made an extremely positive impression, the other two were the SAME stock card.

In a prior article published by the ABA, I addressed best practices to ensure that holiday cards contribute to lawyer personal business development and explained where they fit into a law firm marketing plan. The cards I describe above bring up additional concerns I have not previously addressed.

First, you don’t want to convey that you treat clients in a cookie-cutter fashion. You run the risk of this when buying a standardized card from a stock printer.

Second, skip the mass signing absent at least one signatory writing something personal to the recipient. One of the cards I received was signed by seven people, none of whom I recognize. It has the firm’s name on it. I looked it up on the Internet and do not recognize the firm. Bad mailing list!

The good card? It had pictures of firm members as they worked on various pro bono and charity projects over the past year. On the back, it explained each event and the non-profit’s mission. Classy. These people think about what they are doing, they prepare. Perfect messaging. I read the summaries, spent five minutes with the card and feel more positive about the firm than I did before.

Other holiday greeting card approaches that work year after year: one of our clients has holiday scenes painted by its lawyers, another shows art created by spouses or commissioned and then donated to a non-profit to be sold. These always get a great response. Pictures of your people also get consistently high marks—yes, high marks. Firms that invest in the holiday greeting card process get positive feedback.

In the end, our recommendation is to do a better (custom) card, preferably mailed, to a controlled (small) mailing list. Treating it as a mass mailing just does not get the job done, and may wind up being a negative.

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