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Mass Christmas and Holiday Email. Do They Resonate?


thinking of you

paul hebert[Mass Christmas and Holiday Email. Do They Resonate? – From Paul Hebert-VP Solution Design. Read more about him on our Leadership page.]

‘Tis the season for mass HTML emails from suppliers, hopeful suppliers, folks you met at a conference, people in your LinkedIn profile, people who had a fishbowl in their booth and required you to drop your card in to get a squeeze ball at the last trade show.  If you’re like me they come in fast and furious – personalized yet impersonal.  I actually received one yesterday addressed to my email address that said in the artwork in the body of the email:  “Dear Client.”  Problem is – I’m not a client – and now will probably never be.

They say that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones but that doesn’t apply to me in this case because I’m homeless.  Meaning, I didn’t do a holiday email this year.  Mostly because the easy to do mass HTML email seemed like such a cop out.  Woody Hayes (past coach for The Ohio State Buckeyes football team) is credited with saying that he didn’t like the forward pass because only three things can happen and two of them are bad (reception, incomplete, interception.)  That’s sort of the way I feel about holiday mass emails.

Outcomes from Holiday Emails

Following that line of thinking with holiday emails you have 4 outcomes – and only one is sorta good.

  1. You get the name and relationship right.  No harm no foul.  The recipient appreciates it and the email is immediately deleted to make room in the inbox for more holiday HTML emails.
  2. You get the name right but the organization wrong because they have moved on and you’ve now shown just how disconnected you are because you didn’t know they had moved on to a new job.  Oopsie… maybe you should have called more often.  (BTW – true story- took my boss to visit a client once – unfortunately, they had moved their offices and I had to call while he waited in the car to find out where my client was now located.  Can you say “Does not meet expectations.”)
  3. You get the name wrong but the organization right.  Again – lack of attention – just how “important” was this person in your ongoing sales and marketing efforts?
  4. You tick off the recipient because they don’t remember you, they don’t know you or they are a competitor.  And you’re clogging up their inbox while they wait for “real” heartfelt mass holiday HTML emails.

The Road to Hell…yadda, yadda, yadda…

To me the issue here is about impact vs. intent.  You want to show that you care about your relationships but you do it in a way that shows you don’t care and you do it in a way that REMINDS them you really don’t care.

So here’s a thought experiment to chew on over the weekend.

Is giving recognition within an organization similar?  And if it is, it begs the question:  If you can’t do it right should you do it at all?

In other words if the best you can do is send a generic ecard to your employees – is that really recognition or is it a reminder that you really don’t know what they did and don’t have the time nor the inclination to do it right?

What say you?

Hit me in the comments and let me know.  Would you rather get a mass email of “thanks” or a delayed email/letter/conversation that showed you that the sender put some time and effort into the event?

Depending on your answer I may have to hustle and get a mass email ready to go next week for our valuable clients (insert company name here.)  Uh oh… did that go out without merging?


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