To say that the 2020 holiday season was a letdown would be a colossal understatement.
For most companies nationwide, the last opportunity to come together for a Christmas office party was December of 2019, just months before the emergence of Covid-19 forced things to a grinding halt as businesses shuttered and employees began working from home. Now, as businesses across the nation re-open their offices, principals everywhere should be getting an early jump on holiday initiatives for employees, customers, and prospects. So, Christmas in July? Yes!.
After nearly sixteen months of social distancing, closed offices, and employees largely working from home, now is the time to carefully plan how you’ll spread holiday cheer in 2021. What makes this holiday season so important to businesses? Here are 3 “low-hanging fruit” opportunities to reconnect:
- Office party invitations & employee gifting
- Spreading the word about holiday specials & promotions
- Building trust-based relationships with new leads and reaffirming key partnerships
While July might seem like an early start to holiday planning, the 2021 holiday season represents a time to tap into pent-up demand for social interaction and to ride the wave of holiday goodwill. Savvy businesses are planning to pull out all the stops to help ensure a smooth and memorable return to the business as usual after a long pause on group gatherings and celebrations. Consider the following:
1. 2021 marks the first major holiday cycle since returning to the office
One of the greatest shifts that occurred during the pandemic was the normalization of digital commuting and working from home as a viable way to conduct business. However, on the flip side, many employees working from home reported feelings of isolation and that they were stuck warehoused away from the rest of their teams. While some businesses opted to go digital with their annual holiday events instead of an in-person blowout, others simply nixed the party out of fear of exacerbating digital burnout.
Highly effective Covid-19 vaccines are allowing Americans to increasingly return to in-person work, and offices are re-opening to business as usual. However, Forbes.com points out that data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that many employees are still in the process of tapering off of working from home and the migration back to the office still isn’t complete!
As a result, the name of the game this year will be shoring up employee morale and re-integrating teams to working in an in-person office environment where collaboration and creativity can flow freely. For many companies, the 2021 office Christmas party will be the first opportunity to celebrate together since 2019, meaning the bar will be set high! Use your holiday party as an anchoring event that signals to employees that you’re back in business—in-person—and give them a reason to be excited heading into the New Year.
Idea: Instead of sending out a boring email that will get buried in the digital churn, consider sending a dynamic custom 3D pop-up card to build anticipation and excitement ahead of your 2021 holiday party or spice up the annual company gift with an experiential Awesome 3D Card.
2. Consumers are once again expected to get an early start to holiday shopping in 2021
Despite increased economic uncertainty last year, the National Retail Federation reported that holiday sales in 2020 grew by 8.3% despite the pandemic! And not only did shoppers spend more, but they also got an earlier jump on purchasing gifts as production bottlenecks, merchandise shortages, and extraneous shipping delays slowed things down.
Fast-forwarding to 2021, while the worst impacts of the pandemic have abated in the US, supply chains are still stretched thin, meaning we can expect another year of early shopping. Businesses should expect customers to make holiday orders as early as September or October, meaning now is the time to start preparing any holiday-related special offers and getting the word out to consumers.
And while having a strong online presence is of course essential in this day and age, high consumer affinity and trust in physical post make direct mail a powerful tool to implement during the 2021 holiday marketing plan. For the 2021 holiday season, consider maximizing sales opportunities by promoting holiday sales and special offers via a medium that customers prefer and trust.
Tip: Sending out a 3D card with holiday offers is a great way to grab customers’ attention and leave a lasting brand impression.
For the 2021 holiday season, consider maximizing sales opportunities by promoting holiday sales and special offers via a medium that customers prefer and trust.
3. The holiday season is an opportunity to re-engage key leads & VIP customers
Even if your business isn’t offering any specials or sales during the holidays, consider using Christmas 2021 and the extended holiday season as an opportunity to re-establish connections with VIP customers and key leads. Whether you’re looking to create opportunities to pitch new products to past customers or re-engage a past customer who has gone quiet, a dynamic 3D card is perfect because it is:
- Memorable – One of the strengths of 3D pop-up cards is the way they leave a favorable and lasting impression. When a 3D Holiday Card transforms from a flat piece of post into a dynamic 3D model, it surprises and delights the recipient, which helps to maintain a positive brand association.
- Emotional – Opening a 3D Card is a micro-experience that creates and strengthens positive emotional connections between the recipient and your company’s brand. Whether you are sending a 3D pop-up card to an employee or a customer, you can count on the recipient having a positive emotional response that you can use to strengthen your relationship with them.
- Personal – One of the main reasons to send a holiday pop-up card is to remind the recipient that they are important and appreciated. Including a hand-written note will solidify your relationship and demonstrate that the recipient is deserving of your time and attention. Personalizing each card takes only a few moments, but the return on that time investment will help build trust and credibility with staff, clients, and prospects.
Sending out a 3D pop-up holiday card also creates the perfect opportunity for direct customer follow-up as you call to wish them a happy holiday and inquire about what they thought of the card!
Plan now for a successful 2021 holiday season
With Christmas 2021 just around the corner, now is the time to plan holiday initiatives to boost employee morale, re-engage key prospects, and drive customer engagement. While Awesome 3D holiday cards that feature a pre-existing 3D model can be available in as little as 30 days, custom cards can take up to 60 days for the order to be fulfilled. If you’re wondering which option is right for you, consider designing a custom card that can serve additional purposes as well, such as internal employee recognitions, thank-you cards, and general outreach.
By creating a custom card with broader uses, you can stretch your marketing budget even further and ensure you get the greatest ROI from a one-of-a-kind piece of marketing collateral.
The window for ordering a custom 3D pop-up card for Christmas 2021 is rapidly approaching! Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your recognition and holiday events—reach out today to schedule your free consultation with Awesome 3D Cards.