Whatever happened to “Great prices ….. all the time”?

Just when I thought I saw the last email promo during the holiday season from one of the stores where I shop, I received another variation in my inbox. Looking back over the last couple of weeks, here’s a small sampling:

Black Friday
Cyber Monday
Cyber “Week”
“Extended” Cyber Sale!
“Extended AGAIN ” Cyber Monday
“Last Chance” Sale!
“One more day” extended!
“Our FINAL” holiday sale!
“A special gift – We’ve extended” our sale for you!


The trend is clearly turning into one continuous promo each season with no way to trust when any one of them will really end. We already can safely assume there will be another one beginning.

These inbox surprises are part of a calculated promo calendar that basically leaves many customers feeling a little toyed with and led on. Why say something will end, when it will simply be extended again or another equally discounted coupon will be offered? Why not just keep prices the lowest possible and offer occasional promotions that are truly valuable?

At Holiday Cards Unlimited, we make great products and offer them at the lowest possible price, we avoid gimmicky promos, we respect and appreciate our customers, we’ll beat any competitor’s pricing if a customer happens to find the same item currently priced lower (which only happens if we weren’t aware of that pricing), and we provide attentive and thoughtful customer service.  If we have some sort of special sale, it’s truly “special”.

Does anyone have a great subject line to convey this?

Five Funny Christmas Cards for Business

5 Funny Holiday Cards

Peace, joy, and love are great, but sometimes the holidays can feel a little heavy.

Lighten up with humorous holiday cards – they’re not limited to your family and friends.

Here are some of our favorites that are whimsical and work-appropriate:

Absent-Minded Santa

If you or your customers use computers, you’ve been here, too.

There's No Business Like Your Business

Bonus points if you’re in show biz. Annie Oakley would be proud.

Construction Santa

Too bad Santa isn’t as smart as your customers who hired you to do the construction instead!

Reindeer Stethoscope

Make your patients smile (and remind them to use up that HSA by the end of the year).

Funny Face Photo Card

Really small staff? Let them see your smiling faces – and your sense of humor – for a truly personal touch.

Not for you? Try one of our other humorous holiday cards instead.
Happy Holidays!

Email vs. Snail Mail

Message to the mail man

When’s the last time you received actual mail?

Not a bill. Not an advertisement. Just a straight up piece of mail – bonus points if it was handwritten.

Can you even remember?

First class mail volume through the US Postal Service has declined over 50 percent in the last decade. Junk mail, just over 10 percent. In fact, advertising mail outstripped first class post by over 15% in 2012.

Even with shrinking numbers, the US Postal Service still processes an average of 528 million pieces of mail each day.

When was the last time you got an email? Or is a better question, how many emails do you get each day? Estimates vary on the number of emails sent each day, but the low end is 144 billion.

Even if you can’t remember when you last got personal mail by post, you probably remember what you do still receive. A birthday card from Mom, a sympathy card from a friend, a get well card from your aunt… You get the picture.

As for email, it’s easy to get lost in all the digital noise of our busy world. Facebook notifications, text messages, and work email after hours add up. An iPhone dings in a crowd and everyone dives for their pocket to see what new communiqué awaits them.

Digital communication is great! It’s efficient, inexpensive, and convenient. But it’s also common.

Junk mail flyers go straight into the recycle bin, but real mail simply carries more weight than email. A physical paper card has more impact than an e-card. Even if you save an e-card in your inbox, what’s the chance you’ll look at it again? I’ve never seen suggestions for attractively displaying e-cards for the holidays.

Make your communication meaningful. Don’t add to the noise, cut through it with something concrete. Whether it’s a birthday celebration or an expression of genuine sympathy, seasonal greetings, or a congratulatory note, people appreciate the extra time, energy, and thought that go in to sending a real card.

When is the last time you sent real mail?

Photo credit: gajman

Congratulations Cards for Work

A for Effort? Nah.

Were you one of those kids who was expected to bring home good grades in school? Other parents (gasp) paid their kids to bring home As while you got The Look for anything less than an A-minus. Sound familiar?

Business can be the same way, and it’s easy to overlook consistent high performance. But business is built on relationships. Don’t limit your interactions to trouble-shooting and complaints. Make sure to commend your contacts for their reliability and quality work.

One way to do this is to send a congratulations card. Here are a few reasons why.
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3 Business Communication Barriers and How to Fix Them

Great Wall of China, Mutianyu Section

Photo credit: Francisco Diez

Effective communication within an organization is the key to keeping the company vibrant and successful. After all, it’s tough for a company to run smoothly if internal memos are incomprehensible, bosses don’t tell employees about upcoming projects, and one department has no clue what another department is doing.

The business communication page of Wikipedia delves into three communication barriers and offers ways to fix them.

Continue reading “3 Business Communication Barriers and How to Fix Them”

What’s Your Communication Style?

Bill Gates on Education

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson

Why communication styles matter and how to use them for your benefit

People use different styles of communication, and recognizing which style applies to you and those around you can benefit your workplace, as well as your overall business. Christopher Newport University outlines four main communication types:
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4 Ways to Keep Communication Short, Sweet and Effective

Handwriting in Old Diary

Photo credit: Taylor Liberato

Keeping it short and sweet can be golden when it comes to business meetings, family vacations, and effective communication. Whether you’re communicating with clients, coworkers, or family and friends, brevity is key. These four tips inspired by Entrepreneur.com can help.

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3 Easy Ways to Offer Encouragement

Four Prize Winners in Annual Beauty Show - Washington, D.C.

Photo credit: Jordan Smith

Today is the last day to take advantage of our Black Friday sale! Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY to save 10% on all orders.

Your employee broke a sales record, your coworker was recently promoted and your best friend bought a house. You’re thrilled for the people who are achieving great things, and they must automatically know how great you think their achievements are, right?

Not necessarily. Unless you spend a lot of time with psychics, they won’t know how you feel unless you tell them. Here are three ways to do just that.
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3 Reasons Regular Communication Rules

Business Calendar & Schedule

Photo credit: Planet of Success

You don’t become fast friends after meeting someone once briefly, and the same philosophy holds true for any type of relationship. While regular communication may be an obvious must to maintain ties with friends and family, it’s one that can be overlooked when it comes to building relationships for your business.

Here’s why you need it: Continue reading “3 Reasons Regular Communication Rules”

3 Follow-Up Strategies to Build Relationships


Photo credit: R. Nial Bradshaw

You’re on the phone with a hot lead. They don’t bite. End of story, right?

Not if you want a sale, it isn’t. Statistics indicate how important it is to keep building a relationship, offering a rundown on when sales typically occur.

  • 2 percent on the first contact
  • 20 percent on the second to fourth
  • 80 percent on the fifth to twelfth


Also notable: nearly half of sales people never follow up at all with a potential client and only 12 percent contact the potential client more than three times. If sales aren’t exactly rolling in, lack of continued customer relations may play a part. Here’s how to fix that.
Continue reading “3 Follow-Up Strategies to Build Relationships”