To grow sales, first build relationships. And sending business holiday cards is one of the best ways to build relationships. They connect you personally to your customer and express thanks and well wishes for the holiday season. This is marketing at its best. It puts your brand in front of your customer, and your customer appreciates the gesture and feels good about working with your company. More than a smart marketing item, business holiday cards can also grow sales.

Show you care by making it personal

2 important elements make up business holiday cards. The design or graphic on the front and the message written inside. It’s best to use a custom design that resonates with your customer or relates to your business. This shows that you put some thought into your business holiday card and makes it more memorable. Secondly, individualize the message. The ultimate personal message is the hand-written note. It’s also OK to add a personal message to a printed inside greeting. By taking the time to hand write a message you show your customer that they are important to you.

Include a gift

Including a gift or discount with your business holiday card separates it from your competition. You’ve shown that this person is important to you by sending the card in the first place, a gift or discount goes above and beyond to cement your relationship. The gift can be related to your product or service, but it doesn’t have to be. Giving a golf enthusiast a golf related gift builds a stronger relationship and increases future sales even if there’s no immediate sales opportunity.

Follow up

Sending your business holiday card is one touch point. Following up with an email, phone call or visit is another touch point with a built-in excuse: checking to see if they received and enjoyed the gift or discount. This is a simple contact to say “Hello,” wish them happy holidays, and confirm the business holiday card was received.

When done correctly, holiday marketing is one of the most personal and feel-good opportunities to connect with your customers. Combining a custom designed, professionally printed business holiday card with a small gift and the right follow up is the first step to building stronger relationships and growing your sales.

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At ISS, Inc. all of our printing services use high resolution pdfs. For a variety of reasons, all printed products, everything from business cards to brochures to vinyl banners can look different than they appear on a computer screen. Here are some key ways to create a print ready file. And even after following these guidelines, we offer free proofs to ensure the printed item looks perfectly accurate.

File type: High resolution pdf. A print ready, high resolution pdf has four main attributes: Resolution, color mode, fonts and layers. In order for a file to print most accurately, the file should be saved at 300 DPI, be exported in CMYK color mode, have all fonts embedded or outlined, and have all layers flattened.

Bleeds: Many designs include graphics that extend right to the edge of a printed item. In order to print to the edge, the digital file must extend that graphic an extra 1/8th inch (0.125″) beyond the edge of the piece. That extra 1/8th inch gets cut off to create an image that extends right the edge of the paper.

Safety margins: All text and graphics that don’t bleed need to be at least 1/8th inch from the edge of the piece. Important information like contact details are frequently positioned at the bottom of a brochure and need to be at least 1/8th inch from the bottom of the product to prevent it from being cut off.

Borders: When a design includes a border, that border needs to be an 1/8th inch thick. There can be slight shifting during the printing process, and at least an 1/8th inch border ensures that the border doesn’t appear off center.

Transparencies: Design programs are very good at creating complex design elements by combining many different effects in layers upon each other. Unfortunately, that complexity can lead to problems when the file is printed. To ensure there aren’t any problems with transparencies, which include drop shadows, glows, and other effects, never place a transparency over a spot color. Always convert the file to CMYK and flatten the layers before sending it to print.

Here’s an example of a business card template with guidelines for bleeds, safety margins, and borders.

business-card-layout-template-horizontal-2×35

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