There was an interesting discussion yesterday on the The Law Marketing Listserv (free trial membership available) that was unanimous regarding the need to sign holiday cards and not just send out cards with the firm’s name on it. The fact that the subject even needs to be raised says volumes about how far some firms have yet to go to “get it” as to what lawyer marketing is all about.  It’s personal and requires personal contact and actions……….

Following my doctor’s advice I’m going to take a break now to let my blood pressure come down.……………….

Okay, I am back.

To put it simply, holiday cards to some lawyers are no more than a nuisance, an obligation, another form of advertising, or an annoyance during this busy time of year. When I was in-house, I actually had lawyers order cards and NEVER send them out – year after year. So, why did I continue to order cards for these people? Job security.

Of course, I know lawyers who truly get into the spirit of the seasons, and mean it when they send a card extending best wishes for the holidays. How can I tell? Because they will include a note and personally SIGN the card. Even if a person’s intention in sending cards is out of obligation, and purely for marketing purposes, at least do it right. Personally sign the card. Better still, include a brief note.

Otherwise, the message(s) you are sending to the recipient may include one or more of the following:

  • I’m too busy
  • You aren’t important enough for me to personalize this card
  • Our relationship isn’t that important either
  • My secretary merely sent a card to everyone in my rolodex
  • The firm ordered the cards, and I’m not sure who sent them out

It would be better to not send a card at all. Best to stay under the radar in my humble opinion, rather than have a client or referral source, say “Wow, didn’t he/she put a lot of effort into sending this card.” Gosh, maybe those lawyers who never sent the cards out realized that after all.

Don’t let your or your firm’s holiday card endeavor become a negative marketing effort. Remember, legal marketing is about getting personal.  So, if you are planning to send holiday cards, please just sign the darn card.

  • Thank you for this post. I am struggling with attorneys in the office over whether or not to send cards. This answers all of my questions and then some!

  • Amen, amen, amen. I know partners that would spend hours arguing over what card the firm would select (once they debated is the snow looked yellow under a drawing of a tree and if clients might think someone peed in the snow….NOBODY would have thought that!)….but when it comes to signing the cards they would let their assistants do it for them. Ho ho ho.