I heard about an interesting service today from a virtual assistant I was interviewing -- it's called Long Term Clients, and I thought you might also be intrigued.
This service takes your contact list and helps you stay in touch with a personalized greeting card. "Personalized" means a note in the card that is unique and different, and could only come from you. And then they produce these for you, using an image you have chosen, and send them to the list you provide.
They have note-writers that help you craft an interesting note, in case it's not something you can do for yourself. I suspect that part of the service is crucial to the success of the notes, actually. A while back an old work buddy who is now a financial advisor sought my help on something like this. I suggested he add a topical and changing PS to the e-mail he sends out on a regular basis with economic reports in them. I suggested a few to get him started. Topical, personal notes that would make the e-mails much friendlier and feel more like authentic communication. My friend started out pretty well, but it wasn't long before his PS became a simple request for referrals and is the same all the time. Not very interesting. So having a good note-writer help you with your card content makes a lot of sense to me.
Here are some of the other tips from Long Term Clients, gleaned from their web site:
- Facts are best for seasonal cards. Quotations are best for birthday cards.
- Avoid verses and meaningless platitudes
- Clients are sensitive to the quality of their relationship to a service provider such as a financial planner. It pays to make an effort
- It's better to send nothing than to send a 'signature only' card
- An effective greeting card has a long shelf-life -- people keep it on their desk, wall or refrigerator for a long time
- Your personalized note should contain the same facts about you -- personal facts -- that you would share with your top clients in person when you are having coffee or playing golf
- The note needs to be personal, not business-oriented
- Use this form of contact three times a year -- two seasonal notes and one birthday note
This seems like a really great concept, and frankly a vast improvement over what one usually receives. Even if you know it's a mail merge, it is still contact. Some effort has gone into it. Some expense has gone into it, which means you cared enough to spend some time and $. And it's not sales oriented, it's personal and relationship oriented. Very neat idea.
Anyone know of other services like this?