On this week’s Relationship Marketing Weekly, I wanted to get do something special for the holidays. Let’s face it, in today’s digital world, showing appreciation during the holidays has been overtaken by social media, emails, and text… In this week’s show, I share my thoughts on why it’s so important that business owners and professionals not overlook the importance and effectiveness of showing appreciation with a tangible touch, and how it strengthens the human connection at the same time building your brand and relationship, and keeps you top of mind.
Kody Bateman: Hey everybody. This is Kody Bateman, welcome to a special edition of Relationship Marketing Weekly. The holiday edition I guess is what they’re telling me today is going to be.
I’ve had a lot of requests from people, many of you who have listened in week after week, to do an edition like this, to talk a little bit about holiday greeting cards and the importance of holiday greeting cards in your personal life as well as in your business and it’s an honor for me to be able to do that.
This is a special time of year here in our company, SendOutCards. We’re the greeting card and gift company that you can do right from your smartphone and we make it very, very simple for you to send a Christmas card, holiday card, Hanukkah card out during this holiday season, all with a couple of clicks of a button. You can add pictures. It makes it real simple for you to get your message out.
So the question is, “Why?” It became a tradition a long, long time ago that people sent holiday cards out at the end of the year to express gratitude and people send it in their business and in their personal lives through their churches, different things. It has been a tradition for hundreds of years actually.
It’s becoming a bigger tradition even today. The onset of social media, a lot of people started doing some social media things to express gratitude during the holiday season. But it has kind of come full circle now back to the tangible touch, a real greeting card going out in the mail, showing up to somebody to express gratitude during the holiday season. It’s probably one of the greatest traditions that we have of the world, an opportunity for us to share kindness.
I’m going to have a little bit of fun today. I want to share with you a bunch of cards that my family has sent out. Now, when we do the Relationship Marketing Weekly show, we always talk about the benefits that a business has. What’s your return on investment? Some of you may be on this show expecting to hear if I send holiday cards, it will mean X for my business.
I’m not going to get into that with you today. I’m going to talk about the personal side of this. I think if you detach yourself from getting anything out of sending a holiday card, just detach yourself from getting anything, this is an opportunity every single year to reach out in kindness to other human beings, to celebrate who you and your family are and express your gratitude for the families you’re sending your cards to.
Detach yourself from anything else. I’m telling you, we got to bring more kindness to the world and this is a great opportunity to do it. So I’m going to jump in here. Watch this. I’m getting real good at this. I’m going to share a screen. I’m going to show some of our holiday cards that I’ve sent over years and we’re going to hit this here.
So starting in 2006, I want to show you. These are all real greeting cards, tangible touches that go in the mailbox. This year was 2006. This is a picture of my family in our old backyard with our dog Gus. On the inside you see my kids jumping up in the air and Gus catching the tennis ball up in the air and those of you who know me and hear the stories about my family and Gus and the tennis ball understand the great meaning behind this picture here and again this was taken back in 2006 and a real greeting card went out. This probably went to 300 to 400 people. Last year, my list was about 3500 people. So one click goes to 3500 people. Our system sends it all out for you. So this was in 2006. This went to about 300 people during that time.
Let’s go to the next year, 2007. I’m going to show you all of our family greeting cards, all the way up until last year. I’m going to do that for a reason because you’re going to see a story develop here.
So this is 2007. We took this picture up Lambs Canyon here in Salt Lake City, Utah, obviously on a cold wintery day. It was snowing outside. It was a ton of fun. I’m not going to read all the messages in all these cards. So don’t worry. But I am going to read this one because this one really depicts how I feel during the holidays.
“Imagine sitting in a hot tub on the front deck of a mountain cabin. Pine trees are all around you. Huge snowflakes are falling slowly to the ground. The only thing you hear is silence. The only thing you feel is peace. You begin to reflect on the blessings of your life. You think of family. You think of friends. You think of cherished memories. You realize that nothing else really matters. From our family to yours, we hope that your life has its moments of silence and feelings of peace, that you are blessed with the love of family and friends and that you think about cherished memories as you create new ones. May you have a joyous holiday season and a life of abundance.”
There’s energy in those words and you all have the opportunity to do the same thing every year to show a picture of your family or yourself and significant other and to express yourself, express how you’re feeling during this time of year. It’s a great time for human connection. I believe that these words create human connection. So this was in 2007. 2008, we went on the Polar Express, which was a train up in Heber City, Utah. We drank hot chocolate and Santa Claus was on there. We took our whole family there.
You notice there’s an addition to the family now. My oldest daughter’s – I believe at the time here was fiancé or boyfriend Todd Jensen. So now our family is starting to grow in 2008 and here’s Todd now part of the family. We sent this out 2008.
We go to 2009. You will notice that Todd is now part of the family. They’re now married and so again our family is growing and this was the card we sent out here. You will notice there I got pictures of our dogs. Zuki is the white Schnauzer on the left side. We lost him about three months ago. It was still kind of tender for me because that was – he was my dog and so he’s no longer here with us and you will notice on the right side we got the two labs. We have Ruger the white lab. He was just a pup at that time and then Gus is on the right. Gus is no longer with us either.
So you will notice what’s going on here. These cards represent memories. Our system allows you to save every card you’ve ever sent. I easily was able to go back into my system and look – pull up all of these cards and as I pulled up these cards, memories came up. Lots and lots of memories came up.
So these cards represent – they represent our life. They represent our family’s life and lots of memories that we have in our life. Let’s go to 2010. This was taken at our new home in our backyard during the – it’s right after the first snow fell and we took that picture and sent out the holiday card.
Go into the next one. You notice now the family is starting to grow here. We got a grandchild in this one. We got a little baby Benson in 2011 and we took this picture with the Harleys. Harleys are a big thing in our family and we enjoy those a lot.
So you notice the family is growing. As these years progress, the family is growing. Now we have grandchildren coming into the picture. Go on to the next one.
Now we got two grandchildren. Isn’t this cool? So we got this picture and we’re again in my backyard looking out at Wasatch Front, Salt Lake City, Utah. Two grandsons. We got Benson on the right there and little Jagger on the left. Jagger is in the red. Benson is in the blue in that panoramic shot.
So the family is growing. It’s getting bigger and it’s very exciting. Go onto the next year, 2013. Notice Jagger and Benson now. They’re growing up. Now they’re toddlers and those are two cousins having a good time together and again we just reflect our feelings for the holiday season, 2013.
Go into the next year. Family continues to grow. You can see Benson is getting big. He has got the long hair there now. You got Jagger over on the left side. We got additions to the family there and again we just expressed some simple thoughts during that season as well. Let’s go to the next one.
Now you notice the family is getting bigger. We’ve got more grandchildren now. I think there’s a third or fourth – the third and fourth one that has entered into the family at this point. This was a project. This year was a project Jodi was working on. She always wanted a red Chevy pick-up truck, an old Chevy pick-up truck and she spent two years working with some people to restore this truck. They built it from the ground up.
A bucket list thing for Jodi and she was able to finalize that project at the end of 2015. So we thought it appropriate to feature her truck in this one. I love it. It is, “Oh, what fun it is to ride in a 450-horsepower sleigh.” I think it has got an LS3 Camaro motor in it. So it’s really fast. Those of you who know Jodi, She likes to go fast and so the truck is very appropriate for her.
But again notice the theme of all these cards. It’s talking about our family. You see how important our family is to us. You see that the family is growing. You see hobbies that we have, motorcycles and restoring old trucks and being together during the holiday season.
I mean this is a reflection of our life and we’re able to share this with many, many people. Now in 2015, my list had probably grown to about 3000 people we sent a holiday card out to. This was last year. Again, you see all those kiddies are starting to grow up and getting bigger and so that’s the message that we had for last year. We’re still putting together the one for this year and again that picture is bigger. We have a new grandson that’s in the picture now. You will see that – the holiday card that’s coming out here soon.
So just taking on a little journey of our greeting cards over the past 10 years. Here’s a little display of all of those cards. I will tell you. It’s – we save these. We save these. In fact I’ve got these cards. We got them framed up so that we can display them in our home. They’re displayed in a way where you see the fronts just like you see here and you also see the insides of the cards.
I encourage you to do that. It’s a lot of fun and they’re – it’s just great to reflect with all of the Christmas cards that you’ve sent out over the years. So I encourage you, whether in your personal life, in your business, it doesn’t matter. Create a list. Send out holiday cards. Express your gratitude for other people and most importantly, celebrate the people around you. That’s what these cards do. I am celebrating the people closest to me, the people around me. I’m sending a message out from all of us. I’m also expressing gratitude to the people I send the cards to.
So one of the greatest opportunities for human connection that we can do at every single year this time of year, take advantage of the traditions that our world holds and get creative. We have a system that allows you to be very creative with these cards as you send them out.
My daughter has carried on the tradition. Here’s her family Christmas card a couple of years ago with their baby Jagger. The year after that, Jagger is getting older now. So you see that picture there. Go on to the next one. They have a lot of fun in their cards. You notice they just have a good time. The family has a wonderful time and they are able to express that in their picture. It’s really cool.
Now they have an addition to their family, little baby Harlow. So Jagger and his daughter Harlow are sitting on Santa’s lap there and so they’re celebrating their family as it grows.
Just a couple of fun other little things. Whitney, my daughter, she has really gotten creative on sending cards out for all occasions, not just during the season or whatever. But let me tell you. This gal, she celebrates people while they’re living.
I mean the way that she celebrates her children, my grandchildren, Jodi and I’s grandchildren, the way she celebrates their lives is absolutely incredible. She’s able to capture it in pictures and in words and she’s able to express it through these greeting cards she sends out. This is an invitation or actually it’s just an announcement of Jagger being born.
Next one is announcement for one of his birthdays. So you notice that Jagger turning two, he loves Woody and the Toy Story. So it’s just – talk about a celebration of life. There you go. It’s incredible celebration of life.
Here’s another birthday party, adventure party here. We go over to – now Harlow comes into the picture. Harlow this is her announcement of her being born into the world. Some beautiful pictures there. This is her two-year-old. Whitney just sent this out a couple of months ago. Harlow turned two. Look at that. I mean how do you not just look at that and think of peace and love? Just look at that baby picture. It’s just absolutely incredible, Harlow at two years old.
By the way, her middle name is Diane. Harlow Diane is – she’s named after my mother. My mother passed away several years ago and little Harlow really kind of carries the spirit of my mom with her. It’s actually kind of amazing and my mother Diane, she loved the holidays. Oh my goodness. Christmas was everything to her. She made it such a huge tradition for our family and we’ve been able to carry that on in memory of her. So every time I see little Harlow, I just have to think of my mom because she’s named after her.
So in closing, I just want to express my gratitude to all of you and I’m going to do that with a greeting card.
Now this is – I’m just going to show here on the screen. Let me give thanks for all that you do. All of you who are listening in today and watching this, I want to thank you for all that you do. I will go ahead and read the message.
“During this time of year, we give thanks to those who have made a difference in our lives. You do that each and every day and you’re making a difference in the lives of thousands of people. Our mission is to help millions of people become senders of cards. As a result, we are changing the world and making it a better place to live in. Thank you for your contribution to this cause. Happy Thanksgiving.”
For all of those who are not in the United States, it is Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. I’m going to try to bring me back to screen here. Can you see me now?
So it is Thanksgiving tomorrow, which kind of debuts the holiday season here. It takes us all the way through to the end of the year. So the busiest time of year here at SendOutCards. We’re really excited for that and again, I just want to express to all of you my deepest appreciation to all of you. I posted a little thought a couple of days ago. It says, “If you stay in gratitude, then gratitude will always find you.”
That’s so true. If you just stay in gratitude. We all have good days and bad days. We all have times when we’re upset about things, when we’re upset because somebody did something or whatever it is. But everybody goes through that. But I’m telling you, if you could find a way to trigger yourself back into the gratitude, stay in gratitude. So when the bad days come or the bad moments come, remember the words “stay in gratitude”. Find a way to trigger yourself back into gratitude. Think of somebody, something that you’re grateful for.
Trigger yourself back into gratitude because if you stay in gratitude, gratitude will always find you and it’s just a much better way to live.
So with that in mind, all of you, get your holiday cards out this year. No excuses. Make it happen. You can send it during Thanksgiving, which is right now. Obviously you can send it during Christmastime or happy Hanukkah. You can send New Year’s cards, New Year’s resolutions cards.
Take this season as an opportunity to create human connection in your life with a real tangible touch. Not for the purpose of a return on investment, not for the purpose of you gaining more business or building your brand. Yes, all those things will happen.
But please, just send the card this season because you want to celebrate the people around you and you want to celebrate the people you’re sending the card to. Just focus on that because that’s what the world needs. God bless everybody. Wish you the most incredible holiday season.