KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sending Holiday Greeting Cards to Clients Gets Results

Most years, I send out "Happy New Year" greeting cards by snail mail to every single one of my clients, even those I haven't edited a project for in several months. At the end of 2010, this amounted to 57 cards, enough to give my writing hand cramps. And I tucked 3 of my business cards into each envelope. In each card, I wished the recipient a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011; thanked him or her for working with me in the past; and expressed the hope that we would have a chance to work together in 2011.

This marketing practice—one of many I engage in—always pays off.

Already this month, several clients I haven't heard from in a while, mostly international researcher-authors who need ESL (English as a second language) editing of their medical-journal manuscripts, have e-mailed me after getting a greeting card and asked me to edit a manuscript for them. One physician-researcher from China, whose surgical techniques and research appear to be impeccable, though her English definitely is not, e-mailed me yesterday:

Hi, Katharine.

Yesterday, I received your best wishes—a happy new year card. I am excited very much! I have received two gifts from you, a cup* and the card. The three [business] cards of you have been sended to my friends. I inform them to e-mail you if they have papers to edit. If I have paper to edit I will e-mail you too. You are my best partner. I am successful with your help in the past time. I also appreciate you very much.

Of course I e-mailed her right back:

What a delightful message! Thank you so much for giving my business cards to your friends. You have given me a great gift by recommending my editing to them.

I couldn't have wished for a better response to mailing out the cards than from that one author. From her alone, I got my business cards passed along in person to three other researcher-authors and I got three enthusiastic recommendations. Imagine how many potential clients could end up with my contact information if all 57 greeting-card recipients did the same: 171! Even if only some of them do so, that's wonderful.

*Another of my marketing practices is to send a KOK Edit coffee/tea mug to a new client.

After I conducted an ESL edit of the author's last research article, the journal she submitted it to accepted it for publication. That was the first time any of her research articles had been published in a U.S. medical journal, which was a prestigious accomplishment for her.


Jeanne Hansen said...

I send holiday cards to all my clients every year and have the same success. I'm usually flooded with offers in January.

LyonCommaRachel said...

I send chocolates around the first of December to my repeat clients, but after reading this I'm going to start sending out greeting cards as well. I nearly smacked myself in the forehead--why haven't I been doing this all along?! Also, I always send a thank-you note to first-time clients, but I LOVE your idea of sending a small gift. Absolutely brilliant!

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Rachel, the chocolates are cool. If I were one of your clients, I'd love getting them.

I send the mugs to new clients so that they have something tactile and more permanent than a business card to remember me by. Early on in my self-employment, I bought boxes full of KOK Edit mugs to mail out individually myself because no one offered print-on-demand mugs at decent prices. But when CafePress.com started doing business, I created my own KOK Edit free ("basic" in CafePress parlance) shop, meaning that I don't have to pay a fee to maintain the shop. It's so much more convenient to order a mug only when I need to, and CafePress takes care of the shipping for me and will include a gift card with the wording that I specify.

Leigh Ann said...

I've thought about sending out Happy New Year cards. Thanks for the push to do it. Since I've missed the boat this year, maybe I'll send out Happy Spring cards.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Leigh Ann, sending "Happy spring" cards is a great idea because it's unexpected and would thus stand out in clients' minds. I love that idea!

Another thing I do, because I have ESL clients all over the world, is send out "Happy [whatever holiday]" e-mails to these clients on holidays important in my authors' various cultures. I use those e-mails as a chance to say how grateful I am for their trust in my editing. Many of them are quite touched that I would think about what's important to them in their culture instead of just thinking only from the perspective of my culture.

By the way, that's a wonderful photo of you on the home page of your web site. If I were I client looking at your web site, I'd want to work with you not only because of the services you offer but also because of how friendly you look. I'd think, She looks so approachable. I'll bet she'd be great to work with.

Unknown said...

Spring cards, timed correctly, are an awesome suggestion, especially with the winter the NE is having....

April said...

That is a great idea!

Juliette said...

This is so true, I sent handwritten cards out this year and only had the slightest of lulls in January. February has really been bonkers!

I'll have to look into CafePress for additional ideas, thanks for the tip!

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