Use Christmas to strengthen relationships

by Martin Reed on 22 December 2007 in Snippets

Christmas can build relationships

I have no doubt that over the past few days or even weeks you have seen a substantial increase in the number of emails you are receiving from online retailers. They depend on your custom over Christmas and use the occasion as an excuse to send you even more messages in the name of goodwill and best wishes. Do you do the same to your members?

Christmas is the time for relationships

Regardless of the religious foundations of Christmas, it is widely regarded as a time when friends and family come together. People send well wishes to others they may not have even spoken with since last Christmas, all in the name of goodwill and seasons greetings. People like to receive such messages – it tells them that you remember them and value your relationship with them. You should mimic this with your online community.

Use the festive period to strengthen relationships

You should always use the Christmas period to strengthen the relationship you have with your members. At the very least you should post a new thread on your forum offering everyone your best wishes. Use the opportunity to thank your members for helping make your community a success – this will make them feel valued and will increase their site loyalty.

I sent every newsletter subscriber at Just Chat a Christmas ecard – not only does this show my members that I value them, it also brings our ecards section to their attention, resulting in many of them using a part of the site that they may not have otherwise used.

There was soon evidence to support my theory that members enjoy receiving such messages – within a couple of hours a member had started a ‘Thank you’ thread on the Just Chat message boards thanking all the Just Chat staff for the email postcard they received. Other members soon chipped in, creating a great ‘feel-good’ thread in the community.

I deliberately posted this article now to give you enough time to take action on my advice. Don’t let the advantages of Christmas sentiments pass you by – wish your members a great festive season and thank them for being a valued member of your community. The couple of minutes you invest in doing this will enable you to strengthen the relationship you have with your members, make them feel valued and encourage site loyalty.

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Whitney Johnson December 24, 2007 at 1:51 pm

I took your advice.

Thank you!

Here’s the post.

My best,

Amish Made Furniture December 24, 2007 at 3:03 pm

As I write this on the 24th evening, some members of my community have come to spend a few days with us. Some more are expected throughout the day tomorrow. While some will leave tomorrow itself, some will stay and bring the new year in with us and a whole lot of others known to all of them.

This time of the year is indeed the occasion that brings everyone together in families, circles of friends and other communities, including web ones. It has got nothing to do with religion but the occasion builds on a tradition of sharing.

I entirely agree with you and send you my season’s greetings and best wishes for a very happy and bright new year for you and yours.

Online furniture store December 25, 2007 at 3:18 am

Merry Christmas and all the very best you and your dear ones Martin.

Brown Baron December 25, 2007 at 7:37 am

Merry Christmas buddy!

Hirsutism January 2, 2008 at 4:38 am

I agree with you, we must use these festive occasions to strengthen our relationship. I guess at these times you can go out of the way and greet a new person whom otherwise in your busy life would just forget. Make new friends, and of course maintain the current ones. December month is just too chilled out, people go for holidays, work is relaxed. It is totally a party month. I think once a year for one month, work should take a backseat and relationships should be the priority.

Martin Reed - Blog Author January 2, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Whitney – That’s great. Do you think your post help strengthen the relationship you have with your readers?

Ramana – What a great comment! I hope you had a great day and best wishes to you, too.

Reena – Same to you!

Brown Baron – Hope you had a good one, and all the best for 2008.

Hirsutism – I agree; December has a completely different atmosphere than other times of the year. There is nothing wrong with us using this time to strengthen both personal and business relationships.

Gyutae Park January 5, 2008 at 1:35 am

Hey Martin,
Great post. I had not seen this before, but it compliments the one I wrote on Winning the Web very nicely. Christmas is a great way to connect with readers and send a little bit of holiday cheer. I think that small act can go a long way.

Martin Reed - Blog Author January 7, 2008 at 3:21 am

Gyutae – Thanks for your kind comment. When it comes to marketing, we should use every possible excuse to strengthen the relationship we have with our customers/members.

Sally February 5, 2009 at 8:49 am

I’m sorry but I don’t completely agree. Nothing wrong with sending members a Christmas email if you want, but maybe better just to stop there. I’ve been to too many sites where, by the time December 25 has actually come there are two threads on “Happy Holidays!” three threads on cooking for the holidays, one thread on “Seasons Greetings from all The Mods!” and you can go back and log on January 15 and they are still up and haven’t been deleted. Maybe this isn’t what you meant at all, and I apologise for misunderstanding. But sometimes there are better times to try and strengthen relationships with members. Yes–the members that are 20 years old and not burnt out. If you know what I mean. But it just seems cheap and easy. Everyone jumps on the wagon in real life and everywhere, hastening to communicate something—as if relationships and caring only exist in the month of December, and the window is closing..!

Please excuse me, I’m a grinch, yes even now as I write this in February.

Martin Reed - Blog Author February 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Sally – As with anything, this can be taken too far. I don’t think there’s anything negative about members starting up the ‘Happy Holidays’ threads – it’s all member bonding, after all. If they get a bit too much, you can always merge them all into one big thread of seasonal cheer and mushiness!