It can be tough to build end-of-year marketing campaigns that don’t focus on any specific holidays, but still stand out among the busy season’s greetings.[/caption] If you’ve got an end-of-year campaign going out, you know how hard it is to get a message through against the tide of holiday greetings that are also hitting mailboxes and messaging platforms during the crowded season. It’s especially difficult if your message has nothing to do with the holidays. Increasingly, companies are veering away from conventional, denominational seasons greetings design schemes in favor of more generic (but just as genuine) feel-good creative. But once you give up the familiar sights of colored lights and gift-wrapped boxes, how do your materials rank among all of the festive mailings at this time of year? There’s always iconic winter imagery to signal the “end of year” vibes, like snowmen and hot cocoa. (This may be a little trickier in South Florida!) Or you can always focus on the new year itself — though there are only so many images and phrases tied to the (technically secular) date, and you do risk blending in with, or becoming redundant to, any other New Year’s assets. Sometimes it’s best to be led by a concept or the content. Here are a few of our favorite end-of-year ideas:

  • An always-popular idea is offering something practical, like a round-up of trends for your industry from the closing year (we suggest limiting text and going with an infographic).
  • Similarly, a practical item, like a calendar, is more likely to be kept on hand (and may be more cost-effective for you to mail than other practical items like a magnet or pen).
  • It’s a prime time to offer reward, membership, and loyalty systems that launch first thing in the new year, or sales and promotions that end at the close of this one.
  • People also love a good peek behind the scenes, so you could share your team’s favorite memories from the year (it doesn’t hurt that this is an opportunity to revisit any recognitions, conference appearances, or special moments that peppered your year).
  • In that same vein, looking ahead is exciting too: Maybe you’re thinking of expanding the team, focusing on a new niche, or just changing the music in the lobby. Letting your audience, clients, customers, collaborators, vendors, and others know what’s to come in the new year helps them feel included and builds on your relationship.
Steal This Idea Here’s our best idea for 2017 — and please feel free to “steal” it! Instead of giving out something with your own logo prominently displayed, create something with the client’s name on it that they can give away to someone else as a gift. It can even be jokingly sent out after the holidays as a “regift” — which offers the added bonus of distancing you from the holiday hustle. That’s something practical they’re bound to keep or actually give out to someone, to promote their own brand. Depending on what it is, you could add a tiny logo somewhere (“designed by”) or just keep the credit within the attached note and let the sentiment of the gesture speak for itself.]]>