Holiday cards are a tried and true relationship management strategy for both B2B and B2C companies. They may not be the most exciting event in your marketing calendar but they are still a reliable way to foster goodwill and, best of all, they can also be an absolute breeze to execute brilliantly by leveraging VDI printing.

VDI stands for Variable Data Imaging. This is the technology that allows us to segment and personalize print pieces for each and every recipient. The possibilities created by VDI printing are practically endless and direct mail marketers are still exploring all the myriad ways to leverage this technology in order to make an impact and connect with prospects.

In the case of holiday cards, VDI printing lets you use different images, different personalized messages, different signatories and different company contact information on various incarnations of the card. You could even include personalized offers (if you’re not morally opposed to the commercialization of the holidays, of course).

Your current printer probably already has VDI printing capabilities, and if not they can certainly recommend someone. This time last year Joe Goski, VP Business Development at Lowe Martin here in Ottawa, wrote a helpful post on the subject of holiday cards on his blog, Working Impressions. The steps Joe outlines provide a great jumping off point for your conversations with your printer.

The holidays are a great time to thank your customers for their business over the past year and wish them well into the next. You’re associating your brand with the warm, fuzzy feelings of the holidays and making a friendly gesture without asking for anything in return. If you can do all that without cutting into your employees’ productivity (and sparing them hours up to their elbows in stamps and envelopes, passing along stacks of cards that everyone has to take the time to sign), why not? But don’t wait, now is the perfect time to kickoff your 2012 holiday card campaign.