If you are like me, it is about this time of year that you start getting holiday greetings via email. Some are graphically rich emails with the message included in the body, and others are emails with links that direct you out to a web site where the holiday greeting lives for all the world to see. Either of these, or a combination of the two, are fine with me. I think it has the potential to be a creative way to stay in touch with your customers and fans, send them special offers, or just say happy holidays!

You may be thinking, “You know what, that is a great idea! I think I will give it a try!” and that is great. Go be creative, or find a free holiday card template on line, and spread the cheer. However, I would warn you to NOT send out tens, hundreds , or thousands of these through your normal email system. Doing so could get you blacklisted by your mail server, or worse, your customer’s mail server. Basically cutting you off from all email communication.

Last year about this time, I know of one business that decided to send out a holiday card to about 3500 business contacts, several of whom all worked for the same client company. So, as soon as the holiday message emails were sent, the business that sent the harmless holiday greeting was immediately put on a “spam” or “black list” at that customer’s mail server. From then on, all email communications between the cheery holiday sender and their customer were rejected and flagged as possible spam. It took about two weeks for the IT department to get things back up and running, and attempt to get removed from several spam lists. Not a good way to spend the holidays.

So, if an email holiday greeting is still something you want to attempt, I would suggest that you sign up for a mass emailing service like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Subscriber Mail. All of these services allow you to send multiple emails to multiple lists, without the worry of being blacklisted. They also have social media tools built in to give you more ways of promoting your business or services.

My personal favorite at the moment is MailChimp. Mainly because they have a FREE version of their service that still allows you to have 1000 email contacts and send 6000 emails a month. So basically, you could send out your company newsletter to 1000 contacts, six times a month. Probably more contact than is necessary, but hey, how much you market is up to you.

So, I know not everyone is into email lists, or email marketing, but it is certainly not dead, and I wanted to give you a couple of options for using this method of contact for your business, as well as help keep you off of Santa’s Naughty Emailer List.

As always, I welcome any thoughts, comments, or questions. Just post them in the space provided by clicking “Comments” below.