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RISMEDIA, Nov. 27, 2008-With the economic slowdown on everyone’s minds and the holiday season approaching, building customer loyalty is more important than ever. Recent national research by Hallmark Business Expressions shows that business holiday cards are the most popular form of communication between businesses and customers during the holidays, and customers enjoy and appreciate the connection. And when times are tough, connecting with customers, clients and other contacts can be key to a business’s long-term success.

Hallmark Business Expressions, the business-to-business subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc., recently announced the findings of its 2008 national consumer attitude survey1 about holiday greeting cards. The survey revealed 78% of respondents receive holiday cards from businesses and half of those recipients are more likely to do future business with a company that sends holiday greeting cards. Beyond boosting business, sending business holiday cards helps create positive perceptions and enhances customer loyalty as the majority of those who receive greeting cards appreciate the gesture and many also feel receiving a card shows that the company genuinely cares about them.

Taking the time to sign and send business holiday cards to customers, clients or employees is easy. This simple gesture can make great strides in helping businesses retain something so valuable – loyal customers.

“Nurturing relationships with your existing, loyal customers is cost-effective for businesses because those customers have shown a propensity for your brand. When the customer is considering his next purchase, the business that sent holiday greeting cards will likely benefit,” said Marc Wagenheim, product marketing director for Hallmark Business Expressions.

“Customers appreciate genuine gestures of care from businesses they frequent, and business holiday cards are a simple and effective way for businesses to convey that message,” said Wagenheim. “However, since business holiday cards make such a personal connection, it’s important they convey the right message.”

Businesses should take time to double-check all the details, such as the customer’s name and title, and be sure to send business-appropriate holiday greeting cards. For an added personal touch, hand-sign all the cards in ink. Customers will notice.

“Our survey proves that recipients appreciate a greeting card that is personal and genuine, and it’s even more important in times like these,” said Wagenheim. “By reaching out with business holiday cards, businesses can send genuine holiday cheer to those who matter most to them. In doing so, they’ll build customer loyalty, helping them get through the economic slowdown and boost sales in the future.”

The sample for the 2008 Hallmark Business Expressions national consumer attitude survey was randomly drawn from a national list of adults 21 and older who had received at least one greeting card from a business within the last year. The survey generated 1,000 complete respondents.

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