Christmas Card Lemons... to Lemonade

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Am I the only idiot on the planet who can turn a simple Christmas Card mailing project into a full-time job? My plan... send out Christmas cards to my local Denver SOI (sphere of influence) and toss in my hot-off-the-press Referral Directory magnet as an extra-special holiday gift for my friends (hey, I sprung for the xtra large magnet at over $1 each!).

Simple enough...

Well, it's been anything but. One thing after another created delays in my sending-out-cards process - first, the cards I bought (and addressed & stamped) weren't big enough for the magnet (remember, I bought the xtra large one!), so I had to re-do all the envelopes. Then I realized that I needed extra postage for each envelope (that xtra large thing again), so I had to stand in line at the pre-Christmas shipping extravaganza at my local P.O. I finally got all the cards written, stuffed, addressed & stamped, so it was time to seal 'em up. I used cute little holiday-themed sticker-sealers I bought at Wal-Mart so I wouldn't have to lick all those nasty envelopes.

Got the cards in the mail, marked that particular project off my list.

Couple of days later... empty cards started coming back. Apparently the cute little holiday-themed sticker-sealers weren't strong enough for the enclosed magnet (y'know, the xtra large one) and the magnets broke thru the seals and fell out.


Anyway, where's the lemonade in this? Well, I sent out an email to my entire SOI telling them the story and asking them to let me know if their magnet didn't arrive. So far, I've gotten tons of responses back, wishing me well and letting me know their magnets made it (most of 'em anyway). In fact, this may turn out to be the best responded-to SOI email I've sent out in a long time! 

If you'd like to see the email I sent, just shoot me your email address and I'll forward you a copy.  

Happy Holidays, my friends!


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AMBER NOBLE GARLAND - Top Real Estate Expert, Property Tax Appeal Specialist & Author
Strategic Marketing Expert & Relocation Specialist Serving New Jersey and nationwide! - Marlboro, NJ
- The Agent You Can Trust To Deliver REAL Results!

Looks like you're lemonade turned out pretty sweet Jennifer.  My email addy is

Dec 19, 2008 06:50 AM #29
Sonny Kwan
Quantum Group Commercial - Residential - Lease Seattle, WA - Mercer Island, WA

this is like the mass email that got  sent out to all 500 of my address by computer gliched that said, happy Birthday!

well I got alot of responses back from this saying Thanks, But it's not my birthday, it's actually XX XX XX. an embarrassing goof up  ended being a great conversation starter.

Dec 19, 2008 09:59 AM #30
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA
Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate.

Happy holidays to you as well !  It is great when things like this work out for the best !

Dec 19, 2008 12:55 PM #31
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team - Atlanta, GA
Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

Jennifer, I was in the exact same boat -- the magnets wouldn't fit in the "Seasons Greetings" envelope so I just ordered LARGE "Happy New Year" cards and am going to do two touches to my database this holiday season.  LOL

Dec 19, 2008 01:51 PM #32
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

This is a great story -- and you never know -- some of the magnets that fell out of the envelopes might even have made themselves into a stranger's hands who will be come a buyer. Never know! All the best.

Dec 19, 2008 01:58 PM #33
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Jennifer~ It is funny how things work out sometimes, isn't it?  I would love to see your email when you get a chance....  Vickie McCartney

Dec 19, 2008 02:13 PM #34
TheMillsTeam YourSebringRealtors
Advantage Realty #1 - Sebring, FL

This is the 8th year in a row where I've purchased Christmas cards and didn't send them. I don't know what my problem is! I enjoy picking them out and seeing them  on my desk. I also sort of enjoy putting together the mailing list. I just can't get myself to write them and mail them off.

We emailed instead ( a very pretty scrapbook type e-card with Darrin wearing a Santa hat and me kissing Santa).

My plan for next Christmas: purchase the cards in October (yep, that's when they start selling them) and then write 10 cards each day to make sure they're all done by the time they should be mailed. I'm going to add this to the never ending "To do in 2009" list.

Dec 19, 2008 09:46 PM #35
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

For all who requested a copy of the email - my email program seems to be down, so stay tuned!

Dec 19, 2008 11:26 PM #36
Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

I like the fact that your magnet is giving information...all those wonderful referral sources of yours...instead of the traditional "hey look at me".

Dec 20, 2008 10:42 AM #37
Barb Corsa
SendOutCards - Green, OH
Helping you keep in touch

Poor thing! Those machines at the post office can be brutal! Well, at least you got to give them a personal call to explain.

I heard somewhere about a grandmother who got tired of buying and mailing packages at Christmas to out of town relatives.

She got the great idea of writing out really nice, heartfelt Christmas cards to each person, then adding "BUY YOUR OWN PRESENT!" on the inside of the card and inserting a $25 check so that they could buy whatever they wanted. That way, she didn't have to worry about the gifts not fitting, not being liked, etc.

After taking the completed cards down to the post office and mailing them off, she returned home with a feeling of accomplishment, a spring in her step and a smile on her face at completing her gift giving so easily.

......until she noticed the stack of checks she'd written still sitting on her table!

Dec 20, 2008 03:44 PM #38
Tim Monciref - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

Last year sent out magnet calendars in an envelope that the post office said was too large as the magnet calendar shifted in the envelope.  Thus, they sent back the 6000 calendars back to me to have me put them in a different size envelopes.  Well there were no other sized envelopes for such a mailing.  Thus, we had to tape 6000 calendars inside all new envelopes.  Love the post office and wished they had a Merry Christmas.  Calendars ended up going out in early January.  I have been doing this for years, and this was a recent change due to new machines in our city's post office.

Dec 21, 2008 04:33 AM #39
Kim Peasley-Parker
AgentOwned Realty, Heritage Group, Inc. - Sumter, SC

Great way to turn the situation around and make it something positive.  Glad to hear you received so many responses.

Dec 22, 2008 02:34 AM #40
Joshua & Kathy Schmidt
ERA Henley Real Estate - Cabot, AR


     At least in the end you got a great response and all your work will pay off. 

Dec 22, 2008 06:59 AM #41
Dianne Deming
RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach, DE

One year I sent out those note pads with a magnet on top which holds a business card.  I bought the small one guaranteed to come in under normal postage limitations.  The problem was, when I added the card to the magnet/note pad, the postage suddenly jumped to over fifty cents apiece!  But at least they stayed in the envelopes.:)  I'm glad your lemon turned into lemonade.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 22, 2008 07:32 AM #42
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

I absolutely love that story...not that you had to work twice (or is it three times??) as hard, but how it all turned out!!  : )


Dec 23, 2008 12:26 AM #43
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

We sent out Thanksgiving cards the past 2 years, Christmas seems to be more hectic for us.  Scott and I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season with all of the joy and love that it brings.


Dec 24, 2008 11:48 PM #44
Barb Corsa
SendOutCards - Green, OH
Helping you keep in touch

We send out Thanksgiving and New Year's cards now. We seem to get more response from those than from Christmas cards over the years. Also, you never know what religion a person is.

It's also a less hectic time for people than the Christmas Holiday season, and you don't get lost in a bunch of other people's cards vying for their attention.

I just finished a 6 card campaign that starts with a New Year's card, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and ends with a Happy Winter card.

Another one I'm setting up is a postcard campaign that will start with Ground Hog's Day, have a Spring Ahead time change card, a Fall Back time change card, and some other off-beat holidays I found online.

Dec 25, 2008 02:11 AM #45
Sue Eller
Realogics Sotheby's International Realty-Sequim - Sequim, WA

I am so glad to know I am not the only one who does this type of thing!  I actually spent all of Dec. 26th at Michael's and other similar stores buying fun and unique 'cutesy' holiday things for next years mailers and farming! The flaw in my plan is only that by next year, I will have forgotten where I put some of it. I actually found miniture cookie cutters that I can use for next year with some recipes and also some miniature xmas stockings and small picture frames.  I have gotten a great response from what I do, because whenever I am at an event where I know people, many come up to me to thank me for what I send and to remark on its uniqueness. Since the term 'remarkable' refers only to the fact that people are remarking, I guess on that level I am on the right track. I am doing quite an interesting valentine's idea right now.

Dec 28, 2008 03:45 AM #46
Mark Organek
And the United States of America - Mesa, AZ
On a journey to accomplish one huge goal.

It's always a pleasure to read your fun posts.  You bring an element of fun to work!  Can I have a magnet?

Dec 30, 2008 05:52 PM #47
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Sure - where shall I send it?

Dec 30, 2008 10:27 PM #48
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