Last year marked my first Christmas as a self-employed freelancer with my own clients… which meant that I approached the whole idea of sending out Christmas cards in very much of an “oh F*@K!” manner: I hastily bought a box of cards, wrote in them in my hilariously horrendous handwriting using a dark green biro (to match my business’ branding) and fired them off to my clients’ postal addresses.
It was a sucky effort.
Even before December 2013 rolled by, I had the idea of doing something different… something special in place of traditional Christmas cards. Now I ain’t no fancy designer, so creating a slick, physical, deliverable item was out of the question. I always liked the idea of doing something that involved an online/digital element though.
This year, I put more thought into it and created Christmas e-cards in the form of custom landing pages on the morganonlinemarketing.co.uk website, which took on two different aspects…
Type 1 – Individual e-cards for clients & other folk
So, as mentioned above, the main aspect of the e-cards took the form of custom landing pages for individual recipients. They’re all orphaned pages (meaning that nothing else is linking to them, internally or externally) and they’ve also been noindexed, meaning that they won’t be picked up by the search engines.
Here’s an example of one. Each one contains a personalised message to the recipient – which beats having a generic message across the board.
So far I’ve created about 20 of them. Beyond clients, they’ve also gone to people who’ve referred me work and who have done me favours or helped me out over the past year. I can also quickly knock one up if someone sends me a card or e-card, so I can potentially avoid that awkward moment that can happen where someone sends you one and you don’t get chance to send one back. Quite handy.
Type 2 – The "welsh ice bauble" challenge…
I also created another e-card page, but this one wasn’t addressed to anyone in particular. It had a secret, ‘Easter egg’ quality to it (and no, I’m not getting my holiday seasons mixed up)…
One of the guys/gals at Welsh ICE (my office/co-working space) came up with the brill idea of giving every member/company a Christmas bauble for the ICE Christmas tree to decorate and customise ourselves. Some people tied it in with their business: e.g. SPORTTAPE wrapped theirs in some of their tape and RecRock covered theirs in branded plectrums.
I wanted to follow suit, so I decided to create a page for it – similar to the above individual/client e-cards – except that this one could be indexed by Google…
For my bauble, I coloured it orangey-gold and drew green lines on it (to try and match the revised logo – the star of the tree) and stuck a label on it with a Google logo and the phrase: "welsh ice bauble"
— ICE (@Welsh_ICE) December 8, 2014