Ever since I opened my full-time studio, I’ve been sending a birthday postcard to students every year – you know, kind of like when you get birthday postcards from your dentist, eye doctor, or auto-dealership? Not all businesses do this of course, but it’s a nice gesture and a great way to keep in touch with customers.
Prior to doing postcards, I would give them their favorite candy bar but I got tired of having to go out and buy individual candy bars and remember to do so throughout the year.
My reason for sending postcards has actually been more intentional than just doing something nice for students (not that that isn’t a good reason in and of itself, of course! 🙂 )
To me, it’s a way of creating great rapport with your families and I wrote a little more details on this in this post: Marketing with Postcards, It’s Not What You Think!
Each year I find a new postcard with the goal of sending something unique, fun, and visually inspiring. (Get some ideas here: Fun Postcards for Marketing Your Studio and 2019-2020 Birthday Postcards.)
Today I want to share how my (almost) burnout on this annual studio project propelled me to take a fresh approach with a little twist this year.
This will also include details on how to organize this project so you don’t have to continually attend to it throughout the year.
Sneak-peak! If you happen to use My Music Staff to manage your studio, I’ll show you a tool they offer that will display your student’s birthdays on your Google, iCloud or similar digital calendar!
A Simple (but Real) Burnout
For years I’ve had the same routine.
- Purchase a set of postcards.
- Print out address labels, and pre-label and stamp all the cards.
- Every Monday morning, look at the calendar and see if anyone has a birthday the following week, then write a little note on the postcard and drop it in the mail.
After nine years of this routine, while it was still fairly streamlined, I’ve gotten burnt out on hand-writing notes – especially when Spring comes around and I have multiple students in a week with birthdays.
I really didn’t want to stop my birthday mailing though because I think it’s important (I mean, what kid doesn’t feel special getting something in the
US Mail these days?! LOL)
small Tweaks to Keep it Fresh
Amidst pondering my dilemma, I realized that many of the birthday cards that come from businesses are usually pre-printed. Aha! While not the most personal approach, it was the perfect answer to give me a little break and a change of pace.
Tweak #1: Pre-print the cards
I also wanted to change it up and do a little something more for students.
A gift card to DQ was an easy idea but $5 is usually the minimum amount most places will do on a gift card, making it a pricy option. Plus, the statistics show a lot of people never end up using them and I hated the thought of wasting that money!
Over the last two years, I’ve been implementing a big push for students to always be able to play Happy Birthday. So, I began wondering how could I tie this into the birthday gift?