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Spam Is Still Spam in a Holiday Greeting

For the last couple of minutes I have been sitting at my computer and deleting spam greetings from my email inbox. These greetings do not give me a warm, positive feeling about the senders.

I consider the greetings spam because I do not do business with the companies sending them and I have not asked to be on their mailing lists.

Suggestion: If your company is sending out e-greetings, send them only to people in these categories:

  • Your current or recent customers, clients, employees, and business associates such as vendors
  • Subscribers to your newsletter
  • Individuals who have asked to be on your mailing list

Remember: Spam is spam even with pictures of wreaths, candles, and reindeer.

Please feel free to share other greeting suggestions here.

Enjoy the holidays!

Syntax Training

Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

4 comments on “Spam Is Still Spam in a Holiday Greeting”

  • Even if I have had some kind of contact with the company, when I receive a “form” e-mail Christmas card, I delete it and quickly forget I ever saw it. So why do they bother? I pay more attention to the few cards I receive on paper, which cost something to send.


  • After much discussion we decided to forgo the expense and environmental waste of traditional holiday cards and send an e-card with a greeting AND a note that in lieu of the paper card that we had made a donation to a local educational non profit.Good or Bad?

  • Hi, Sarah. If you are sending e-cards to individuals who know you, I believe your choice is fine.

    But let me add a couple of my observations of what can go wrong with e-cards:

    1. I received an e-card in which all the consultants at a small company seem to have signed the card. All their signatures were too wildly written to recognize, so I can’t be certain of any of their names.

    2. I received an e-card today with no mention of the company’s name. Looking very hard to figure out who it was from, I finally found the company name in tiny print in the footer.


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