The holidays are here, and the pressure is on!
What gifts should you give your clients or customers that will be meaningful, build closer ties to your company, and encourage them to continue doing business with you in the new year?
Client gifts are unique. More than a token of affection and goodwill, they’re also a form of marketing. Send the wrong gift, and it could be ignored or, worse, offend a valued client. Send the right one, and you could have a devoted customer in the year ahead or for life.
This guide explains how you can select holiday gifts your customers will love and – more importantly – value.
Give Loyal Clients Products or Services They Prefer
It may seem counterintuitive to give someone something they already buy. However, it’s a sign of goodwill and thoughtfulness to acknowledge that you know which products or services they love (even if it’s through a database) and are willing to give them for free. It’s easy for your clients to learn about your competitors these days. Doing something nice makes it less likely they will seek out other sources for what you offer.
Add-in Something New
Are you offering new products and services your customers may not be aware of? Including them (or a gift certificate or card for services) in a holiday gift box or basket can be a great way to get current buyers to try them out. Include items based on their previous purchases.
Go Off the Grid
Is it necessary to give your clients something sold by your business to show your appreciation during the holidays? Maybe not. In fact, it may not always be possible. For instance, if you own a construction company, building services can be hard to put in a package.
Depending on your products and services, it might be wise to think outside the box.
It might make more sense to give sports fans tickets to see their favorite team.
Theater or music aficionados may enjoy complimentary tickets, as well.
People who love coffee, sweets, or wine might like a gift that satisfies their culinary interests.
Sometimes, a gift card (whether for your business or not) will satisfy.
Just like in your personal life, what matters is that the gifts you give to your customers are meaningful to them. Bonus points if your present is also memorable.
Provide a Sneak Peek of “What’s Next”
This is a tricky area, but if you do it well, it can prove really effective.
People love feeling like they’re in the know. They like exclusive sneak peeks.
As a part of your holiday gift, give your customers a hint about what’s coming up in 2023 and beyond. Maybe a new product or service launch. Perhaps a novel and better way to conduct business. Teasing these things can be a great way to:
Create hype around the product or service.
Build excitement around a new way of doing business.
Garner post-launch engagement.
Boost social media engagement and followers.
Increase email sign-ups.
Prevent customers from considering competitors.
Customers are your best ambassadors. A preview as part of your holiday gift may get them talking about your new offering on their socials or at holiday events. Their followers and friends will want to learn more on your website, building excitement about what’s coming.
So, why should you be concerned about a tactic that could do so much good for your business? Over-hyping what’s coming next could make your holiday package seem more like a promotional stunt than a token of appreciation. Make it a point to ensure that when you message about the future, it comes across as a friendly sneak peek and not blatant promotion. If you’re not sure how to ride this line appropriately, check with a client or two before you send anything out.
One of the best gifts anyone can give is a donation to a worthy charity – except when a business does it in honor of its customers and it comes across as a cynical ploy.
If you decide to go this route, make sure you are sensitive in your approach. Make it a charity your customers care about as much as you do. Ensure you convey your commitment in such a way that the people you do business with will see the value of your donation in lieu of a more traditional gift.
Create Branded Packaging
Gifts are great, but packaging and wrapping can make them unforgettable. Take extra time to create custom boxes, images, wrapping, colored ribbons, envelopes, and inserts for your business holiday presents. Even an Amazon gift card seems unique if it comes in a branded holiday envelope with a personal greeting.
Include a Personalized Handwritten “Thank You” Note
No matter what gift you give, it’s the little things that will take it to the next level. That’s why personalization matters. A personal one-to-one thank you will go a long way, so be specific about why you are grateful for that particular client.
Handwritten notes are old-school. That’s the point. They never go out of style. Select your favorite pen and the perfect card (holiday season-specific) to show your clients you care. The recipients will love that you took the time to write out why you appreciate them.
Many things are celebrated during the holiday season. It’s essential that your gifts and packaging are sensitive to the different occasions people celebrate.
If you’re unsure what a client celebrates at the end of the year, the solstice, winter, and new year are universal and safe choices for gifts, cards, messages, and packaging.
Following the suggestions in this guide will help you give your clients and customers holiday gifts they’ll love, which could help build closer bonds with them moving forward.