The holidays give us time to reflect on the year, what we are thankful for, and how things panned out over the course of the last eleven to twelve months. Undoubtedly there were some bumps along the way BUT hopefully you had some new and returning clients that made it worth it.
So why not celebrate them with a special gift!?!
I LOVE getting gifts, especially when it's unexpected. Especially if it's thoughtful and useful. Your clients do too!
In case you are worried about making assumptions about which holidays people do or don't celebrate, you can always refer to it as an "end-of-the-year thank you" gift. No matter your budget, you should do something to let them know how appreciated they were to you during the year.
This small gesture will make a huge impact on them. Remember, when a client feels a deep, emotional bond with a business, they are more likely to return, more likely to spend even more with you, and more likely to tell their friends about you. This is all part of creating a great customer experience plan to keep your customers coming back again and again. Read more about what a customer experience plan is and why you need one, in this blog post.
So what do you get? How much do you spend? Ahhhh...is this really another thing I'm adding to your to-do list? Yes! But don't make yourself stressed over it.
Here are some easy suggestions:
Be Resourceful and Thoughtful.
Think of the client and what they enjoy personally. What do they like to do in their spare time? What are some of their favorite things? What's your business relationship with them? By asking these questions you can tailor gifts just for them.
Let me explain in case you are scratching your head.
If you are a photographer, and you do their family photos, maybe you could send a gift card to a local movie theater with a pack of microwave popcorn, and a photo with a cute film-themed border added to it. Add a little card that says, "You were in the "highlight reel" of my year. Enjoy a trip to the movies on me. Can't wait to work with you again next year!"
Wouldn't you lose your mind if you got something so thoughtful? I would!
For local clients: Don't be afraid to hand-deliver something special. You can even make cookies and write a nice card. Yes, there are food restrictions to be mindful of, but it shows you took the time to actually make something for them. People appreciate that.
For non-local clients: Think of things unique to your area. Where I live we have the Peppermint Pig. It's a candy pig that comes in a bag with a tiny hammer. You smash it up and enjoy it, but only in the winter. What about local coffee roasters? Other things your city is known for? Why not send some local favorites to give them a little taste (pun intended) of your hometown.
Of course, we can't forget about how much this will cost, so I've broken down more options according to price below.
Have cards printed and be sure to include a hand-written note before sending them off. Nowadays there are so many options for beautifully printed cards online. Sites like Minted and Shutterfly offer tons of gorgeous templates and you can always find discount codes online.
Gift cards to local places or online stores they are likely to use. Have a nice cafe nearby or a great lunch spot? Help support another local business by getting a gift card for your client to that shop.
A branded ornament or other small item to remember you by. Printed Mint offers custom items you can create as your own, and they'll even drop ship for you. You have to register an account but it's free, and low stress for you. Design (or have your designer create) something a little different than just your regular logo for this. Incorporate your branding but make sure it also stands out as a one-time item. Perhaps include a message of gratitude and the year.
Don't forget to check out Etsy for unique, hand-made items you can have shipped right to your clients. This way you get something special and get to help out another small business too.
Mid to High Budget
Custom gift baskets. Look for local companies that create gift baskets. There are many online options, but by going local it should give you more creativity and flexibility both with what you include in it, and pricing. Think of things your clients would like or could use. Then have a company create something unique just for you.
Booze. Yep...it's always a good idea. Unless it goes against your own values or your line of work would make giving this type of gift inappropriate, a really nice bottle (or two) of wine or liquor is sure to be a hit.
Flowers or seasonal greenery. Check out local florists to see what wintery displays they can do for you. A pine wreath or swag or nice table centerpiece that's custom made would be such a lovely gift this time of year.
Larger gift certificates to local fine dining restaurants. I'm all about gifts that are experiential. Give them the gift of a lovely night out with good food and drinks, and without having to do dishes or cook. Get creative and think of other local places that could be great for getting gift certificates as well. Examples would be spas, music venues, wine bars, and more.
Have any other suggestions? I'd love to hear them! Put them in the comments below or in my Facebook group. I'm always looking for creative ways to "wow" clients at the end of the year.