Top 10 Business Gifts for Clients: Unique Presents That Won't Break the Bank (No Mugs or Pens!)

Micky Deming
Top 10 Business Gifts for Clients: Unique Presents That Won't Break the Bank (No Mugs or Pens!)


Business gifts can be a tough subject. Most organizations go with the simple mug or pen with the company logo slapped on it. 

Classic? Sure. Effective? Not really.

There are a few reasons for this, but the crucial one is this — everyone else does it!

So what are cutting edge client gifts for the current age? This article will highlight 10 different ideas that won’t break the bank. Of course, “the bank” is a relative term: If you sell a product in the $10 - $100 range — a $5 journal is going to take out your margins. And giving a sticker for a four-figure item only works for Apple (maybe).

It’s due to those relative margins that this resource will separate our list into three categories — extremely low cost, low cost and moderate cost. We’ll also look at the amount of effort each gift takes so you have a better sense of what’s involved.

Extremely Low Cost Business Gift Ideas 

1. Doing a Good Job

Cost: Free

Effort: Low additional effort

Before you think ill of this suggestion, it is not a “cheap” answer, even if it is one of the lowest cost on the list. If you’re a service-based business, give your clients great service above the deliverables. If you sell a product, make sure the person feels like help is just a chat away. 

Here are a few ways to ensure customers know you’re working hard for them.

  • Communicate: You’re probably doing a fine job, but without communicating both expectations and clearly explaining results, how do your customers know that?
  • Provide Ways for the Customer to Communicate: Better service begins by giving customers more ways to reach out to you. Put live chat on your website or hire someone to answer a phone line, opening up more options.
  • Be On Time: Products ship and services have deliverables. Ensuring whatever you sell is on time is perhaps the best gift any company gives.

2. Stickers, Stickers, Stickers!

Price: Depending on how many your order, the cost ranges. Safely, it’s way less than $1/sticker (on average).

Effort: Low

Apple, as mentioned, shoves a couple of stickers in their boxes and customers go bananas for it. But it’s not out of cheapness or lack of concern:  The tech brand earned that brand loyalty over a long time. The gift is just a bonus that costs a couple of pennies.

If you’ve got the clout, stickers are a great marketing strategy. In-and-Out Burger’s stickers are so popular, they can no longer send them out as they once did. For Cotopaxi, giving out awesome-looking stickers is a growth strategy. Simply request it, and they’ll send one your way.



(Source: Cotopaxi.com)

3. Thank You Note

Cost: A few bucks for the cards + your time

Effort: A few hours each month

Since we mentioned “communicating” so heavily, this one could be part of doing a good job. But since it’s so rare, writing a personal note makes it onto the list. Thank you notes are simple, quick and highly personal.

And yes, you can do this with goods that are lower cost. Sure, not for everyone, but writing out 100 thank you notes a couple times per month and slipping them into the shipping material makes a lasting and spread-worthy impression.

Digitizing Tip: Some marketers and business owners choose a customer and shoot a quick personal video and ship it off to them on their preferred social media channel. Imagine getting a “thank you” video right to your Twitter. This can also be a one-to-many approach.

Low Cost Business Gift Ideas

4. Gift Card for a Movie Theatre


Cost: $20-$40 (enough for two tickets)

Effort: Low

Most people love to take in a good movie. Plus, you’ll remember the person who give you a gift card when you get around to going to watch it. It’s a double win. A client likes it when they receive it. Say it takes a month to get to a new blockbuster — and they think about you, again!

Not much to explain here, but you will want to watch your margins. Ensure you add in some calculations like:

5. T-Shirt

Cost: Roughly $10-$20 per shirt (depending on volume)

Effort: Upfront the effort is high

T-shirts almost didn’t make it on the list. Fashion is something that many get wrong, even in the fashion industry. Developing and designing a shirt that appeals to your target audience, yet represents your brand well, is not easy. But if you can pull it off, it’s worth it.

One of the better examples here is Ahrefs. Their shirt design is so popular, there are actually tutorials on how to make one for yourself.


(Source: Ahrefs post on great marketing ideas)

6. Personal Use Accessories

Cost: Varies, but typically under $20 

Effort: Low

The term “personal accessories” is loaded. Plus, picking something your clients won’t use is a risk factor. That said, there are a few inexpensive items to think about.

  • Posh hand sanitizer
  • Charging bricks for electronics
  • Fancy PopSocket for a smartphone

Or, go more exotic with something that really stands out. Believe it or not, fanny packs are making a comeback. If you have a large millennial or Gen-Z clientele, it could be an option that excites them.

7. A Journal

Cost: $20-$40

Effort: Low

No, you shouldn’t get a pen with your logo on it. Yes, you may consider using journals for swag offerings to your clients.

Why the seeming contradiction? Simple: Journals have a relatively high perceived value. Companies like Moleskine and BulletProof have brought the physical journal back into the limelight — making a lot of people want them.

A journal is a more personal gift. It won’t make sense for everyone. (And, as always, make sure to do the math!)

Moderately-Priced Business Gift Ideas

8. Night Out

Cost: Varies, but a place to start would be $100

Effort: High (planning, coordinating, etc.)

Local clients means the ability to create personal experiences. If a customer has been with you for a certain length of time or you’re celebrating a milestone, it’s a fantastic way to show your appreciation. And a night out is one of the best ways of celebrating the occasion.

A few ideas:

  • Dinner: Simple, yet classy. Choose something other than a chain to show that you’ve done a bit of research.
  • Novel Events: Axe-throwing places are everywhere, second only to the number of escape rooms opening up. Or, you could opt for somewhere like TopGolf, depending on the client.

9. Relevant Membership or Service

Cost: Varies

Effort: Moderate (you have to find out what the client likes)

We’re not talking about the jelly of the month club, even if it is “the gift that keeps on giving.” This is another item on the list that requires a bit of thought. But there are so many things that your customers would enjoy, it’s a great option.

Finding the perfect service or membership takes two things:

  • Something that customers don’t do or get regularly, but would love to, if it was given to them.
  • The service or membership shouldn’t be too personal. You probably don’t want to give a client a yoga membership if you handle their company’s accounting (and certainly not if you don’t know they like yoga!).

What are some safer items on the list?

  • Car detailing
  • Software membership
  • Nails/Salon (if it fits with your brand, like a local high-end boutique)

10. A Care Package 

Cost: Varies, but $50-$100 depending on the goods in the package

Effort: Moderate

A care package is a number of things sent in a single package. These items can but don’t need to be related. One example is The Hoth. For regular customers, a care package is sent out with a number of things, like;

  • Mouse pad
  • T-Shirt
  • Stress ball
  • “The Hoth Sauce” hot sauce
  • And, yes, a pen

One item is greatl. But imagine your customer getting a knock at the door and then opening the box to see 5 or more items that you gave to them. Talk about making a good impression, one that may come with the bonus of being shared on social media.

Giving Gifts Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank

If you put some thought into what appeals to the bulk of your customers and represents your brand — the perfect gift idea will come to you. The key is to be creative, specific and thoughtful in what you choose!



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