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.
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.
Price: Depending on how many your order, the cost ranges. Safely, it’s way less than $1/sticker (on average).
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.
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.
Cost: $20-$40 (enough for two tickets)
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:
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.
Cost: Varies, but typically under $20
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.
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.
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!)
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:
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:
What are some safer items on the list?
Cost: Varies, but $50-$100 depending on the goods in the package
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;
One item is great, 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.
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!