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-   -   Gifts To Existing Customers? (http://www.smallbusinessbrief.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9609)

BSNutrition 9th January 2007 09:08 AM

Gifts To Existing Customers?
 
I am trying to figure out if it would be logical to send a gift to customers who purchased from us last year. I am heading up our marketing department and we have never done this before. I would like to take care of our existing customers better in hopes they will continue to purchase from us. We have a call center and mass mail catalogs to get new customers, and would love to WOW them in the coming year with customer service. Our customers are school districts, Housing authorities, Private schools, colleges, and apartment buildings. I need some ideas to maybe send a "thank you" gift of somesort. Or if anyone else has experiance with this, share your ideas. Thanks!

Old Welsh Guy 9th January 2007 09:57 AM

It all depends on the average order value and what type opf product. Whether they buy for themselves or buy for others to use . There are a lot of variables.

Often times a personal gift can help, while other times it can offend. Any chance you can tell us a little more like the above?

St0n3y 9th January 2007 10:00 AM

I send a gift to my clients each Christmas. Something useful and under $20, but by and large they all like it.

BSNutrition 9th January 2007 10:22 AM

We sell from $25-$80,000 a customer, and we have about 1,000 customers. The product is window hardware. windowrepairsystems.com The purchasers are buying for other people, like their maintenance crews or schoold districts etc. So if a management company buys from us, a purchaser makes the final decission. Sending something to them would be the idea. So its not a residential consumer.

sophia_7 5th February 2007 09:05 AM

It does make sense.
 
Adding some extras to sales to such customers really does make sense. But please don't ever treat it as any "thank you". Unless your products aren't worth buying. I've worked recently with some great guy on the same issue since my company didn't know what's up with our customers (they started to act towards our company as donators).
Some straightforward talks later we have changed our communication. We were still adding extras but we put effort to make it "out of product" by asking: what our customers will need after they buy from us - in consequence. I'm from Poland and I work as a marketing director for civil engineering company. Our customers always turn out to have new needs in order to make the most of their new investment. And thanks to Tomek our extras are not "thank you" now - it's now the matter of our offer - better than others propose. Works!
Tomek is Tomasz Zgliczynski-Cuber from CODES Consulting. The best marketing strategist I've ever work with. And I've seen some as yet. I do not know if you can do any profit out of my post because he's from Poland just like me and I really don't know if he can work overseas or by Internet. But maybe reading my 'case' would cause something interesting occur to you.

jvance 5th February 2007 11:53 AM

I use a varity of "thank you" gifts for my customers. Here are a few of my ideas. I don't want to blend in with all the other seasonal cards / gifts, so I try and send them out throughout the year (helps with my budget too!)

1. If I meet with a potential JV partner, or mentor, or cross promotor, I will typically send them a hand written thank you card in the mail one week after I meet with them (I include 2 business cards as well for them). The purpose of this is just to keep me at the top of their mind for another week or so, and to also thank them for their valuble time. The cards are there so they can pass them out to potential referrals. Depending on the contact, I may also throw a Starbuck's gift card in with it ($5-10)

2. Corporate gift baskets - I use these for my "key clients", and usually spend about $100-200 on them. These go into the staff room at my client's location for their staff to munch on for a couple of days. I usually exclude wine from the baskets, as I am not sure of the appropriateness of sending alcohol to the workplace.

3. "Man Buckets" :) - These are gift baskets for guys! They aren't so girly, come in a metal tub and come with a variety of soft drinks and snacks. price = $100-$200

4. Ice Cream Gifts - We have a company near us that packs ice cream in dry ice and ships it via courier to any location. I tested how long the product lasts, and it is about 3 - days, so you could ship this virtually anywhere in North America. It comes with spoons, dishes, sprinkles, and syrops, plus your choice of various flavors of ice cream. I usually send a few of these out on during the summer months. Price is between $50-$100. If you want the name of the store, PM me.

5. I also have sent out personalized pens, or marble stonework with an enscription on it. These last longer than consumable gifts, and usually stay on desks or counters for years. I gave a client a personalized pen about 4 years ago and they still use it (he has refilled the ink 3 times). These cost around $20-30.

mktgbiz 6th February 2007 08:08 AM

That's A-L-W-A-Y-S been my motto........TAKE CARE OF WHAT YOU'VE GOT. If you don't .....someone else will.

My business is selling custom imprinted gifts and promotional items so it just works out that I do these THANK YOU's for my customers and for my clients as well.

Thank you gifts range from branded leather accessories, watches, calendars, high dollar pens, and the like.

If there is anything I can do to help just click on my JavelinPen link below and you'll find my contact info on that site.


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mapbooks4u 12th March 2007 02:14 AM

I sent something that said it in a simple manner and didn' t risk offending anyone or breaking any rules:

Boxes of Thanks-Alot Girl Scout Cookies

I also gave a box to each of the UPS drivers at my local HUB and to every delivery person that came to my business for three weeks. I made a personal trip to my vendor locations and handed out cookies to the employees taking time to thank each one for being a part of making my business successful. This helped our local Girl Scout Troop and our customers, employees of our vendors, and the service/delivery people absolutely loved them!

You don't have to give something expensive, it can even be a simple thank you note or card to let your customer know that you appreciate them. I remember how much it meant to us that a car salesman took the time to send us a handwritten and hand addressed Thank you card, a Christmas card, and birthday cards over the past three years. (We just went back to that dealership and bought another vehicle because of that kind of personal service.)

Diana

east2west 12th March 2007 03:19 AM

I vote for the baskets, thats allways a good gift.

Adstamatic 27th April 2007 10:11 PM

It depends of the genuine purpose of the giving.
e.g. it sounds like you just want to wow them so you can make more sales to exising customers...this sounds self centered, which it is, but is totally normal, acceptable, common and appropriate. If thats the outcome you want then i dont think it matters what you send them, your just trying to get to the front of their minds again. Might as well go for the cheap and easy option e.g. a hand written thank you card.

On the other hand, if you have some customers that you genuinely care about (for more than just their future patronage) then a more elaborate gift may be appropriate.

Dont overlook giving gifts/thank yous to your suppiers either. (if they treat you right!)


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