Showing appreciation to your clients is a great way to retain their business and maintain a solid professional relationship. Sometimes a thank you card is enough, but depending on the client, you may want to go the extra mile and send them a gift. However, this can quickly become overwhelming.
Who do you buy for? How much should you spend? How personal is too personal?
First and foremost, remember this is not the time to market to your client. Even if your branded business swag is cool, marketing while showing gratitude can take away from your message and come across as self-serving.
If you take the time to think carefully about your recipient when choosing a gift, they are far more likely to remember your gesture and continue supporting your work. Showing that you’re as invested in your clients’ success as they are in yours goes a long way toward building a long-lasting business relationship.
Of course, this is all easier said than done. To help you create a thoughtful client-gifting process, here’s our step-by-step guide. We've also thrown a few Zap suggestions—Zapier's automated workflows—into the mix to ensure maximum efficiency.
Figure out who’s on your gift list
The first thing you need to decide is who you want to buy for. A good place to start is with your clients and customers, but you might also want to add mentors or stand-out referral partners to the list.
To make sure you have the most up-to-date contact information, you can connect your email account and your customer relationship management (CRM) system. For example, if you use Google Contacts and HubSpot, you can set up a Zap where every new contact you add in Google Contacts will have its info sent to HubSpot, where a contact will either be created or updated if it already exists.
Once you integrate your apps, you’ll never have to worry about sending out client gifts to the wrong address ever again.
Set a budget for each recipient
A good rule of thumb is that your gift should be proportionate to how much your client spent or contributed to your business this year. So if they only contributed $200 to your business this year, don’t go all out and send them a $300 gift basket. You might also want to check with your client’s reception or human resources department to see if there’s a cap on what employees can accept.
To get organized, you could use your CRM to create the gift list and then set up a Zap to send that information to where you want to track your work. For example, if you’re all about the spreadsheets, you can set up a Google Sheets and HubSpot integration. Or if you’re more familiar with Trello, you can set up a Zap to create new cards from new contacts in your HubSpot list.
Make it personal
While it’s certainly easier to order 30 of the same thing and call it a day, the more personal the present, the more memorable it will be. Consider your recipients’ likes and hobbies, and try to source gifts that will be meaningful to them.
However, if you do go the mass-gift approach, you can always up the thoughtfulness factor by adding a handwritten or personalized message. Now if you’re thinking that personalizing gifts for everyone on your list is way too much work, there are some tools and integrations that will make this step a breeze.
For example, Thankster is an app that creates and mails cards and notes with authentic handwriting. All you need to supply is your recipient’s address information and message text. With a Zap, you can integrate Thankster with your CRM to automatically send custom cards and notes to the contacts on your list.
Also, remember that gift list spreadsheet you set up? You can create a Zap that will send your client details over to Thankster, so you can send out personalized cards automatically.
Think outside the (holiday) box
While the holiday season often puts people in a generous mood, it can also be a pretty hectic time of year. Before you add more to your plate, seriously consider if this is the right time for you to give.
Do you have the time to do this properly or will it be rushed and thoughtless? Plus, since everybody sends gifts around this time, sending presents to your clients outside of December can have more of an impact and surprise and delight your recipients.
You might also want to think about showing your appreciation all year round. For example, Tango Card is a service that allows users to send gift cards from over 100 brands. With Zapier, you can integrate Tango Card with HubSpot to automatically send your customers a gift card when they help your business, perhaps by filling out a testimonial survey or referral form.
You could also create a loyalty program using a platform like Loopy Loyalty. You can welcome your customers by giving them stamps as soon as they enroll in your Loopy Loyalty digital loyalty program as a little thank you gift.
Sending your clients and customers a token of your appreciation doesn’t have to be a time-sucking task. Once you decide who you want to thank and how, you can use some handy automation to streamline the process and show your supporters that you care without ever breaking a sweat.
For more on how to manage customer relationships, check out our tips for increasing customer loyalty with a seamless onboarding experience and the best free CRM software.