I have a referral program. For every referral my clients bring in, I give them one hour of updates/maintenance for free.
Homemade chocolate chip cookies. My wife makes "the best". Clients know they're hers and really appreciate it.
A nice bottle of Scotch never goes astray!
I have a favorite book that I give them. "The big red fez". Highly relevant, and it secretly helps them sometimes see concepts that they don't always see.
A white hat with your logo on it. ;)
|Marketing Guy: A white hat with your logo on it. ;) |
|Homemade chocolate chip cookies. My wife makes "the best". Clients know they're hers and really appreciate it. |
Great tip, seriously. I think this really helps adding a personal touch to your business and it costs next to nothing.
Yeh the small things can work wonders. I once read a tip about an estate agency that gave free ice cream to property viewers as they were viewing a property. The idea was that they would go home and eat / freeze the ice cream rather than go to other estate agents for more viewings that day (this was in a country with a hot climate).
Not exactly the same as post-sales gifts but the whole gift + incentive to return for more business concept is always good.
We used to have Xmas Puddings on display nice expensive ones, many a customer was over the moon when I told them just to take one.
If an existing client refers someone to us and that referral becomes a client, the referring party receives up to a free month of service.
Aside from promotionals like company pens, I make a point not to play up free stuff to customers, especially when advertising/prospecting, for it tends to bring in cheapskates as opposed to worthwhile clients. When cashing out a sale, however, I find it is a good time to point out some extra free things we threw in with the job and how much they would normally cost, "since you're such a good client and we wanted this job to turn out extra good" type of thing. This makes existing clients feel extra good about you, at a critical juncture in the transaction, I have found, without instilling expectations of free stuff every visit like so many other "free" promotions manage to do.
I know a 30 minute photo guy in an oversaturated market who does a bustling business and includes one or 2 well chosen free enlargements in every order... I've heard many people mention this with delight (as they viral-market his business ;) )
Giving a reward to those who refer new clients IS worth promoting actively, considering how much each client costs to bring in with conventional advertising. Hard to set a tangible value there, without looking too cheap or extravagent to your referrer, both extremes having their perils.
|Yeh the small things can work wonders. I once read a tip about an estate agency that gave free ice cream to property viewers as they were viewing a property. The idea was that they would go home and eat / freeze the ice cream rather than go to other estate agents for more viewings that day (this was in a country with a hot climate). |
A good idea in theory, but always think of potential downsides before launching a bold (expensive) marketing push. The thought of home-seekers going straight home to gratefully decide to buy the house of the ice-cream giver works great on paper. People aren't that easily manipulated in real life, however. I could picture most of them continuing on their home shopping mission, and later scrubbing the melted ice cream from the vehicle carpet while ruefully pondering the agent's smiling face on the burst container, and her little game. Not good, LOL!
Last year, I gave clients a flash drive (USB) as a *thanks for your business* gift. Bought a dozen at Best Buy or some retailer for about $25.00. I was able to apply a clear return address label with my logo and threw a little bit of our propaganda (PDF) onto the drive.
Yearly Diaries, Phone Diaries and Printed Notebooks are old ideas that still work good.
I am thinking of getting colored ( non dated ) spiral notebook, large size, getting my company name gold embossed on it and sening it to all my clients, once every year.
Also, another old idea.
I know someone who sends me a large beautiful sceneic wall calender every year, and somehow automatically with every new year, i wait for hsi calender. I havent spoken to him for almost 3 years, but we do business with each other. His calender stays on one of my walls .
I am also thinking of doing this for my clients, but I must get something with is unique and is a work of art.
A few years ago, I remember I used to visit this Bar quite often and landed up in their frequest visitors list. On one of my visits, they presented me an enveloped single copy of playboy. That was something! LOL
Reader's Digest used to gives a very good quizbook to ist subscribers. I am trying to find something of that level also.
In a company I was a partner in when I lived in the US, we'd collect all the one-off promotional goods that come in the mail - the sample pens, the notepads, the sample calendar, and even once a little marble pen & pencil set with our name engraved with laser. Mind you - these weren't ordered, they came from companies who bought lists of incorporated businesses and then sent out thousands of samples of pens with the addressee's name on them.
Every Christmas, we'd send them to our favorite clients with a note that said something like "This is the only one of its kind - cherish it". :)
We give everyone a package with a branded shirt, mug, coaster set, stress ball, pens, and highlighters.
Its great when you go to a clients office and see the whole place branded with your logo and colors.
The best thank you is a sincere communication which makes the client feel that he is important.
Probably a very strange concept, but when I used to manage sales for the best "Thank you" a client would get would be us visiting them once a quarter, taking them out to lunch and getting to know them.
We had an informal rule... the lunch would begin with my sales person asking me about how my son was doing. Set the tone for a good informal lunch.
No sales pitches, all questions answered and if *any* problems were brought up during the lunch, they would be fixed and I would make sure my marketing funds would pay for any external billings involved. We worked in a niche were everyone knew everyone... the IBM mainframe world.
Our clients, big and small, knew we (me personally and anyone who worked for me) would not walk away without making them look good -- either to their management, stakeholders or to the general world.
Given that most of these were multi-million dollar accounts, mousepads and other freebies thrust into our faces, by our American marketing teams meant very little to the decision makers.
Oops .. I'm digressing.. *heads back to forum30/78*
(A box of Godiva chocolates always worked with the assistants and other facilitators...)
A bottle of sparkling cider (that looks like champaigne and has a cork that opens with a satisfying POP! but is legal to mail), along with a card that says they get a year's free hosting for every referral that turns into a customer.
Plus, I always remember to send a holiday greeting card.
In our category we can do trades with chocolatiers and the like. I usually do a few to accumulate some nice gifts ... some will even customize them.
The clients that get to pay for their advertising with trade love it because they save $$, and the clients that receive the chocolates, cookies, etc. of course also love it!
I sent a bottle of Grey Goose vodka once and got a very warm return thank you :)
I offer discounted extra services. That's a win-win too.
I've been wanting to order some items for past clients, and some for new clients as well, yet there are only a handful of prior clients I would be sending something to. The problem is that I don't want to order more than 30 items, and all these personalized product sites require minimum orders of 50, sometimes 100 or 200 products.
I was thinking of getting 25 simple items (personalized notebooks) and maybe 5-10 really nice items for the bigger clients (personalized portfolios). Can anyone recommend companies that will personalize a few items at a time? (either out in the open or via message)