Eight Suggestions for Giving Thanks to Your Customers

It’s that time of year when it feels right to show some customer appreciation. How do you thank your print customers? There are lots of easy ways, and most won’t break the bank.

Since most corporations have strict policies on gifts from vendors, you’ll have to find out ahead of time what your limits are. Here are eight suggestions:

1. Send a Thank You card in the mail. It’s inexpensive and personal. Doesn’t get much better than that.

2. If you’re not the company president, have him or her pick up the phone and thank your best customers. We all like to know we matter to the top brass.

3. Host a “Customer Appreciation Event” for a group of customers. Print buyers and designers like meeting their peers. Have an open house. Inject fun into the festivities. It can include a meal, but doesn’t have to.

4. Donate to a charitable cause during the holidays in lieu of taking customers to lunch or sending candy. Let them know.

5. Spotlight a customer in your monthly newsletter. (You do have a newsletter, right?) Or have one issue devoted entirely to customers. You don’t have to spotlight individuals. Write articles about customers in general.

6. Make a big deal of customer visits to the plant. Many companies announce these events on message boards in the front lobby. Who doesn’t like to see herself recognized publicly?

7. Find a book that’s meaningful to you and would be the perfect thank you gift to customers. Send it with a Thank You card.

8. Get a little wacky. Send a singing telegram. Or a balloon-carrying clown. Or find a specialty bakery to make one of those gi-normous cookies (big enough to share) that spells out your personal message in icing.

The more creative you can be, the bigger the impact. If someone wrote me a song or a poem, or gave me a personalized coffee mug, mouse pad or refrigerator magnet, I’d have a hard time forgetting them.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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  • http://Kelly Kelly

    Margie – I can’t really name a favorite of all of these, because they are all great – but I love that you said, “You DO have a newsletter, right?” Cause I’m willing to bet a lot of printers don’t. And they SHOULD! I was also blown away one year when a client (who happened to have a billion dollar year) had VENDOR appreciation holiday luncheon. That was one for the books! I love reading your stuff!

  • http://MargieDana Margie Dana

    Kelly…Thanks loads! I know more printers who don’t have a newsletter than do. Blows my mind…

    Happy THANKSgiving!

  • Trent Brooker

    Hi Margie

    My wife and I own a dance studio in Colorado and we also just recently opened a medical marijuana dispensary down here. It was really tough in the beginning as everybody and their sister were trying to get into the game all at once. We knew we had to to a little extra something to keep our customers so we worked diligently on researching customer appreciation ideas. We found two that worked very efficiently and we use them both now for the dispensary and the dance studio.

    We started using a constant contact type of service to try and keep our dispensary in the mind of our clients. The service is called Textagram (http://textagram.com/). It’s pretty neat what they allow us to do. We started collecting our clients cell phone #’s and birthdays through promotional forms and then input that list into our account at textagram. Then when our clients birthday comes up textagram sends them a text message that we customize automatically the morning of their birthday. Our message tells them that if they come in within 3 days of their birthday we’ll give them a 50% discount on select products we offer. They almost always come in!

    We can also schedule a promotion we do once a month and send a blast to all of our clients cell phone’s informing them. We’ve found this form of promotions to be a lot more effective and personal than emails. Every once and awhile we’ll have a client that doesn’t want to receive texts from us so we just remove them from the list.

    Something else we use is The Birthday Company (http://birthdayco.com/). With this service we enter our clients names, addresses and birthdays into our account and The Birthday Company mails them a card and or small chocolate gift that appears as if it were sent by us, with our own signature, company logo, etc. For our clients that our truly ill we schedule Get Well mailings. The feedback we get is that they appreciate being thought of during their tough times.

    We’ve been a lot of work into keeping our clients and these two services have proven to be the most effective of the non standard methods.