Nothing shows genuine gratitude better than sincere, handwritten thank you cards. However, sometimes businesses want to include something larger with their written thank you to show even more gratefulness. The practice of giving gifts to clients to show appreciation has been around for a long time, because it helps businesses stand out from their competitors and keeps clients happy. In my experience, when giving gifts to your top clients, it's best to keep them personal, appropriate and thoughtful. Take a look at these 10 ideas for client-appreciation gifts:
1. A good book
Everybody can appreciate a good book, but the best part about this gift is that it can be both thoughtful and personal while staying relatively inexpensive. Consider the gift recipient and what kinds of books they'd be interested in. Or, try giving books that relate to the values behind your company. For instance, a marketing company may want to give clients something like "Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products."
2. Personalized stationery
Personalized stationery is a very practical gift: It's something that anyone and everyone can use. When designing personalized stationery for a client, think about their style, business and brand. If you have access to their business cards, you can use them as a reference to come up with the perfect design.
3. Applying their suggestions
Anytime someone gives your business feedback or constructive criticism, it makes them feel great when you implement their suggestions to make the product or service you offer even better. Applying a client's suggestions doesn't just show gratitude – it also shows that you care about the opinions of your clients and are constantly working to improve.
4. A subscription
Subscriptions are a fun gift idea because they're relatively long-term, which means clients can potentially get a lot of use out of them. Use what you know about your client to decide on a magazine or other monthly subscription. Magazines like Entrepreneur and Time make great gifts, as do product-based subscriptions, such as Birchbox.
5. A gift card
Gift cards are a pretty common thank you gift for customers and clients because they can easily be used for numerous clients and fit nicely in business thank you cards. While you can send gift cards for your own products, if you want to treat clients to something outside of your business, opt for gift cards to stores almost anyone would have access to, such as Amazon, Target or Starbucks.
6. A meal
An after-meeting lunch on you is one of the best client appreciation gifts, because it gives you the opportunity to chat person to person, rather than business to client. It can help you develop friendly relationships that may make for long-lasting clients.
7. A desk topper
Something your client can keep on his or her desk is a great option, whether it's silly, like a cat mousepad or graphic coffee mug, or practical, such as a smartphone stand or digital photo frame. Any of these are just personal enough to make clients feel appreciated, while remaining professional and unique.
8. Something personal
The best gift you can give clients is something directly related to them or their lives (which you may have learned about through your many conversations while working with them). While there's a fine line between personal and intimate, a gift that's related to their personal life will make them feel very appreciated, especially when compared to something that's a little more ordinary. If you know they have any particular interests, consider those when deciding on a gift. For instance, if you both love for a certain sports team or share an alma mater, send something related to that.