The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1.) A Personal Email From the CEO
A direct email. From the CEO, that I actually write. Think of those Steve Jobs emails. Everyone talked about them. I’m not Steve Jobs, but when the CEO takes an inbound call, writes a thank you note, or welcomes you from the front desk when you stop by the office it makes a lasting impression.
2.) Get Creative (Really Creative!)
Our creative team made a Flash game for the holiday season called “Balls Of Snow.” Advertisers and publishers chose their side and engage in a virtual snowball fight. We thanked everyone on that year’s holiday card and included a link to our game.
3.) December Discounts
4.) Hand-Written Thank You Notes
Last November, we launched a new product. In advance of this launch we sent postcards with a personal message to over 1,000 customers. The time and money put into this, as well as the personalized message, showed these folks just how much we appreciated their support from the following year. Plus, we were able to create a fun and unique touchpoint – the physical mailbox instead of the email inbox!
5.) Random Giveaways
Instead of the standard Happy Holidays newsletter, having some giveaways to your best customers will keep them coming back. We actually prefer to thank our best customers at random times, not the standard holidays like everyone else. We think a “Thank You, just because” is more memorable than a “Thank you and happy holidays” message.
6.) Just Make a Phone Call
Call and say “thank you.” It’s amazing how rare that simple phrase has become. Adding a personal touch is the icing on the cake.
7.) Say “Cheese!”
We take a group picture of our entire startup team and sent it by mail to all of our customers with a printed letter in the back. We would love to hand-write each one, but that would take forever. Our customers love it because they feel like they’re part of our team and support us as we grow the company. We even get letters back from some of our clients!
8.) Homemade Treats
There’s nothing like knowing that someone not only took time to think of you, but also put a little love into the process. Bake up some homemade treats, wrap them beautifully, and deliver them to your best customers. If you’re worried about dietary concerns, make meringues. They’re not vegan, but they are gluten-free and dairy-free.
9.) A Relevant Reminder
There’s no one-size-fits-all for gift giving. Think about what gifts your clients would appreciate most, and would remind them of your work. For example, we are a high-end film production company, so our gifts are custom-made digital picture frames that enable clients to watch films on their desk. It’s classy, relevant, and, since the frame includes our logo, is great publicity for our company.
10.) Great Service
Very simply — by providing a great service or product. Frills and unplanned gifts are great, but the best present a company can give their customers is a good value for the money they’re spending.
Category: Startup Advice