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Excellent Holiday Marketing: Gift Giving

Now that we’ve officially crossed the threshold of Thanksgiving, it’s officially time to panic. Christmas is just right around the corner! The end of the year tends to be chaotic as businesses try to wrap up their activities for the year, but don’t let your customers slip through the cracks. By remembering them during this merry and mad time of year, you’ll be marketing your company at a time when people are sentimental and more likely to think warm, fuzzy thoughts about you. That’s where holiday marketing comes in.

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The secret to client gift giving is that it is marketing, although it should never, ever appear to be. In thinking about what to give, get away from the thoughts of advertising your brand or slogan. It’s simply the time to thank clients for their business and support of your company. Trust me, even if your logo appears nowhere on the gift, they will think of you.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to knocking your gift-giving out early.

1. Make three  lists and check them twice.
Not all your clients or contacts are on the same level, so break them out into your top clients (where most of your revenue comes from), medium clients, and good contacts that you’d like to develop into good clients. You may have a list of people for whom a simple holiday card would be sufficient.

2. Set a budget. Each level should have its own budget. And before you get cheap, think: did this client net me more than this amount? When you look back at your income, you can easily afford even a $100 gift for an exceptional client who brought in 10 times that!

3. Keep it simple. If you have a long list, you don’t have to be Santa. Find a single gift for each list and buy the same thing for everyone. Here are some good ideas that have different price levels:

  • gift baskets with chocolate, wine, or baked goods
  • nice pens
  • gift certificates
  • flowers

4. Order online. Take the sweat out of holiday gifting by skipping a trip to the post office laden with boxes. Websites like harryanddavid.com and cherylandco.com make it easy to send individual gifts to everyone on your list. You never even see the boxes. You can order early and set your date for the gifts to arrive in time for Christmas.

Holiday Marketing Things to Keep in Mind

  • Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Or Channukah for that matter. To avoid offending anyone for religious reasons, stick to cards with generic verbiage like “happy holidays.”
  • Not everyone drinks. If you send alcohol as a gift, be sure that person drinks.
  • Don’t forget the gatekeeper. Likely you talk to administrative assistants more than you talk to your clients. Don’t overlook them for the holidays.
  • Holiday marketing karma is real! Giving gifts out of the goodness of your heart is more likely to come back to you than doing it to get something back. Let the holiday love pour forth!

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Cision. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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