By Noelle Brooks
Everyone wants to be appreciated. From customers to employees, a little gratitude can transform passive participants into raving fans. One of the best ways to express this appreciation is through gift giving. Below are five steps for an impactful gift-giving campaign:
Research Your Audience
Understanding your audience is crucial to effective gift-giving. It is important to know gifts your target market likes as well as what they are allowed to accept. This is particularly important for B2B companies who sell fellow business professionals. It may be inappropriate or even illegal to give certain gifts to some customers. Knowing the rules for giving and accepting gifts makes for an easy and beneficial exchange. If your customers cannot accept actual gifts, think of other ways to show goodwill. Perhaps discount services or offer free resources as a thank you. The goal is to appropriately appreciate your audience.
Set A Specific Goal
Once you understand your audience, your campaign needs a specific goal. Vague ideas like “happy customers” or “better relationships” make it impossible to monitor and track your campaign. Also, how do you know if your customers are happy and what does this happiness mean for your business? Instead, connect your campaign to something specific, such as increasing inquiries about a new service your offer. Include a card that outlines the service and encourages them to contact your company with questions. Perhaps even offer a discount to sweeten the deal. The only thing better than one gift is two.
Calculate Return on Investment (ROI)
When creating a gift giving campaign, calculate your costs and the potential return on investment. Review your marketing budget, potential profits, and possible losses. If no one acts on your offer, how much are you able to spend without hurting your bottom line? What has been your conversion rates for past campaigns? Answering questions like these can provide a gauge on how much to invest in both time and energy.
Be Personal and Creative
No one likes receiving a bland and unoriginal gift. While bumper stickers and pens are great for regular campaigns, gift-giving campaigns need a bit more pizzazz. Choose gifts that are relevant and your customers will most likely use. This is particularly important for employee appreciation initiatives. Employees already tend to feel like cogs in a machine. Let them know that you see them as individuals with gifts that match their interests. Depending on the size of your organization and budget, you could create a mini-store where employees can choose from pre-selected gifts. Also, do not be afraid to get creative. Most expect gifts around the holiday season. Be unexpected with a truly unique gift.
Partnering with other brands in your industry is a great way to minimize personal investment while increasing your reach. Choose partners who are not direct competitors but have similar audiences. For example, if your company sells aromatherapy products, partner with spa business. Then offer co-branded gifts to introduce a new aromatherapy package created by you and your partner. Not only have you expanded your audience but also have a new revenue stream. Additionally, what promotes goodwill more than a collaborative partnership between two organizations?
These are just a few steps for creating an impactful gift-giving campaign. If gift-giving is beyond your budget, get creative. You can send thank-you video presentations, host virtual events honoring loyal customers, or even send hand-written cards with a special message. Whatever you do, take advantage of the season of giving. Expressing your gratitude is one of the best ways to be remembered.