Holiday Rewards for Your Best Customers…and for Your Business

If you’re like most businesses, a handful of customers are responsible for a large amount of your business.  Here’s a great way to thank them this holiday season, while helping boost your year-end sales!

This technique comes from my Aunt Sandy, who’s used it in her store to boost holiday sales for years.  Send your best customers a gift card, and include a matching gift card for a friend.  Aunt Sandy sends a $50 certificate as a thank you to her top customers, and includes a matching $50 certificate for a friend.

People really appreciate being thanked for being loyal customers.  They’ll feel special and happy to be recognized, and an even greater affinity for your business.

(Note: If your business is project-based, a gift card might not make sense.  In this case, what is a small but helpful service you can offer, to thank your best customers?  A graphic designer might offer a free e-newsletter template refresh.  An accountant might offer a free year-end tax planning session.)

Bringing in New Business

Birds of a feather flock together, and your best customers know other people who would be amazing customers for you as well.  This is a great way to encourage that referral!  Your customers will love the opportunity to share your business—and a discount!—with one of their friends.

Now, it’s easy for their friend to try you out, with the recommendation from someone they trust combined with the gift certificate!  And we know that, once they try you, they’ll be hooked.

Action Plan

Step 1: Identify you top customers

I recommend you include 5-20% of your customers in this offer.  Enough to make an impact on your business, but a small enough group that they feel special.

Step 2: Define the offer

Offer something that’s big enough to be meaningful.  But it can be small enough where an additional purchase is likely required.  $50 buys some things in Aunt Sandy’s shop, but most customers end up spending more than that when they redeem the certificate.  If you’re a personal trainer, perhaps offer a free session, knowing that if they like you, they’ll be back for more sessions.

Important:  Set an expiration date to create urgency for them to come in.  Otherwise it may never happen!  I suggest December 31.

Step 3: Send the offers out

Ideally you send physical gift certificates by mail.  There’s nothing like receiving snail mail with something valuable inside to make someone feel special.  As an alternative, you can notify people by email.  A phone call is a wonderful addition if you can!

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