Shower Your Customers with a Lotta Lovin’
Want to surprise your existing customers?
Want to grab the attention of a very desirable prospect?
Need to step it up a notch with your email subscribers?
Then you’re going to want to read about all of the ways you can use this Valentine’s Day to spread some lovin’ and have it register on your bottom line. And I’m not talking about those boring de-personalized cards that insurance companies and banks send to their customers. I’m talking about ways to make a true impression.
But first, let’s understand why you should make room for your customers and perhaps some hot new prospects on your Valentine’s list.
The Bernadette Factor
Many years ago, I used a vendor for some specialized services. The business owner, Bernadette, wasn’t the least expensive, but she and her staff were sticklers for details. With Bernadette, I knew my projects were receiving top notch attention, which meant a lot less work and worry for me.
Naturally, I called to thank her for the gorgeous calorie laden box and we chatted about the idea of sending customers Valentine’s love. She explained her thought process.
“Everyone does Christmas gifts. We don’t. I prefer to stand out and send my customers some love and appreciation when they least expect it. They tend to remember it more.”
And she was right.
There were some other advantages to her Valentine’s Day timing.
- Since her gift arrived after the Holiday Season, Bernadette’s gift wasn’t lost in the sea of other gifts. It stood alone.
- I had the time and the inclination to pick-up the phone and call her, which gave her a quality rich touch point with a customer.
- It was truly unique and delivered the message that my business was much appreciated.
- The giant box of Godiva chocolates matched the image of her company – quality at a price.
You have that same opportunity this Valentine’s Day with your clients. Below you’ll find an outline of options along with a few ideas to help you create your unforgettable impression.
Who should receive your love: Existing Customers, Prospects or Both?
As a savvy business person, you know that the best source of new business is from your existing customers. Right? It is less expensive than trying to capture new customers and a lot easier since existing customers have already had a taste of your products or services.
The best place to start is to analyze your existing customer database. Identify that handful that represents 80% of your bottom line. Then look at those customers you know could represent more sales.
NO, that is not everyone else on your list! If you keep your customer profile in mind as you review your list, you’ll see it is not EVERYONE.
Here are some questions to help you decide.
- How much does this customer represent to your bottom line?
- How long have they been a customer?
- Does the customer represent additional business?
- Have they sent additional business through referrals or with online shares and mentions?
- Are they a close match to the Ideal Customer profile?
- What do you know about this customer? What do you believe would really communicate that you listen to them and know what would please them.
If you’re in the business-to-business arena, don’t ignore that list of prospects. You know the ones. That group that if you could land them, would make your year. Making a positive impression with them is always a good thing – as long as your gift doesn’t smack of a bribe.
Note: Many large corporations have rules against ‘gifts’ so do your homework before you run afoul of any vendor related policies.
How much should you spend?
As with most thoughtful things in life, the most important aspect of your Valentine’s gift isn’t the price tag. It’s the message it delivers. You want it to hit the right note with your specific clients and have your gift be a true reflection of your business.
Use the average dollar volume of your customers as a guide. If you are selling to other businesses, the average dollar volume may be in the thousands or tens of thousands. This would infer a thoughtful but nice sized gift. If you’re a local area retailer, your average dollar volume will obviously be a lot less – from a Valentine’s Day card to a special in-store event.
You may also want to consider creating a couple of tiers of gifts. Perhaps you have chocolates for your really important customers, personalized Valentine’s cards for others and a discount for all. Or you may decide the best fit for your customer base is a video of your staff singing Endless Love by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.
The perfect Valentine’s gift is whatever you believe fits the image of your company and sends the right message of appreciation.
Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day for those Important Customers
The following 30 ideas may be just what you are looking for or they may be the spark for another perfect Valentine’s gift idea. There’s always the big box of chocolates, but let’s talk about gifts that say “I really do Love You”.
Lovin’ ideas for businesses- to-businesses:
1. Candy hearts with messages in a custom bag or box
2. Bouquet of candy
3. Real flower bouquets but not roses as they are too intimate – daises or irises instead
4. A big bouquet of heart shaped balloons
5. A Valentine’s lunch for all of your important customers so they’ll have the opportunity to network with others who use your services
6. A top selling book or a book with a title that says it all – I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg – for the readers on your client list
7. Tickets to the hottest play those who love cultural events
8. A gift card to a popular restaurant for the foodies
9. A gift card to the popular local gluten free bakery for those who believe their bodies are temples
10. A receipt for a donation to your client’s favorite charity in their name
11. A free introductory session with a fitness trainer for those who complain about getting lazy
12. A free round of golf with the course Pro for the golfers on your list
13, Museum tickets for a special showing of the next hot exhibit for the art lovers
14. Free tickets to a popular jazz singer performance for the former musicians
15. Send an old fashioned Valentine’s Day card – like the cards we used in Kindergarten – expressing your appreciation in a personalized note
Lovin’ ideas for those who sell direct to the public
17. Create a video of you and your staff singing a love song of how much they love your customers – post it to your website, social media accounts and email it to your subscribers
18. A bag of chocolate kisses for every Valentine’s Day customer
19. Create an in-store, after hours Love Day event complete with cocktails and chocolate covered strawberries
20. Run a Valentine’s Day contest and have your customers tell you which of your products they really love and give the winner a super duper gift that ties-in with your products or services
21. Offer some or all of your customers a Love Coupon for a future purchase
22. Email your subscribers with a link to a love song like this one from Spotify:
24. Send them one or more chapters of your ebook – heck, send them the entire book
25. Create a real book using MyPublisher on the world’s greatest Love quotes with a personal note from you and your staff – or, for a less expensive approach, create a PDF of the book with a link
Lovin’ ideas using Social Media
Obviously, this only works if your audience is active online. If they are, these ideas are easy to do and can register a big impact.
26. Mention them on your company’s Facebook page or Twitter account
27. Share their tweets, Facebook or LinkedIn posts with others and be certain to mention them as the source
28. Feature the entries and the winner of your Valentine’s Day contest on your social media platforms
29. Change out your Facebook Cover, LinkedIn graphic or your Twitter background to a Love Day Message showering your fans and followers with lots of thanks and gratitude
30. Ask your fans and followers for a selfie with your product and post the photos on your social media platforms
There. Thirty off-the-cuff ideas of how you can extend a lotta lovin’ to your customers, clients and prospects that could make a big difference in your business. You could probably come up with another 30 if you really thought about it.
The clock is ticking so best get moving and start sending your customers some lovin’. Whatever you do, don’t limit your love to just Valentine’s Day. Customers like to know they are appreciated year round. So adapt these ideas for any upcoming Holiday. You’ll be glad you did.
What are some great lovin’ gifts you’ve received from vendors?
Which gift really impressed you?
Which idea do you think would fit your customers?
Share your thoughts below in the comments section or share this post with your vendors and sees if any of them take the hint.