Your All-In-One Gift Giving Guide (Yes, this is really a marketing post.)

Last week, we talked about building relationships using gifts and cards sent out for the holidays. And at the end of the post, I challenged you to start thinking about the different people in your business that you should be reaching out to with a gift or a card.

I figured I’d give you a little jump start this week, so here are a few examples of the types of people in your life and some good gift ideas for them:

Low-level prospects

These guys aren’t that into you yet, or you’ve just met. They’re probably not going to be huge, high-dollar clients or customers, but they’re still on your radar (and deservedly so.) For them, a really nice card with a personal, handwritten note is in order. Maybe even a fun little gift like these personalized ornaments.

Lost customers

They haven’t spent any money with you this year (please tell me you’re doing a lost customer campaign for them!) but you sure would like them back, right? You could probably get away with a personalized card, but a small gift is really the ticket here. You could use the above ornament idea, or even this color-it-yourself mug (notice there’s no logo on here! Remember, we’re not doing self-promotion!) This is NOT an opportunity to win them back – it’s an opportunity to extend a gesture of goodwill and show them that you still care about them even if they haven’t been around in a while.

Current clients & customers

They’ve spent money with you this year, so they deserve some appreciation. Find a book that speaks to their needs (NOT written by you) and buy it in bulk. Media mail isn’t too expensive either. Include the same personalized card as you’ve been sending to the other people on your list.

Higher-level clients, influencers, and affiliates

These are the people that can skyrocket your business if they keep doing business with you. These guys get a personalized gift. You can order things online like treat towers, steaks, crab cakes, etc. If they like golfing, order some personalized golf balls with their names on it. If they’re into gardening, new gloves are always needed. Put some effort into these relationships and you’ll find there are many gift ideas just waiting for you.

Vendors & employees

Without these people, your business would be dead in the water. Thank them appropriately. Employees can get bonuses or gifts, whichever you prefer. Vendors should get something the office can share. (Cookie platters and treat towers were always a hit, but fresh fruit via EdibleArrangements.com is a nice bright note among all the sweets.)

Obviously, there’s a whole world full of things you can send to people that they’ll enjoy. Have fun with it! Be cheesy! This is the one time every year that you can let your personality come through and send your clients, customers, vendors and associates something they’ll enjoy.

(And just in case you were wondering – YES, giving gifts for the holidays IS marketing. This is all part of your marketing plan, and it’s all in an effort to make money next year. By sending these gifts and cards, you’re strengthening the relationships that will assist in you making more money. No, not every single person will spend money with you. But a gratitude-filled gift giving campaign does bring positive ROI into your business.)

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