Holiday promotions with a twist

by Jeffrey P. Fisher




Holiday gifts are a tradition for many businesses. Unfortunately too many people think narrowly about the gift. "Send 'em a tub of popcorn" usually with a computer generated note card.


Hold on a minute. What is the purpose of this business gift?

I suspect there are two:

(1) To thank your best customers for their business and remind them of how much you appreciate their support; and

(2) to encourage your customers to buy from you again (and again and again).


So what makes the ideal business gift?


Give them a discount coupon for your products and services. This can be either a percentage or dollar amount toward their next purchase from you. This strategy meets the criteria above. You thank and reward your customers at the same time. Plus, your coupon is only good for your business, so you automatically encourage them to buy from you again. That can't be bad!


Make this coupon somewhat fancy. A Certificate of Appreciation motif is a good start. Use it to thank your customers for their business and tell them how you are rewarding them with this special customer discount.


For your best customers, those who have spent the most money with you during the past year, sit down at your computer and write a short letter that offers your sincere thanks for their support throughout the past year. Though the bulk of the letter can be generic, be sure to throw in items specific to each customer to remind them of how much you care about there success. Include this highly personal letter with your discount certificate and send it at holiday time.


For other customers, send a simple holiday greeting card with a personal note. Even just a sentence or two scribbled on a greeting card thanking them and wishing them future success will go a long way toward building loyal customers and your business. Of course, include the discount coupon in this mailing, too.