For many businesses, the holiday season starts with Black Friday. Or, really the season starts far ahead of Black Friday, as you’ve likely spent months planning your holiday sales strategy.
Thanksgiving may seem like your last moment of calm before the storm. But don’t fall into the trap of missing the purpose of the day before Black Friday – giving thanks. Spend time reflecting on all the blessings and opportunities in your life, and also remember the people who make your business possible – customers.
Without customers – especially loyal customers – your business wouldn’t be able to thrive. Here are some ideas for how to show your customers that you are thankful for them.
1. Do a customer spotlight.
One way to show that you are thankful for your customers is to prove that you know who they are. What better way than to talk to your customers personally?
Consider doing a monthly customer spotlight to showcase the people who make your business great. Start with your most loyal or frequent customers. Conduct a short interview with them and get permission for a quick spotlight for your website or social media. You can learn valuable insights by meeting your customers, learning more about what they like, and what they expect from your business.
Added bonus? The customer spotlight can also act like a review or customer testimonial so potential customers can read about why customers like your business.
2. Hold a monthly giveaway for customers who subscribe to your email list.
One way to show your customers you appreciate them is to reward them for being loyal. Costa Del Mar offers a unique customer appreciation – they do a weekly drawing for a pair of sunglasses, exclusive to their email subscribers.
Not only is this a great way to encourage customers to sign up for your emails, but it gives them a reason to stay engaged and encourages them to continue opening your emails. In turn, increasing your email open rate will boost your deliverability and decrease your odds of showing up in a spam inbox.
3. Offer a “next purchase” discount.
Before purchasing something online, many customers go to their email inbox first to look for coupons. Check out this example of a next purchase coupon that was sent after a customer’s first purchase on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website.
Offering a “next purchase” coupon is a great way to let customers know you are thankful for their purchase and will encourage them to become repeat customers.
4. Send a handwritten thank you note.
Who doesn’t love receiving “snail mail”? With the convenience of email, the act of sending a handwritten note in the mail is no longer common place. However, a handwritten note can go a long way to show that you are thankful for someone and took time out of your day to pause and think of them.
Imagine how much more surprising it would be to receive a note from your favorite store after a recent purchase! Small businesses can really capitalize on this idea by sending a quick note after a customer visits the store for the first time in several months. Or if a customer makes a large purchase tied to a specific life event. For example, you could send a short note to say: “Thanks for letting us style you for your new job. We wish you all the best and hope you love wearing these new clothes at work!”
5. Host an in-store social event.
Throw a party for your customers! Consider a grand re-opening party or a launch of a new product line or menu. A fun event with free drinks and food can encourage customers to come in, chat with you, and see new products for the holiday season. Try to host this event early in the season before your customers get busy. Or, better yet, as a new year’s party! Either way, make the event about appreciating our customers rather than sales. Offer free giveaways for attending, early launch discounts, pre purchase exclusives, and more. If the event is about fun and appreciation, sales and customer loyalty will follow naturally!
If you don’t have a storefront, you can still take advantage of the event idea. For HostGator’s 16th birthday, we hosted an online event celebrating our customers and our success as a small startup. To honor the “moment” we held a birthday sale celebrating and supporting customers.
You can create an online event for anything – consider a cyber sale, preorder event for a new product launch, celebrate your new website redesign, or simply create a customer appreciation sale.
6. Make their to-do list shorter.
Holiday shopping can be overwhelming. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to-do list, especially when it comes to finding the perfect gift for everyone. You can show your customers that you appreciate them by making their shopping process easier.
Maybe you can offer free in-store gift wrapping. Or offer call-ahead curbside pickup for orders purchased online. Or simply have extra staff on hand during busy hours of the day so customers spend less time in line.
You can even create an online gift guide so customers can quickly shop by categories based on who or what they are shopping for.
7. Tell them.
This may seem like an obvious one, but sometimes we get so caught up in “doing” that we forget to simply say – “Thank you. I appreciate you. You’re important to me.”
Customers that feel appreciated and valued will always find ways to return to the businesses that treat them well. Create a greeting of appreciation that your staff can use when interacting with customers. And always tell your customers “thank you” when you can.
What do you think?
Has a business or store made you feel appreciated in a unique way? What other “ways to say thank you” would you add to this list?
If you try one of these ways to say thank you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how your customers respond. Oh. And thank you for being part of the HostGator community!
Blair Williamson is the content marketing manager for HostGator where she comes up with great ideas for blog content, webinars, and emails to help you rock your business.