11 client gifting occasions that build lasting connections

The science is in! Building emotional connections with clients has been proven to have a real business impact. That is mostly thanks to one factor playing a huge role in client’s business choices that they don’t even realize they’re considering: feelings. According to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, people often make business decisions on the basis of emotions, not information. 

That means that the emotional associations people make with your business can be a key factor in how long they decide to stay as your client. So rather than communicating with your clients mostly through rational and professional language, it’s just as important to focus on trying to make them like you. Research has revealed that emotions that are particularly effective at driving consumer behavior include pleasure and feeling special - and one great way to invoke these feelings is celebrating meaningful moments with thoughtful client gifts.

In this article, we’ll explore 11 occasions for sending your clients gifts that will make your clients feel great about you. 

Gifting for positive feelings and strong relationships

We don’t know about you, but there’s little that makes us feel as special as receiving a thoughtful gift from a person who cares about us. The experience of receiving and using this new gift creates powerful positive emotions of pleasure and delight. 

By generating meaningful moments with your clients, you’re able to grow their positive emotions toward you again and again, creating a positive client experience, building strong relationships, winning over their loyalty, and as a result improving retention for your business. 

Meaningful moments to commemorate with clients 

While it may be easy to understand how regular client gifting is a highly effective way to build strong relationships, it can be a bit trickier to figure out when to send those gifts. After all, the obvious holiday season only comes once a year. So how do you continue to create those positive emotions year-round?

Happily, there are actually many occasions you can take advantage of that make great opportunities for client gifting. Below, we offer 11 examples of moments that are perfect for commemorating with a gift.

1. Kicking off a new partnership

If there’s anything worth celebrating, it’s the exciting occasion of kicking off a new partnership. By sending a gift at the beginning of your partnership with a new client, you’re able to establish a strong relationship from the start and demonstrate your commitment to the long-term success of the alliance.

As a best practice, it’s important to always remember to include a message along with your gift. This personal touch can go a long way to creating even more positive emotions, compounding the impact of an already-meaningful gesture.

For a new partnership kickoff gift, consider saying something along the lines of: 

  • “We’re so excited to begin working together. Here’s to a successful partnership ahead!” 
  • “We couldn’t be happier to have you on board. Looking forward to getting started!”

2. Celebrating anniversaries or milestones

Anniversaries and milestones of any kind are definitely worthy of celebration, representing a partnership’s strength and lasting power. Milestones you may consider sending gifts for include:

  • One-year partnership anniversary
  • Five-year partnership anniversary
  • Annual yearly anniversary
  • X% of software licenses used
  • Launching a new ad campaign
  • Selling their home for X dollar amount
  • Purchasing a new home

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Can you believe we’ve been working together for a year already? May next year be just as great!”
  • “We’re so honored to have been working with you for five years. Thank you for your continued loyalty and trust in us.”
  • “Congratulations on launching your the ad campaign for your new product! It’s been wonderful working with you on it.” 
  • “Your home just sold for more than the asking price! Congratulations on an amazing outcome.”

3. Incentivizing adoption

If you’re a software company, gifts are a fantastic way to incentivize adoption of your product. When clients get stuck in the onboarding part of your pipeline, hesitating to take the plunge into actually adopting and using your software, gifts can motivate them to move forward. By rewarding the adoption of your product, you give clients a reason to take action and begin seeing for themselves why your business is so essential. 

Messaging ideas:

  • “We’re so grateful to have you on board as a new client. We believe that our product is exactly the solution you’ve been looking for. We’re always available if you need any help getting started, so don’t hesitate to reach out!”
  • “When we first met, you mentioned how much you were struggling with ___. Our product is designed specifically to solve that problem. We know it’ll change how you do business. Let us know if you need any help setting it up. We’re always here to chat.”

Note that, when it comes to incentivizing adoption, it’s best to get specific. Do so by crafting a message reminding your clients of your product or service’s unique value proposition. Consider including a testimonial quote to help add even more impact.

4. Awarding customers for their professional achievements

There’s nothing like being recognized for how hard you work. Sending clients a gift congratulating them on notable professional accomplishments is a great way to show them you acknowledge how much of a rockstar they are.

Some things you might want to acknowledge include:

  • Winning a professional award
  • Completing a special project
  • Getting a promotion
  • Speaking on a panel or giving a talk
  • Writing a notable article
  • Being mentioned in the press

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Congratulations on being named ____ of the year! You absolutely deserve it.” 
  • “We saw you on the ___ panel at X Conference yesterday. You totally killed it! Congratulations on doing such a fantastic job.”

5. Awarding customers for their personal achievements

Building an authentic, positive relationship with your clients means getting in touch with them to talk about more than just your partnership. Showing them that you notice and care when they achieve something professional or personal helps them see you as caring and kind, boosting those ever-important positive emotional associations.

Achievements worth celebrating with a gift include:

  • Birthdays
  • Engagements 
  • Wedding anniversaries 
  • The birth of a child
  • Running a marathon

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Happy birthday! We wish you a joyous day and a fantastic year ahead.”
  • “Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy! He looks just like you. We wish your family health and happiness during this exciting time.”

6. Righting a wrong

Nobody’s perfect and, try as we might, we can’t always avoid customer dissatisfaction. The key is how we respond when it does happen. Sending a gift when something goes wrong helps to smooth customer dissatisfaction, nipping any negative feelings in the bud and replacing them with positive ones. 

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Thank you so much for sharing your concerns with us about your recent problem. We’re glad we had the chance to find a solution. Please do reach out with any further issues.”
  • “Your happiness is our number one priority, and we apologize for the slip-up. Thank you for your feedback. We promise it won’t happen again.”

8. Driving referrals and reviews

Customer referrals and reviews are highly valuable in business, with 92% of B2B buyers being more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review and 93% of consumers saying that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions.

but motivating clients to recommend you to their peers can be challenging, as it requires proactive action on their part that they may not have the time for. But gifts are a great motivator, helping remind clients why they love working with you and why their colleagues will, too. 

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Thank you so much for your continued loyalty to our business. We would be so grateful if you’d take the time to refer us to your friends and colleagues.”
  • “As our business grows, we’re able to take on more clients. If you know anybody else who is looking for a solution to _(the problem you solve)__, it would be wonderful if you could refer them to us.”

9. Re-engaging a customer

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a client stop responding to you. But we’re all busy and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Rather than giving up on them or pestering them with phone calls, why not try re-engaging a customer who’s too busy to answer by sending them a gift? It will serve as an effective reminder of the positive feelings they associate with your partnership, encouraging them to finally get back to you.

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “We miss you! We know it’s been a busy time lately, so please let us know if there’s anything we can help with to get you back on track toward your goals.”
  • “We’ve been working on a lot of exciting new features that we’re sure you’ll love. Log into your account to check them out. We’re here if you have any questions.”

10. Celebrating holidays 

It’s a classic for a reason! The holidays are the perfect time to send clients gifts as the spirit of giving is in the air (and they might be expecting one). The best way to help your holiday gift stand out among the pile is to get it in early and include a thoughtful, personal message. 

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Happy holidays! Wishing you and your family a merry, joyous season. We couldn’t be more excited to be working together”
  • “Seasons greetings! Thank you so much for your loyalty this past year. We can’t wait to see what the next year brings.”

Again, with holiday messages, the more personal the better, so don’t hesitate to mention something unique to your client in your message, such as something that happened over the past year or something about their holiday plans.

11. Customer Appreciation Day

Celebrated on the third Friday in May, Customer Appreciation Day is a special occasion made just for showing your clients some love. Sending a gift with a thoughtful note is a great way to remind them of your gratitude and how much you value your partnership. 

Messaging ideas to accompany the client gift: 

  • “Happy Customer Appreciation Day! We’re so lucky to have a customer like you working with us. It’s been an absolute joy.”
  • “In honor of Customer Appreciation Day, we just wanted to let you know how much we value your loyalty and your business. We’re always here to offer help or answer any questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out.”

Making clients happy with Snappy

With how impactful they can be at creating positive feelings that motivate your clients to take real action, dialing in your client gifting practices is key. Snappy’s gifting platform makes the process as easy and seamless as possible; just set it up once and it’s ready to use anytime a gifting occasion comes up. 

Your clients will be sure to love choosing their own gifts from curated collections of popular options, as well as the surprise reveal experience designed to maximize the pleasure of receiving a gift. This way, you can easily take advantage of all of the gifting opportunities we’ve listed to build and sustain strong relationships powered by positive feelings. 

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