As a service-based business owner, my clients are my top priority. I’m so grateful for all of their support—from hiring me to write their copy, to telling their friends about me, to posting about me on their Instagram story. These people are the only reason I’m able to support myself and my family, and I love to show them my appreciation both after our project and around the holiday season.
So, naturally, because I only live near one or two of my clients, the best way to do that is by sending them a nice, thoughtful gift.
(Or by writing them a really nice review, but my love language is gifts, and it’s Christmastime as I draft this blog post, so we’re focusing on presents today.)
To learn more about how to send your clients the best gifts, how much to spend, and when it’s appropriate to send them something, keep reading!
There are a few times throughout your working relationship to send your client a gift, however I do of course have to mention that it’s not actually necessary, just nice. So, if you’re a brand new business owner just trying to make ends meet for the time-being, don’t worry about sending your clients big, fancy gifts. Kind words go a long way.
However, sending a small, tangible token of your appreciation is an extremely kind gesture that will make your clients happy (and likely improve their impression of you, and the likelihood that they’ll refer you to their friends and peers).
Depending on the nature of your business and your budget, you can send your clients gifts when…
Determining how much to spend on client gifts can be tricky, and is often quite personal. I don’t know how much revenue your business brings in, or what your profit margins are, or what your clients pay for your services, or how much you love spending on gifts. What I do know, though, is that having a plan is essential to avoid over-spending.
I keep an internal document with the rest of my business’s SOPs (standard operating procedures) that I reference each time I’m planning to send a gift. I approach my client gifts on a case-by-case basis, of course, but I always consider a few things before sending:
How much did they invest in me? While gifting is definitely not a tit-for-tat type of thing, you do want to send a gift that matches your client’s investment in your services. Let’s be real: I’m going to send a different type of gift to my client who paid me $10K vs. my client who paid me $1K, not because of the money, but because of the relationship.
If someone has hired me for a copywriting project that costs 5-figures, I’ve likely spent a lot more time getting to know them, working on their projects, and strengthening our relationship, therefore I know them better (and know what they’d like better)—and, yes, of course I want to send them an appropriate thank-you for such a large investment.
What impact have they had on my business? Maybe I didn’t work with this person on a large project, but they’ve referred me to tons of their friends. Or maybe they’ve posted about my services, resulting in more inquiries. Or maybe they’ve written me an extremely kind testimonial that I now proudly display on my website.
Considering the impact your clients have had on your business is just as important as considering the investment they’ve made. Don’t forget to thank the people who help your business keep on going strong.
How many gifts am I sending them? If I’m planning to send them multiple gifts (say, flowers to celebrate their course launch, and cupcakes for their birthday, and a thank-you gift at the end of our project) I’ll likely send a few smaller things with nice notes attached, as opposed to one larger item.
And lastly—well, lastly before we move on to the gift guide portion of this blog post (I can’t wait)—for the how-to.
Because your clients aren’t expecting you to send them a gift, anything you send will make them feel appreciated, so don’t worry too much about what you send—pay more attention to actually thanking them, and telling them how grateful you are for their business.
And don’t forget – make sure it’s personal. (Or personalized. Or both.)
As I mentioned earlier, I do my best to send every client a unique gift, whether it’s for the holidays or as a thank-you after a project, based on their interests that I’ve picked up on throughout our time working together. However, we already covered the advice portion of this blog post, so I’m gonna give you my list of go-to client gifts:
Meet your new gift-giving go-to: BoxFox. This service allows you to seamlessly create the best ready-to-ship gift boxes and showcase juuust how thoughtful you really are (without having to go out and buy tissue paper, and a card, and a cute box, and haul it all to the post office).
You can either sort by occasion, budget, or color, allowing you to select the perfectly themed gift. I usually opt for sorting by color, because opening it and seeing that everything matches is so aesthetically pleasing.
Or, if you’d rather, you can shop pre-curated boxes, and save yourself lots of time searching (it can get addicting).
When I first started sending client thank-you and holiday gifts, I wasn’t booking projects at the price point I am now, and my budget for a gift was usually around $50, making BoxFox perfect. I loved the level of customization, and loved the thought of my clients opening up something that felt like an actual present even more.
I discovered BoxFox when I was looking for something to send to my best friend for her birthday, because I was living in Canada at the time and knew it would be both impossible and expensive as hell to mail her a gorgeous, personalized gift box (like the ones she so thoughtfully gifts me every chance she gets) all the way to Boston.
(She loved the gift, because I got her Type-A-meets-crunchy-granola ass some beeswax wraps, a Porter lunchbox, a cookbook, a reusable produce bag, and a Rifle Paper Co notebook.)
Some other bonuses to note: they plant a tree with every box you send, and they have a great referral program that allows you to earn points that you can redeem for discounts off of your gifts. This would be an awesome way for you to save on gift expenses should you choose to make BoxFox your go-to!
And speaking of that discount—you can use this link for $10 off any order over $75!
This website is the ultimate client gift haven, and it is so freaking cool and makes sending thank-you’s to your people so much easier. Similar to BoxFox, you can search by occasion or price, and they do all the work for you. Thnks is perfect for you if you want to send your client a gift but don’t have their address, or if you’re hoping to send something more affordable.
Thnks has a huge selection of offerings, whether you’re hoping to send a $5 Dunkin gift card as a thank-you for a referral or a set of two Busch light koozies with corn on the cob screen-printed on them for a birthday gift. (Yes, I sent that to one of my fav clients, and yes, she loved it. Also, honorable mention gift: a case of LaCroix for my seltzer-obsessed web designer, Sarah Kleist.)
Because it was literally created for this purpose, it has quickly become an essential of mine for sending a quick thnks.
Sending your clients something to commemorate your time together is always a good idea—it’s so fun to rep your favorite people, which is why I send my Main Character Merch to my clients that I’ve become close with!
I typically send a little something else, too, to make things more personal, but it warms my heart to see how excited they are when they receive my merch in the mail. *sniffle*
(I’m sure your clients would love some comfy sweatshirts, dad hats, beanies, phone cases, and tote bags, too—so feel free to use code “THANKYOU” for 10% off your next Main Character order!)
I love to send my clients flowers and baked goods from businesses that are local to them.
(Even if it means calling every single bakery in Nashville to ask if they have vegan options and if they deliver, like I did for my lovely client, Alex, to celebrate the launch of her flagship course, Good To Be Creator. She loved the cookies, and I made a great connection with the baker, Bite Club Baked Goods—check her out, she ships nationwide in the US!)
Because my clients are all business owners themselves, they know what it means to support local, and they’re so appreciative of it. Plus, it adds an element of personalization, because you’ve gone out of your way to shop from their community (as opposed to sending something generic, like a bouquet from 1-800-flowers).
For the clients you really love and want to splurge on, this Barefoot Dreams bathrobe is the ultimate level of comfy. They’ll be living in it, and will have no choice but to profusely thank you for making their lives instantly and immensely more enjoyable.
Nothing screams WFH vibes like a bed tray (or lap desk—what’s the difference? I’m not sure). Now, before you come for me and preach about how horrible working from bed is for your work-life balance and your mental health…I know. We all still do it. Not all the time, but sometimes, for the occasional “shit, I forgot my newsletter goes out tomorrow at 6am and it’s midnight” mishap, or for when a blog post idea strikes at 10:27pm on a Wednesday (me rn).
I just bought this tray from Urban Outfitters and I’m so pumped for it to come. It even has a little laptop stand and a drawer, for only $49. What a steal!
No more morning alarm scaries here. I don’t know about you, but I find the iPhone alarm to be so freaking jarring, I’m legit afraid for my life every time I wake up to it in the morning. This daylight alarm clock allows you to wake up naturally with gradual light and sound, and I’m putting it on my list to Santa ASAP.
This store is full of what I like to call want-not-need items. There is not a single thing anyone actually needs when they step into Anthropologie. They’re simply there to feel like a skinny rich artsy suburban mother who loves pops of color and expensive candles and pretends like actually wears real, stylish outfits and like she’s actually good at baking. (That’s why I go there, anyway.)
Point being: everything from this store feels like a treat, which is why you can’t go wrong selecting something from here! If I were writing a letter to AnthroSanta, though, I’d ask for claw clips, matte bowls, pie dishes (they randomly have the best ones!), this blanket, this candle, and allll the stationery.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Haus—not for the taste of the aperitif—for their stellar marketing and example-worthy website copy. And also for the aesthetics.
If your client is either into fancy cocktails or fancy bar cart displays, consider getting them a bottle from Haus. This definitely falls under the ‘no one actually needs this’ category (like the above Anthroplogie splurge) which means that it’s perfect for the person that seems to already have everything.
For a client you’re a bit closer with—or if the service you provide has anything to do with visuals (cough, cough, brand designers), Artifact Uprising is the perfect solution. I personally love to give their small wood calendars as gifts, but there are tons of options on their site for you to choose from.
Like all cool and trendy things, I first discovered Folio via a sponsored Instagram post from one of my favorite influencers. If you’ve ever taken a single look at my website, you’d know that I’m completely book-obsessed, both for the actual pleasure of reading and for the *bookish* aesthetic. So, naturally, when Brooke Miccio posted about Cultish and its gorgeous cover—her latest find from New York City indie bookshop, Folio—I had to see what was up.
Buying books from big box stores or massive online retailers (you know who…) always rubs me the wrong way because there are so many smaller businesses to support. Folio offers very affordable prices for brand new books, ships extremely quickly, and even sends cute little bookmarks and stickers in their branded packaging.
As soon as I got my first shipment from them (Song of Achilles, per #BookTok’s recommendation), I thought to myself, “yep, this is my new go-to; I’ll be ordering from here from now on.”
For your clients that are all go-go-go with no time to sit and leisurely flip through a novel, an audiobook subscription is the perfect gift. This is also a great option to consider for when you’d like to send someone something, but don’t have their address. All you need is their email!
If you can add a personal note, recommend a book to them, too, to make it more personal. I’ve heard great things about Jessica Simpson’s Open Book, however anything narrated by the actual author is awesome audiobook content. Barack Obama, Matthew McConaughey, and Marie Forleo (in Everything Is Figureoutable) also narrate their own books (they’re on my TBR list).
If you get this for your client, I’ll be jealous. This is definitely on my Christmas list. Book of the Month is the freaking coolest idea and I can’t believe it took so long for a business like this to come to fruition. Every month, you pay $9.99 and get to choose between 5 new release novels, hand-selected by their team.
(Note to self: write a case study on this website. It would def make for some interesting material.)
Not only is that price a deal for a book these days—new releases usually only come in hardcover, which means they’re often at least $22—it’s also a gift that keeps on giving, ensuring a smile on your client’s face every single month. And it’ll keep them from spending hours at the bookstore agonizing over what to get and then spending $150 on books only to get home and not read any of them because they’re overwhelmed about what to start first. (Orrr maybe that’s just me…)
I hope you found this post helpful—whether for your next client gift idea, or your own Christmas wishlist. To be notified when more posts like this go up on the BTL blog, make sure you’re subscribed to my email list!
(And stay tuned for my next gift-y guide all about the must-read books that should be on every entrepreneur’s reading list!)
If we haven’t had the chance to *virtually* meet yet, hi! I’m Sara Noel—website copywriter and marketing mentor for creatives, copywriters, and all-around cool people. If you like my content and you want even more BTL in your life, here are a few ways you can connect with me:
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