The holiday season is a time to show your organization’s appreciation for others. It’s when businesses and organizations turn to greeting cards and business gifts to say thank you for sales, support, donations, and partnership.
While the thoughts are heartwarming, the process of planning, selecting, and fulfilling holiday gifts is stressful. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, Shutterfly Business Solutions, a world leader in personalized business gifting, shares tips and tactics that will:
- Improve your holiday gifting
- Reduce your stress
- Create the right impression
- Avoid uh-ohs and mistakes
We achieve all of this because we bring the power of the Shutterfly platform to businesses like yours.
Who can use our end-of-year gifts advice?
The majority of this advice applies to any company. However, some are intentionally geared to organizations with a customer resource management platform integrated into an enterprise system. In other words, if you’re a start-up, small or mid-size company, some of this won’t apply. That’s okay. There is a lot of good info for you today — and it lets you know what to do when your organization grows.
Tip 1: Start your holiday business gift program early
Companies often wait until the last minute to start their holiday business gifting program. It’s our experience that companies should start thinking about business holiday gifting during the summer.
Shutterfly Business Solutions is still here to help. Ordering personalized items is a snap for us. We can even build deeply integrated business gifting programs that tie into a CRM and other databases. That approach takes more time upfront, but once the platform is built, it’s ready to use year after year for simple, personalized, and thoughtful holiday gift-giving. Ultimately, an integrated gifting solution saves you time and reduces the effort required in the future.
Tip 2: Group your holiday gift recipients into tiers
It’s rare for each customer/client/partner to receive the same holiday gift. Typically, you’ll want to create gifting tiers, with your best relationships receiving the highest-value gift.
How do you create these tiers? Some common grouping criteria include:
- Annual purchase amount
- Length of the relationship
- Importance to your organization
- Opportunity for new/future business
- Appreciation for leads or referrals
Why should you group recipients into tiers? It’s not only about reducing the gifting budget.
Grouping recipients helps you to provide an appropriate gift. One that fits the status of the relationship. This way, you won’t send a gift that is trying too hard to impress or feels too insignificant.
Ideally, your holiday business gift should show the perfect appreciation, nothing more, nothing less.
Tip 3: Select business gifts for clients and others by late summer
The best way to ensure you can give the gifts you want is to identify them quickly.
Also, notice we suggest choosing gifts — plural. One of the best gifts you can give people is choice.
We recommend three or four business gift options for each recipient tier you create. You’d want nine to twelve gift options if you have three groupings, say a good, better, and best client list. Why? So gift recipients can choose the item they want most. They’ll appreciate the choice, and you don’t have to decide. It’s a win-win. Shutterfly Business Solutions can build a custom landing page to allow your customers to choose their desired gift and personalize it accordingly.
Tip 4: Business gifts are only half of the holiday experience
Don’t overlook — or underestimate — the power of a personalized holiday greeting card. When written with sincerity, what is said in a card will be remembered far longer than what was given in a box.
We suggest beginning your holiday gifting experience with a holiday card. Make it personal and use it to strengthen the relationship. The card should not come from a company or brand. It should come from the person or team the recipient knows/works with.
Also, don’t make the holiday card a sales pitch or branding piece. Its only purpose is gratitude, appreciation, and relationship building.
Here’s another thing you may not be thinking about — the brand behind the card.
There are prestige brands for greeting cards, just as there are for gifts. One of the best-known and appreciated card brands is Shutterfly. Sending a Shutterfly card says you went with the best to create an important moment. Using a brand such as Shutterfly can also improve open rates.
As you’ll see in our next tip, the holiday greeting card is also the beginning of the gifting experience.
Tip 5: Personalized gifts are preferred gifts
People love gifts that they get to personalize. That is one reason why partnering with Shutterfly Business Solutions is a great idea. The recipient can personalize our massive inventory of gifts. Some even use our Visualize online design tool, which shows many personalized items in 3D.
Or, it can be super simple. You provide Shutterfly Business Solutions with a name and address. Then we deliver an item, say a water bottle, featuring your brand and the recipient’s name.
What about a business greeting card?
Rather than sending a greeting card and gift together, we propose a card with a URL or QR code that links to a website. Once at the site, the recipient chooses and personalizes their gift from a curated selection.
Your gift recipients can add names, text, and photos and pick colors to make it their own. It’s fun for them and increases the perceived value and usability of the gift you’ve given them. After they finish their design, the item usually appears at their address in a few days.
Tip 6: Best practices for greeting cards and holiday gifting
There is a right way and a wrong way to do holiday gifts. Here’s a quick list of ideas to make your holiday season gifting successful.
Make it personal
From the message on the card, to the signature, and gifts, you can show the recipient you know them. Ideally, greeting cards and holiday gifts should come from an individual they know, not the company as a whole. However, there’s also a time and place for cards to come from the whole organization. Shutterfly Business Solutions make both approaches a possibility.
Make it stand out
Use great designs, sincere messaging, and thoughtful gifts. Yours won’t be the only card or gift they receive this holiday season — but it can be among the very few that get remembered. Your greeting card can also create an impression because it is completely unique, thanks to the powerful Shutterfly platform.
Make it quality
The difference is usually in the details. Opt for better paper stock, a nicer envelope, a metal tumbler instead of plastic, etc. Usually, the price is a bit more, but the perceived value is immense. It’s hard to show customers/clients/partners you value them by going with the cheapest option possible.
Make it simple
The point is to show appreciation, nothing more. Avoid tying into company news, sales offers, product launches, and other sales or business messages.
The ideal timeline for the perfect holiday gifting experience
Here’s a suggested timeline of what to do and when to do it for your holiday gifting program.
Identify a gifting partner and start collaborating.
Build your mailing list, and contact Shutterfly Business Solutions if you need integration with a CRM or database.
Rank/group your recipients.
Identify gift options for each recipient group.
Have your gifting partner procure gifts and paper stock.
Final testing of your gifting program.
Delivery of greeting cards and link to gifting website.
Recipients receive their personalized gifts.
Improve your holiday business gifting with shutterfly business solutions
Investing in your holiday business gifting program will return big dividends. It simplifies the process year after year while strengthening relationships with people who are vital to your organization’s success.
As powerful as it is, holiday business gifting and greeting cards are just two solutions. Shutterfly Business Solutions has thousands more that are ready to deploy. Using our expertise, scalability, nationwide presence, and massive Shutterfly platform will maximize your communications.
Capitalize on Shutterfly Business Solution resources and workflows to solve your communication challenges.