Thursday, February 28, 2013

Giving Thanks to Your Customers

What’s one memorable way startups can thank their customers this time of year?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1.)     A Personal Email From the CEO

A direct email. From the CEO, that I actually write. Think of those Steve Jobs emails. Everyone talked about them. I’m not Steve Jobs, but when the CEO takes an inbound call, writes a thank you note, or welcomes you from the front desk when you stop by the office it makes a lasting impression.

2.)     Get Creative (Really Creative!)

Our creative team made a Flash game for the holiday season called “Balls Of Snow.” Advertisers and publishers chose their side and engage in a virtual snowball fight. We thanked everyone on that year’s holiday card and included a link to our game.

3.)     December Discounts

To spur holiday sales and thank current customers, small business owners can offer a large discount for holiday purchases. Plus, you’re likely to offer plenty of discounts anyways during December, so you’re really not negatively impacting your profits as much as you might think.

4.)     Hand-Written Thank You Notes

Last November, we launched a new product. In advance of this launch we sent postcards with a personal message to over 1,000 customers. The time and money put into this, as well as the personalized message, showed these folks just how much we appreciated their support from the following year. Plus, we were able to create a fun and unique touchpoint – the physical mailbox instead of the email inbox!

5.)     Random Giveaways