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Four Gifts You Can Include in Thank-You Cards

resources imageThank-you cards are a great way to let your customers know that you appreciate their business. You can send thank-you cards after a sale, after an event, for holidays such as Christmas, New Year's, Independence Day and Valentine's Day, and even at random just to let your customers know you care. Many businesses like to include gifts in their thank-you cards but aren't quite sure what is appropriate or what will be appreciated. Knowing that thank-you cards should say "thanks" rather than be overt attempts at making more sales (though, long term, that's exactly what they do), if you're unsure what to include you can try one of the following four gifts for your thank-you cards.

1. Dinner at a restaurant

Few professionals will pass up a chance for a free meal, especially if it's at a favorite or exclusive restaurant. Send a gift certificate for a dinner for two at one such establishment to your preferred customers. For extra points, speak to the restaurant owner, manager or maitre 'd beforehand and spend a few extra dollars to get preferential treatment for your guests. Imagine the influence of the maitre d' seating your customers in the VIP section with the comment "only the best for friends of (insert your name here)."

2. A bottle of wine

Many people appreciate fine wines, and it's probable that your customers are no exception. Though you can't exactly send a bottle of wine inside a thank-you card, you can send a certificate to redeem a bottle at a well-known fine wine cellar or vineyard. Do your homework and make sure the gift will be appreciated first - it wouldn't behoove you to send a bottle of wine to someone who doesn't like wine or is a recovering alcoholic.

3. Gift cards for online retailers

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Many companies have gone the route of giving gift vouchers for online retailers in their thank-you cards. There are a few different approaches you can take with this. The best way is to partner with a complementary but non-competing company to give a gift voucher that also offers a discount, so your customers get more bang for the buck - and, in return, your partner will send vouchers for your company to their customers. You could also give something away that's relevant to your industry. An investment banker, for example, might give away a small gold bar. Your last resort (and still a good option) is to give away a gift voucher for a crowd-pleaser such as amazon.com, buy.com or barnesandnoble.com.

4. Your products and services

Last but not least, you can give away your own products and services in your thank-you cards. This is a great way to get existing customers (or prospects) to try out new products and services that they might want to continue paying for once a trial period has expired. Your thank-you cards should be professionally printed on either ultra-thick 16-point gloss paper stock or 13-point recycled  matte  paper stock to lend credibility to your company. If you want to make a million bucks, you have to look like a million bucks - but you don't have to spend a million bucks to look like it!