Clients are an integral part of your business—after all, without them you wouldn’t have a business at all. Whether you want to leave a memento at the end of a project or send a year-end token of gratitude, a thoughtful gift can perfectly convey your appreciation to your clients. However, it’s easy to get stuck when deciding what client gift idea is the right fit for your customers and your business.
How do I best show my appreciation? How much should I spend? How do I ensure my gift is thoughtful?
These questions and more are probably running through your mind. You want to get the right gift for your client but how do you choose? Fortunately, we have a list of client gift ideas for 2020 to choose from. From gift baskets to spa certificates, you’re guaranteed to stumble across an idea or two to inspire your next client gift. Not only will your clients appreciate the gesture, but it can also help market your business for future projects.
Everybody loves food and it makes a great gift. However, you might want to avoid any food baskets that are too adventurous. Tried and true gourmet gift baskets, like fruit, gourmet cheeses or holiday sweets are always a safe bet. If you’re aiming to really impress, a variety of premium steak cuts can do the trick. Just be mindful of any food restrictions. A gift basket with a variety of items can help ensure there will be something for everyone.
Sometimes, thoughtful actions can speak louder than material gifts. Making a charity donation in your client’s name can be a meaningful gesture that showcases your business philosophy and values.
If you read an amazing and share-worthy book, consider gifting it to a client. Purchasing the hardcopy and flagging your favorite quotes can transform an ordinary gift into one that is deeply personal and thoughtful.
Skip the gift basket and offer the gift of learning. Online classes, through sites like Skillshare and Lynda, are making it convenient to learn new skills. If your client has been wanting to learn Photoshop or better time management skills, an online class membership can encourage them to get started.
Studies have shown that having an indoor plant can boost productivity by up to 15%. Gifting a terrarium can be a trendy way to add more greenery to your client’s desk while also boosting their efficiency.
Some books are great statement pieces on a coffee table. Coffee table books with eye-catching covers are a great client gift idea. Also, choosing a book relevant to your client’s background, interests, or goals shows you put some thought into this gift.
A high-quality weekly planner has a charming nuance that an online planner can’t replicate. Choosing a planner with beautiful layouts will help your clients stay organized during the weekly grind. If you want to upgrade your gift, get it personalized with their name.
When choosing a gift card, you can opt for a popular chain in the area, or you can do a little research into the options around their office or home and choose a more unique restaurant experience.
If your client is a beer enthusiast, then a beer brewing kit can be a fun and interactive gift. Gifting your client the tools to craft their own beers gives them a new experience and a thirst-quenching reward waiting for them at the end.
For those less into the DIY experience, consider gifting wine in a beautiful box for an elegant and thoughtful client gift. If you’re unsure what wine will please, check out your local retailer for in-person recommendations.
Even though everybody has their own music tastes, headphones are a favorite of any music-lover. A quality set of noise-cancelling headphones immerses your client in their favorite tunes while drowning out unwanted noise.
One of the most prized possessions in any office is the kitchen coffee maker. That’s why gifting a sampler of coffee—whether grounds or individual pods—is a great client gift idea that will give your coffee-loving clients an opportunity to try new and robust flavors—not to mention, think of your business when they’re getting their daily caffeine boost.
If you have a sports-loving client, or your business is in the industry, getting them new sports gear can be a novel gift idea. Basketball jerseys, personalized golf balls, or even rock climbing gear are all unique client gift ideas.
A beautiful leather-bound notebook can be an amazing gift for clients that love pen and paper. Choose a notebook with thick paper resistant to ink bleeding. Also, you might want to engrave your client’s name to add a personal touch.
Your clients are busy people. Why not make their lives just a bit easier by gifting them a house or car cleaning service? There’s no experience as satisfying as a tidy home or vehicle.
This can be a great utilitarian gift for any client. Gifting a high-quality fountain pen ensures that your client will reach for it every time they need to sign an important document.
If you own a business, you’re familiar with how stress builds up over time. However, we sometimes forget to de-stress. Remind your clients of the importance of rest and relaxation with a spa certificate. Your clients will love a relaxing spa day to melt the stress and tension away.
This is a great client gift idea for your customers who frequently travel. While you’re at it, feel free to include a travel pillow and eye mask too.
For the clients who love to cook, gifting a high-quality olive oil can be a delicious and useful gift. Olive oil imported from California or all the way from Italy can boost any dish your client whips up in the kitchen.
With trends shifting from plastic to reusable, more and more people are opting for reusable water bottles to get their daily hydration. But let’s face it: Not all water bottles are created equal. Whether they leak, rust, or don’t keep their contents the proper temperature, it adds a minor inconvenience to our already stressful days. Gifting a reliable and high-quality reusable water bottle to your clients will keep them hydrated and happy.
With so many subscription services out there—from meal kits to pet toys to skincare—there are more than enough options to pinpoint the perfect client gift idea. This gift will allow your clients to try something new, while saving them time in the process.
Your clients may think this is an unusual gift but they’ll quickly change their mind after they drift to sleep in silky soft pajamas. Improve the quality of your client’s sleep with some insanely comfortable pajamas.
The smell of freshly baked bread is enough to make anybody salivate. Gift this mouthwatering experience to your clients by scheduling a bakery delivery. Any client relationship can be improved with tasty bread, pastries, and spreads.
Tables and e-readers are space-saving devices that makes it easy to take your books and other reading materials anywhere. Also, newer Kindle versions are now waterproof, allowing you to wind down with a good book in a warm bubble bath.
Did you know that U.S. adults spend nearly four hours every day on their mobile devices? Chances are, their batteries are running low and a portable phone charger is a convenient solution. Also, portable phone chargers make great gifts for your traveling clients. Your client will thank you when they need a quick charge at the airport but all the outlets are occupied.
The way to most people’s hearts is through their stomachs. Coordinate with a local restaurant to cater lunch to your client’s place of business.
Research your client’s favorite band, sports team, or play. Getting them a ticket to a local event is sure to be a winning client gift idea. Experiences tend to be a welcome switch-up from the usual material gifts they receive from other businesses.
An affordable streaming service will be a welcome gift for any client. Let your clients watch their favorite movies and shows by gifting them a service like Roku or Amazon Fire—or a Netflix or HBO subscription.
Now that you have several client gift ideas to choose from, here are some general tips to keep in mind when giving gifts to clients.
When you’re chatting with a client in-person or over the phone, you can often dive into non-work-related topics. Take note of what your clients are interested in. It can often help you find the perfect gift for your client down the road. Plus, your clients will be especially impressed that you remembered something personal about them.
When thinking of gift ideas for clients, inexpensive doesn’t always mean low-value. You can easily find a thoughtful gift within the normal spending range of $25 to $75. However, this is just a guideline. For example, if a client was responsible for $25,000 of your revenue this year, you may consider spending more on that client’s gift.
While a food basket can be a thoughtful gift, it can also be a careless mistake if you don’t research your client’s food restrictions. If you really don’t know, avoid foods containing common allergens, especially peanuts.
Clients usually expect to receive promotional items, like your business card or magnet, with their gift. However, go light on self-promotion. Instead, be thoughtful and personal when choosing your client gifts. Your clients will notice and this will boost your client relations more than any self-promoting merchandise.
In our digital world of email and text messages, the art of the handwritten note is rare. Taking the time to write a thoughtful note on quality stationary can elevate your gift.
When you’re researching client holiday gift ideas, remember that not everybody celebrates the same holiday. To avoid making awkward and incorrect assumptions, it’s best to choose neutral gift wrap and cards that aren’t holiday-specific.
Fortunately, you get a tax break when giving client gifts. You can deduct the full amount of a business gift up to $25 in value. However, keep in mind that any personalization (name engraving, embossment, gift-wrapping) doesn’t count toward that amount. Tax guides around gift cards can be a little tricky and we recommend that you consult your business accountant to gain more insight.
Getting the same gift card for every client is a quick and easy solution but it’s not always the most effective. It may take a little more time and research but we highly recommend you cater each gift to your individual client. You want to choose client gift ideas that make your clients feel special. Remember, you owe the success of your business to your amazing clients. Why not spoil them a little with a thoughtful gift?
Sally Lauckner is the editor-in-chief of the Fundera Ledger and the editorial director at Fundera.
Sally has over a decade of experience in print and online journalism. Previously she was the senior editor at SmartAsset—a Y Combinator-backed fintech startup that provides personal finance advice. There she edited articles and data reports on topics including taxes, mortgages, banking, credit cards, investing, insurance, and retirement planning. She has also held various editorial roles at AOL.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour magazine. Her work has also appeared in Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan magazines.