Thursday, November 22, 2007

Saying "Thank You" to Clients

So... it's Thanksgiving morning (gobble, gobble!) here in the States, and I'm pondering just how I'll say "thank you" to my clients this year.

You see, ever since I began freelance writing in earnest, I have paid special attention to sending my customers (or at least the best ongoing ones) something special for the holidays.

The first year, it was rather easy because so many of my clients were local... my son and I baked, cooked and organized gift baskets, then sent or personally delivered them. But now, many of my regular clients are scattered around the globe -- which poses a bit of a conundrum.

In discussing this with a freelance friend of mine, Tess, she mentioned that last Christmas she sent relatives who live on the opposite coast gift baskets that were filled with unique-to-Pennsylvania products such as Middleswarth potato chips and Tastycakes. I love this idea... in theory.

The problem, as she pointed out, was the expense in mailing such items. Let's just say that she could have spent a lot less than she did if she had hired a hitchhiker to travel across the country and deliver them him- or herself. And add to the innate expense of mailing moderately heavy boxes anywhere the fact that some of my biggest clients live outside the United States.

Yikes. I could wind up spending tons of moolah just for postage, boxes and some of that damn bubble wrap.

Incidentally, I've checked out vendors for my clients who are local to them and am considering ordering specialty baskets through the Internet. That way, I can order stuff right from my home office.

But something about that doesn't feel personal enough for me. I like to be more hands-on. If I'm going to do this (and I am), I want it to be creative and memorable.

So I'm open to suggestions. (Please, please, please!)

As a quick side note, when I checked the United States Postal Service for restrictions on sending items across the Atlantic, I discovered that sending arms or parts of arms is strictly prohibited. Dang it. What am I going to do with all the disembodied limbs I have ready to go?


jason evans said...

Since it's business, I would suggest a nice gesture that doesn't take much time or expense. You're right. If you are spending all your time doing it or all your money sending it, you've defeated the purpose of the business.

SzélsőFa said...

Suppose you wish to send it to Christmas (I think I've missed the occassion for sending)
If you'd like to emphasize the 'personal' in your gift, why not make a hand-made postcard?
Some fancy papers according to your taste, a photograph of something you both specially value, or just an ordinary Christmas-related theme, but with oyur own hands.
Perhaphs you have already gone through that phase...?

Shameless said...

I gave up trying to get things from here to NZ years ago. Now I send nice pics via the Internet, which seems to do the same trick! :-)

The Quoibler said...

Jason: Your point is well taken. Perhaps I'm trying to make too big a deal out of all this.

Szelsofa: I usually include a handwritten note, but I would like to also have a little something, too. But again, it might just be me making things too hard on myself!

Shameless: I think you should send signed pics of some of your artwork. It's gorgeous!