Jane Harrell, co-owner of Working with Dog and founder of ’cause Digital Marketing, holds Office Hours with Jane twice a month, and members of Working with Dog can ask any burning questions they have about business or marketing.
I want to put together some welcome packs for my new/potential customers. What things should I include? It’s for cat guardians/parents who are thinking about boarding their cats to go on holiday. I want to give them something to take home after they visit (before they book).
Expert Jane Harrell responds:
I’m going to pull in Nic for thoughts on this one as she’s a fantastic planner of new-client gifts. (She created our own here at WWD!)
Now, there are a few things I like to think about around gifts:
1) What’s the likelihood of a purchase? Are you giving these out before they buy, or after? If after, you probably have room to be more extravagant. If before, you’ll have to be more careful not to over-extend, since not everyone will purchase afterwards.
2) If giving a pre-purchase gift, think about your budget. New-client acquisition budgets are often as high as the profit for their first stay with you (or at very least the first night). So, if you charge $50/night and retain 20% after overhead, that means you have a new-client acquisition budget of $10. Meaning, you can spend up to $10 finding and booking each new client. Considering these are pre-purchase gifts, you’d want to spend less than $10 per item in this example, as you’ll have other costs as well.
3) So, say you land on a budget of $5 per gift for this event. There’s a lot you can do for that! Normally, I’d say go online and see if you can order a few things in bulk to keep costs down. That way you’re planning for ALL your open houses for the year and not just ordering one-offs, which tend to be a lot more expensive. That said, with a 9-day lead time, I lean toward buying something local and wholesale. The reason here is you can actually see it and feel whatever it is before the event, and you’re not worried about something going wrong last minute. (It happens a lot).
4) Consider a way to personalize something in what you give. A few favorites of mine are stamps, stickers and brands (like irons). These allow you to put your logo or message on something for them quickly while buying something a bit more premium. For example, you might give a cool cat wand toy that you buy in bulk for $3/each, but then add a sticker or note about your services and attach it. The note can be as premium-looking as you like, on nice, thick paper with a special offer to get a surprise kitty toybox on your cat’s first stay with you.
No matter what you decide, I do encourage deciding on a budget and sticking to it, so you don’t overspend. This is the fun side of marketing your business – which is great – but we also need it to be great for your bottom line.
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