Boost Your Business with eCards

Create customizable eCards to impress your audience! Choose a design, add your logo and message, and let your audience share them with their friends.

Spread Love and Raise Funds with eCards

Show your supporters how much you appreciate them with our heartfelt eCards. Our platform allows you to collect donations directly through the eCard, making fundraising easy and effective.

Celebrate Your Employees with eCards

Empower peer-to-peer recognition with customizable eCards that enable employees to appreciate and recognize each other’s hard work. Foster a culture of appreciation.

Thank Your Donors with eCards

Recognize and thank your donors with heartfelt eCards that also streamline the giving process by collecting donations directly through the eCard. Show your gratitude and make a meaningful impact with our convenient solution.

Other Popular Use-Cases :   Customer AcquisitionEvent InvitationsCelebrate HolidaysRecognition eCardsGreeting Card SoftwareCelebrate Team-Member Anniversaries And more

We all know the feeling of opening up a perfect gift. You feel seen, honored, and happily surprised. Maybe you even see the sender in a new light, as someone who understands and values you. Your mind races through the possibilities of what you’ll do with the gift, of where and how it’ll fit into your life. You now have a tangible reminder of the sender and their appreciation for you.

This is exactly how you want your customers to feel about your business. By thoughtfully choosing and sending the best customer appreciation gifts, you can achieve that effect. 

Need ideas for gifts that make your customers feel valued without breaking the bank? We’ve got you covered. Explore the following sections to make sure you can make the most of your customer appreciation gifts:

Let’s get started by looking at gifts as a customer appreciation strategy and breaking down the benefits for your business. 

Learn more about using eCards as customer appreciation gifts for your business. 
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Learn how to show customers you care with customer appreciation gifts.
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How Do You Show Customers You Appreciate Them?

While there are a variety of creative ways to show customers you value them, one of the most successful strategies is to periodically send customer appreciation gifts. Well-chosen gifts create positive relationships with customers, increase brand loyalty, and provide customers with a reminder of your business. One study found that 83% of customers felt closer to businesses after receiving a customer appreciation gift. 

How do you tap into the power of these gifts? Start by determining the best times to send them to select customers. Some times to consider include:

  • After a customer makes a major purchase
  • When customers reach important milestones, such as being a customer for 2 years or sharing 5 products on social media
  • On customers’ birthdays, major holidays, and other special occasions
  • When promoting a specific new product or campaign

Along with these natural times to send gifts, don’t underestimate the power of surprise. Occasionally sending surprise gifts without a clear reason can actually increase the gifts’ impact. This way, customers will know they can receive a gift at any time just for being a customer, making them more likely to stay loyal to your brand. 

Use these tips to choose the best customer appreciation gifts for your audience.
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Tips for Choosing the Best Customer Appreciation Gifts

Increased retention rates and improved customer relations are just the beginning. Customer appreciation gifts also build brand awareness on social media and through word of mouth. When customers like your gifts, they’ll be sure to talk about them, generating interest and attracting new customers for your business. 

To access these benefits, however, your gifts need to resonate with customers and make sense for your business. Follow these tips for choosing customer appreciation gifts that make an impact:

  • Tailor gifts to your audience: Use all available data to choose gifts that you know your customers will like. Evaluate customer demographics, feedback, and social media engagement to determine their interests and appeal to them. 
  • Make sure they make sense: Gifts have to be relevant to your company in some way in order for customers to positively associate the gift with your business. Choose gifts that align with your industry, offerings, and company values. 
  • Customize and personalize: Generic gifts don’t have the same appeal or create as strong of an association with your brand as customized gifts do. Customize your gifts by including your branding, writing personalized thank you notes, and, if possible, customizing the gifts themselves to reflect your brand. 
  • Find inexpensive options: To get a high return on your investment, be conscious of your budget and don’t go overboard. Instead, search for inexpensive, unique gift options that still make a big impression on customers. 

As you choose customer appreciation gifts, make sure there’s variety in your approach. Ideally, sending these gifts won’t be a one-off campaign, so you should select plenty of different ideas for gifts to send in the future. Start with our 20 customer appreciation gift ideas, then use these tips to refine your choices. Let’s dive into our top recommendation for gifts that are both inexpensive and impactful. 

Our number one customer appreciation gift recommendation is eCards. Learn more in this section.
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The #1 Best Inexpensive Customer Appreciation Gift: eCards

eCards combine all the best elements of more expensive customer appreciation gifts into one unique, heartfelt gift. They’re simple, creative, fully customizable, and budget-friendly. The best part is there are unlimited possibilities for using eCards for both marketing and customer appreciation. 

Using a platform like eCardWidget, you can create branded customer appreciation gifts that are interactive and engaging. Your business designs a set of eCards, integrates a widget into your website, then lets customers add personal messages and send eCards to friends. You can use the eCards themselves as gifts, or let customers unlock a separate gift (like a discount code, digital download, or entry into a raffle) by sending an eCard to someone else. Either way, customers receive your thanks, and your business reaches a wider audience. 

Why eCards Work

eCards work extremely well as customer appreciation gifts because they let customers take the lead and share their own appreciation. When you launch an eCard marketing campaign, you’re not only giving a gift to your customers. You’re also letting your customers send gifts to the people they care about at the same time. This makes for a distinct, shareable experience that’ll stick in the minds of your customers and their friends.

On top of this major benefit, eCards have a track record of being well-received, with an impressive 95% open rate. eCards are also:

  • Surprising and unexpected
  • Completely customizable for your brand and audience
  • Personal for both customers and their loved ones
  • Easy to pair with holidays or specific marketing campaigns 
  • Trackable for your business to quickly gain engagement insights

Peer-to-peer marketing is powerful, and customer appreciation eCards are the perfect opportunity to lean into the possibilities.

Customer Appreciation eCard Examples

eCardWidget’s customization features allow companies to tailor their gifts for their audiences in a wide variety of creative ways. Take a look at a few impactful examples that show how businesses can use eCards to share appreciation for customers:

California Wines let customers unlock their customer appreciation gifts by sending their own eCards.
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These eCards were created by California Wines as part of a holiday customer appreciation campaign. In their campaign, customers chose to send one of two wine-themed eCard options, then received their gift: a virtual recipe book filled with holiday cocktail recipes.

This is an example of a Valentine’s Day eCard gift made by Raising Cane’s.
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As part of a Valentine’s Day marketing campaign, Raising Cane’s offered customers the gift of free Valentine’s Day cards. Anyone could add their own personal message and send their loved ones these creative Valentines. 

This eCard customer appreciation gift example lets customers thank veterans for their service.
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This example shows how your business can use eCard gifts to let your customers share their own appreciation. With these eCards from American Patriots Unsung Network, customers can send personal thanks to veterans and service members. 

How to Get Started with eCards

Now that you’ve seen the possibilities, getting started with eCard appreciation gifts is easy. Using the right software, all you have to do is sign up, create your set of eCard designs, and add the widget to your website. Then launch your appreciation campaign and let customers know about their gifts! 

Register for eCardWidget to start creating your own eCard customer appreciation gifts.
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Explore our 20 customer appreciation gift ideas to find the best choices for your business.
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Other Inexpensive Customer Appreciation Gift Ideas

To create a robust gifting strategy, consider these 19 other ideas for inexpensive customer appreciation gifts. Remember to keep our tips in mind and align each choice with your business’s budget and audience preferences.

2. Thank-You Cards

General thank-you cards may be a basic option, but they can still make a difference to customers. Besides eCards, you can send thank-you cards through email or direct mail. Handwritten, mailed thank-you messages are one of the most personal customer appreciation gifts you can send.

3. Coupons

Emailing a coupon or discount is an easy, inexpensive way to give a small gift to select customers. You can personalize these gifts by sending discount codes for products you know an individual customer likes based on their purchase history. 

Make it clear in the email that this is a gift and specify the reason you’re sending it. To make it even more valuable for the customer, don’t give the coupon an expiration date.

4. Gift Cards

Similar to coupons, gift cards are easy to send out and are often a customer favorite. After all, if the customer is loyal enough that you’re sending them an appreciation gift, they’ll be excited to buy more from your catalog using a gift card.

Plus, when customers buy items with a gift card, they’re likely to spend at least a little bit more than the card’s worth. Gift cards quickly and clearly lead to more spending, making them one of the most effective customer appreciation gifts in the short term. 

5. Small Branded Merchandise

Branded merchandise, commonly referred to as “swag,” is another traditional customer appreciation gift that works well as a tangible reminder of your business. T-shirts, mugs, notebooks, and any other small items with your brand name on them serve as easy advertising. Be careful not to rely solely on branded merchandise gifts, however, as they can seem less genuine if they’re all a customer receives from you. 

6. Coffee or Tea

Many customers prefer gifts that are useful for their everyday lives over branded items or trinkets they won’t know what to do with. If you want to send gifts you know your customers will use, opt for bags of specialty coffee or unique teas. For the holidays, hot chocolate can work just as well.

Send a tea-themed eCard like this example along with tea or coffee as sweet customer appreciation gifts.
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7. Themed Gift Basket

You can’t go wrong with a gift basket, as long as it aligns with your business and audience preferences. Make your gift basket more cohesive by choosing a theme, such as:

  • Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or another major holiday
  • Pet lovers
  • Spa day
  • Seasonal themes

You can also align gift basket themes with any of your current marketing campaigns. For example, if you’re promoting a new blackberry wine, send out berry-themed baskets and include a coupon for the new wine. 

8. Virtual Recipe Books

Remember our earlier example where a business gifted cocktail recipe books to customers who sent each other eCards? This idea can work well for any business related to food, drink, or health. Virtual recipe books are budget-friendly and encourage sharing, making it easy to expand the customer appreciation gift’s reach.

9. Self Care Box

This is an obvious gift for businesses that sell health and wellness items, but they can work well for any company. Everyone needs a little self care in their busy lives, and your customers will appreciate you supporting their wellbeing. Order curated self care boxes from a gifting company, or create your own by combining items like candles, bath supplies, and books.

10. Stickers

Send branded stickers as gifts or consider partnering with a popular artist to send out their sticker designs as gifts. Stickers are small and inexpensive, but they’re highly popular, especially with younger audiences.

11.  Virtual Cooking Class

Invite your customers to exclusive virtual classes for an experience gift that’s still cost-effective. Cooking classes are the most common option, but you could also send invites for painting classes or any other skill that would resonate with your audience. With branded eCard invitations like the example below, you can even let select customers invite their friends. 

Virtual classes work well as inexpensive customer appreciation gifts. Consider sending eCard invitations like this one to a breadmaking class.
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12. Social Media Shoutouts

Social media shoutouts may not be as tangible as other gift options, but they can still effectively show your appreciation and benefit your customers. These tend to work best for clothing and jewelry brands that can easily feature customers wearing their products on the business’s account.

13. Exclusive Access

Everyone loves an exclusive opportunity! For your business, this gift could look like early access to new products, pre-sales for tickets, or access to exclusive behind the scenes content. Be sure to let customers know they’re receiving this access as a gift for being a loyal customer.

14. Overstock Items

If you have an item that’s not selling as well and needs added promotion, consider sending some as gifts. This will alleviate some of your surplus, promote the product, and encourage customers to buy more items when they receive their gift.

15. Donations in Their Honor

Your customers are likely philanthropic and want to make a difference to causes they care about. You can use customer appreciation gifts to help them back that difference by donating in their honor. 

To let customers know about the donation you made on their behalf, send an eCard like the example below from Harbor’s vet appreciation campaign: 

This customer appreciation eCard is an example of letting customers know you made a donation in their honor.
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16. Snacks

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a classic. Cookies, chocolates, or boxes of snacks won’t go unappreciated as customer gifts. As long as you can relate the snacks back to your business, this is a good option. 

17. Items from Local Businesses

Support local businesses and boost your own business at the same time. Reach out to a relevant business and ask if they’d be willing to partner with you. They’ll donate items or coupons, you’ll send them to your customers, and both of your businesses will benefit. Plus, your customers will appreciate being introduced to a new local brand.

18. Puzzles

Puzzles make a unique gift, and they’ve been gaining popularity in recent years. Choose a relevant image to turn into puzzles that will keep your business at the top of your customers’ minds while they complete them. 

For example, if you’re promoting a tv show, you could send out a puzzle of the main characters or a well-loved scene.

19. Giveaways

Traditional giveaways are an inexpensive opportunity to promote a product and show your appreciation for customers. Give customers the opportunity to participate in a giveaway for a few new items, then give the lucky winners the gifts.

Did you know you can combine two quality customer appreciation gifts by using eCards as a way to enter the giveaway? This example from Worx shows one creative way to do so:

This is an example of a customer appreciation gift giveaway created using eCards.
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20.  Collection of Free Samples

Another good option if you have a variety of overstock items is to combine a few into free sample collections. These make great customer appreciation gifts because they give customers a taste of many products at once. 

Check out our additional resources for more information about eCards and customer appreciation gifts.
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Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are plenty of creative, inexpensive customer appreciation gifts that can help your business thrive. Once you’ve chosen the best options for your business, determine the most appropriate time to send surprise gifts. Use our tips and ideas to help you decide, and don’t forget to ask for feedback on every gift. 

Want to learn more about the possibilities of using eCards to recognize customers and your own employees? Check out these additional resources:

Click here to start creating your own branded customer appreciation eCards.
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