Yesterday I came back from lunch to a large Fedex package on my desk. I quickly ripped the package open (I get very excited when I get any unexpected package delivered to the office) to find my Vidyard Studio-in-a-Box. I was SO excited!
So we recently became a Vidyard customer and their Studio-in-a-Box was part of our software package. Basically, think a starter video kit in a box, so you can get started making lots of videos.
Of course I was super excited to see our brand new Canon Rebel, but, what made me even more excited was the presentation of this amazing customer welcome gift. I know, I know, this is very “you know you are a marketer when…”. Forget about the awesome camera equipment and ooo and ahh over packaging!
I mean, the whole thing was just super impressive. They had a beautifully branded box, a handwritten card with a poem, a video card (!), and awesome branded temporary tattoos. And anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot of tattoos—so was that ABM in action? I just don’t know—if it was, huge kudos to them, if not, super cool anyway! Of course the equipment was fantastic, but the presentation was the most impressive part.
Take a look at our unboxing video to see the details:
All of this customer love and wonderfulness got me thinking about customer welcome gifts. And as we are in the process of planning our welcome package, here are some learnings from the Vidyard box (and beyond) that I will put into action!
1. It’s All About the Presentation
What made the Vidyard box so awesome was how meticulously it was packaged and put together. They had thought about every detail. I have gotten a lot of customer welcome packages in my time, and while I love getting them, they are often pretty basic—stickers and a t-shirt in a manila envelop. This, of course, is fine—but how do you take it to the next level? Investing in custom branded packaging definitely takes it a step up. And while not everyone can get a camera and video studio, make sure to include some high-value items in your package.
2. Make it Personal
I love when companies make it personal. Whether it’s personalized to me or to my company, it’s nice to see that a new vendor takes the time to think about how to make my team and me feel special. With the Vidyard package I got the great customer poem—that was pretty fun—plus the note was written by hand, which shows me they took the time. I also once got a personalized EverString cookie bouquet from our SEO and PPC agency TopRank, my team and I went crazy over this! Whether it is a hand written note, a photo of the team, or something specific to the company, making it personal is the best way to make your customers feel special.
3. Timing is Everything
The timing of when you send out your customer welcome package is extremely important. You want to make sure that you send it out within weeks of a new customer coming on board. Capitalize on the excitement your customer has about signing up, and make sure you send your package when that excitement is still fresh. I have definitely received customer welcome gifts and cards months after I signed up with a vendor—which has only left me confused and scratching my head.
4. Pick Your Swag Carefully
Remember that whatever you include in your customer welcome package serves as a customer’s first impression of your brand. Do you want your customers to smile and laugh? Do you want to send something that will be useful in their day-to-day? Do you want to send something swanky and fancy? Or do you want your customers to perceive you as hip and cool? Your swag will define you as a brand. I have received all sorts of vendor gifts in my time as a marketer. I have amazing t-shirts that I have kept for years, cool stuff with no purpose that I keep as awesome marketing examples, pens I have lost, stuffed animals I have given to my dog, and useless space-hogging swag that I have thrown away. Choose wisely! Because your customers will remember.
5. Don’t Make it a One and Done
Just because you send out your customer welcome package, doesn’t mean that is the end of your communications with them. Make sure that you have thought through what your communication cadence is with your customers going forward. Sure, your customers have their customer success team, but make sure that you, as a marketer, keep a constant connection. Create a customer nurturing track, start an advocacy program, plan local customer appreciation events. Whatever you decide, make sure that you show your customers constant love. While it is your product that will keep a customer around, it is the fantastic customer service that will turn your customers into life time advocates!
We are currently focusing on creating a killer customer marketing program here at EverString and these are just some of the concepts that I am keeping in mind. What sort of customer appreciation programs have you had success with? What have you enjoyed as a customer yourself?