This week, I received a question from an awesome small business owner in Henderson, Nevada. He is wanting to show some extra customer appreciation! However, that can sometimes be hard when you’re on a budget. Even just coming up with creative customer appreciation ideas can be difficult. Here’s his question:


“My name is Luke and I own a small business in Henderson, Nevada. I want to do some more customer appreciation programs and incentives, but it’s hard because we don’t have very much extra spending money. Do you have any ideas that customers will like, without breaking the bank?”


This is a common concern for small business owners, because they want to recognize and thank their customers, but money is an issue. I have some tips for things you can do that will help you thank and recognize your customers on a budget!


Send a Letter or Email

Engaging with your customers is cheap, easy and effective. If there’s a major holiday coming up, don’t be afraid to add your loyal customers to your list of holiday card recipients! If you don’t have the time to send out physical cards, send out an email. Chances are, people will look more closely at that anyway. You can never go wrong spreading a little kindness to your customers.


Start a Loyalty Program

If you run a business that has a need for customers to return more than once (which, let’s be honest, most do), then you might want to consider starting a loyalty program. Let your customers know you appreciate each and every time they come to your business by offering a little something extra. This doesn’t need to be expensive – you could offer a point for each dollar spent, and a percentage off when they reach a certain amount of points. Be creative!


Free Food!

Everyone loves free food. If you have a storefront, why not leave some doughnuts or cookies out on the counter for customers to grab as they come in for a service. They will appreciate the gesture, and it won’t be a big ding to your pocketbook. This one is really simple and cheap, and honestly, can be a crowd favorite.


Offer Coupons & Giveaways

When you engage with your customers, consider letting them in on a coupon or deal you will be running. If you are able to do some sort of giveaway, either for a free service or just a percentage or dollar amount off a service, do it! Your customers will be happy to have you engage with them, and everyone loves to save money.


There are so many possible ways to show appreciation to your customers without hurting your business financially. Don’t be afraid to get creative and show your customers the love!

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!