At special times of the year, advisors want to thank clients for their business.

In an effort to be egalitarian, many advisors spend thousands of dollars mailing calendars, greeting cards and fridge magnets to clients.

But you can spend less and be more effective. The money saved can be splurged on your A-list clients.

Low impact, high cost

Many clients immediately trash promotional fridge magnets and calendars. In Calgary and Vancouver, it can cost $915 for 500 wall calendars and $345 for 500 fridge magnets. In Nova Scotia, 500 calendars can cost $665 and 500 magnets run for $165.

That’s a lot of dosh for something that ends up in the dustbin.

Low cost, high impact

Instead, buy your clients their morning coffees.

Starbucks sells e-cards that can be purchased in denominations as low as $5. Clients print them, and you save the postage costs.

The gift cards are sent from a Starbucks email account, and you can write personalized messages to accompany them. (You can also send e-cards from your own account.) You pay for all cards you buy, regardless if clients use them.

For your rural clients, check if there are any Starbucks locations nearby before sending. Other chains don’t offer the e-card option, but if your clients prefer Timothy’s, Tim Hortons or Second Cup, hook them up—Second Cup offers a 2% discount on orders of $10,000 or more. If your clients don’t drink coffee, you just handed them the easiest re-gift in the world.

Some people aren’t partial to chains, so consider distributing coupons for free coffee and muffins from a local café to area clients. You’ll have to make arrangements with that business, but you’ll be supporting a home-grown operation and raising your visibility in the area.


High cost, high impact

If you don’t have to worry about regulatory restrictions on gifting, furnish your top clients with high-end coffee makers or espresso machines.

Keurig’s Platinum Plus coffee system is one of the most popular machines on the market, and costs less than $200. With five cup options and dozens of flavour varieties available, there’s something for every taste. The system’s sold at major national retailers.

Faema’s espresso and espresso-cappuccino machines, considered the best in the industry, cost between $1,500 and $3,300. The company has two retail locations in Ontario.

Lisa MacColl is an Ontario-based financial writer.