I have talked a lot about keeping your customers happy, and ways to increase customer loyalty. As you are implementing those ideas, your newer customers will happily be on the receiving end of positive business changes. But what about your already loyal customers, who have been with you for so long? This is the perfect time of year to thank them for staying with you. Do not worry – it does not have to break the bank!

1. Buy one (or two), get one free

Giving free items to reward multiple purchases is a great way to encourage repeat buying. Obviously you cannot do this too often – people will wonder why you are giving away your product, and if there is something wrong with it.

2. Offer early access to products or services

Rolling out a new line of products or services? Or perhaps you have a new app or website? Why not invite your loyal customers to give it a try! They are an ideal test market, and can help you fix any issues. This will also give them a sense of ownership over the product, likely to result in bigger sales later on, as well as word-of-mouth recommendations.

3. Offer free shipping

No matter how cheap shipping costs are, free shipping always catches my eye. You could also offer free shipping on 2+ items, which encourages repeat buying. This is a great idea for online stores during the slower months, especially January.

4. Cumulative discounts

Give discounts to customers that add up the more they spend. For example, spend $100, receive 10 percent off their next purchase; spend $200, receive 20 percent off. Offer for a limited time to encourage participation, and make sure to promote this reward on all platforms.

5. Reward introductions or referrals

Loyal customers are your best guerilla marketers. People love to be the first to know about a service, or tell their friends where they found that amazing product. Capitalize on this by offering personalized links: every time someone makes a purchase using their code, give your customer a discount or free gift.

6. Send a thank you note

Customers like to feel valued, and one of the best ways to do this is sending a personalized thank you. I encourage you to send actual letters, but if you would prefer to send an email, make it fun! Mention the milestones your company has accomplished through their direct support, and the goals you are setting for the next year.

6 ½. Remember their birthday

Sending a personalized email on their birthday really shows you care. Including a 5-10 percent discount in that email makes the aging process a little sweeter.

7. Wine ‘em and dine ‘em

Smaller businesses cannot take all of their customers out for a night on the town – but what about throwing an event for them at your place, or a rented space near the office? Supply live music and appetizers, have a wine and cheese night, or maybe host a free yoga class. Clients will be excited to meet the people behind the services – just be sure to limit the RSVP numbers appropriately.

7 ½. Introduce yourself – throw them a party!

Piggybacking onto the above idea, why not invite loyal customers into your shop to see what happens behind the scenes, or important lessons you have learned? If you have a coffee shop, take them through the coffee roasting process; if you have an online shop, maybe host a lecture on how you source your goods, or invite one of the artists in to talk about their work. Get creative – and do not forget to provide a few snacks.

8. Spotlight your customers

Highlight loyal customers in your newsletter or via social media. If you have space, include a small caption with where they live, interests, and their favorite product of yours. Not only is it flattering, your other customers will feel a greater sense of community when you put faces and stories to their peers.

9. Give some swag

Free t-shirts are the best! Design good-looking t-shirts, tote bags, or even coozies, and your customers will clamor for more. The sky is the limit in terms of what items you can personalize. Think outside the box!

10. Create a loyalty rewards program

I saved the best, and most obvious, for last. Inviting your most loyal customers into a VIP program makes them feel special. Everyone loves the red carpet treatment, which is why these programs are so popular. Your rewards program does not have to be complex: it could be as simple as offering an annual discount on their anniversary.