I ordered a chair from Office Depot a few weeks ago and kindof was complaining about how it wasn't going to be delivered for weeks instead of days and then *POOF* it showed up even though online it still said delivery was scheduled for weeks later. And they kindof are annoying sending me an email every 3-4 days, but it always includes a $xx off $xxx purchase coupon, so I save them.

Just now, the UPS truck pulls up, driver hands me a package from Office Depot. Now I do a lot of shopping online, particularly lately but I really don't remember buying anything from Office Depot. I open it up and it's their complete catalog, a voucher for $10 off $50 (not bad, I can usually manage to spend $50 easily!) AND a desksize business card holder folder. Not a cheap one either, it's simliar to this one:

and holds about 100 cards AND (this is important) it has Office Depot embossed on the cover. I have problems remembering if I have shopped at Office Depot or Office MAX and guess what, I now have something on my desk that will remind me, plus I feel good that they sent this too me out of the blue!

This is a lesson for MERCHANTS, get your customers attention by sending them something they can USE that they don't EXPECT that has your BRAND on it

A lesson for affiliates, if you have a loyal customer base that shares address info with you, try to do something similar, if it is in your budget. And maybe do it year round and NOT just at holiday time. It's an attention grabber and I know now that as a customer I am going to be shopping online at Office Depot before Office Max or Circuit City and of course before Staples (because of how they treat affiliates).

And to clarify, the chair was purchased with a $xx off coupon and was under $200, so we are not talking being rewarded for an expensive purchase here. Circuit City has gotten LOTS of my big dollars for electronics purchases in the past (not online, but they STILL have all my contact info) and I haven't ever gotten anything from them except a letter to renew my service contracts!