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May 6, 2022

Your definitive guide to gift giving

By Morgan Harris

Definitive Guide to Gifting

KEY POINTS

  • 7 tips on how to get better at giving gifts
  • When should you send gifts?
  • How to send gifts that support social causes and values

Many people consider themselves to be bad gift givers.

While we could easily be talking about the gift giving experiences in our personal lives, the feeling carries over to the professional world. B2B organizations want to send meaningful gifts to prospects, customers, and employees that make an impact. But that requires spending precious time and resources searching for that perfect corporate gift, packaging it, slapping a delivery label on it, and crossing fingers that it arrives intact.

And all too often, that gift arrives late, falls flat – or both!

7 tips on how to get better at giving gifts

Corporate gifting shouldn’t be a cause for anxiety. The greatest hack on how to get better at giving gifts is to use a Sending Platform, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that lets your sales, marketing, customer experience (CX), and HR teams easily deliver corporate gifts to whomever, and practically wherever.

But behind the automation, software integrations, warehouse and supply chain logistics, and customer-first culture, the secret to making corporate gifting work with a click of a button: our Send Curation team.

1. The Send Curation team: in-house gift giving experts

There is an art of gift giving, and just as some people are experts at sales, marketing, or the customer experience, other people spend time learning how to be the best gift givers.

And those are the people I hire for my Send Curation team. My gift giving experts know how to find the thoughtful, useful, and unique gift ideas that are regularly added to Sendoso’s gift options.

You don’t have to spend time searching for the perfect gift for your customers or employees. Tap into Sendoso’s Send Curation team to help you with gift ideation, sourcing, and project management for direct mail campaigns, employee appreciation, or for cold-call pitches for your sales teams.

They can also ramp up your engagement efforts by developing fun, eye-catching campaigns and corporate gifting strategies that build connections, support causes, and generate high return-on-investments (ROI).

The art of gift giving in action

The Send Curation team specializes in:

  • Sourcing unique, on-trend, and custom gift ideas
  • Providing concierge services that find and manage vendor relationships from a select and closed vendor network
  • Offering guidance on how to create a “wow” unboxing gift experience
  • Providing insight into corporate gifting trends
  • Serving as your project management team for sourcing custom gifts, packaging, and insert cards
  • Sourcing branded notecards
  • And if you’re in marketing or sales, finding creative and personalized gift ideas based on your target audience, campaign objectives, sale pitch needs, or other metrics

The art of gift giving is a honed skill. Here are some examples of it in action.

2. Use gift giving etiquette

Gift giving etiquette is extremely important in the corporate world, so much so that even etiquette guru Emily Post weighs in on the dos and don’ts of corporate gifting. The Send Curation team is up-to-date with all the latest modern gift giving etiquette to ensure your giving strategy doesn’t cross an unseen gift etiquette line.

This can be as simple as suggesting an appropriate monetary amount based on the depth of your business relationship, or helping you keep your gift within known gifting compliance rules.

In addition, the Send Curation team can find the best gift ideas and work with sales, marketing, CX, and HR teams to develop gifting strategies to help you stand out, turn prospects into customers, customers into brand advocates, and employees into organizational champions.

3. Give useful gifts

A recent study found that there is a disconnect in gifting, with the gift giver focusing on the moment of exchange – that wow moment – while the recipient is looking for gifts that bring them value after they are owned – in other words, gifts that are useful. The Send Curation team can brainstorm “sends,” Sendoso’s term for gifts, that your customers will actually use. When you personalize the useful gift and add your branding, you will be top of mind each time your customer uses your thoughtful gift.

Examples of useful gifts

Branded apparel is always a good choice for useful gifts. After all, everyone needs to wear clothes! With Sendoso’s Swag Closet, we can even handle the storage of your branded swag and ensure that your customer gets the style they like in the right size.

Other useful gifts include drinkware, tech gadgets, travel bags, and specialty food like the 4-Pack Cake Doughnut (you read that right!) Variety Pack from The Dough Factory – because everyone also needs to eat.

4. Give meaningful gifts

The gifts you send are also a reflection on how well you know the recipient and their company. Elevate your gift giving by sending meaningful gifts that show the connection you have. If their company is a strong supporter of the environment and green initiatives, send them environmentally-friendly meaningful gifts like a Soma Glass Straws with Traveling Case or a succulent plant from LuLa’s Garden. To make your meaningful gift even more impactful, the Send Curation team can help with eco-friendly packaging.

Definitive guide to gift giving. Giving a plant.

No matter what cause your customer champions, there is a gift that connects to that cause that they would be happy to receive.

5. Give thoughtful gifts

Thoughtful gifts also reflect how well you know your customer or employee. Thoughtful gifts can be sent to celebrate personal and professional milestones, like when your customer lands a big client, closes a large deal, or launches a new product.

Examples of thoughtful gifts

A bottle of Champagne or a Vices Whiskey Poet gift box, which includes a single malt whiskey, spirits decanter, and glasses, sent along with a personal message is an excellent, thoughtful gift to honor big events, or to celebrate work anniversaries.

You could tie your thoughtful gift to an invitation or experience. If they are avid golfers, send them golf balls and tees along with a note inviting them out for a round to celebrate their one-year anniversary of being your customer. This shows you not only know them and what they enjoy, but that you value the relationship because you recognized a big milestone.

6. Give the gift of an experience

Make connections with your customers by giving the gift of an experience. People remember experiences, especially in today’s post-pandemic environment where people are interested in trying something different and new. Gifts of experiences are mostly done virtually through Zoom or other video platforms, which can bring people spread across locations together.

Gift giving ideas that are experiences can include things like hosting a virtual happy hour, complete with a cocktail-making kit.

Or setting up a Cinco de Mayo Beer Experience, where a host shares the history of brewing south of the border while attendees sample four craft Mexican beers. You could also give the gift of bourbon, whiskey, or tequila tasting, or go with a non-alcoholic chocolate tasting experience.

7. What to write when giving a gift

Guide to gifting: handwritten notes

The Send Curation team has helped you build your sending strategy and source your perfect gifts. Be sure to drive your point home with a personalized message that brings it all together. Your messaging in the form of a handwritten note is an important aspect of being a great gift giver.

Not sure what to write when you give your gift? Tie it to your campaign theme, an occasion, or something that came up in conversation. And if you need some inspiration, our Send Curation team can help with messaging too. They come up with clever puns, standout messages, and more all the time – all you have to do is select the one you like!

If you’d like to write the message yourself and would just like some inspiration, there are several resources for developing fun messaging, including 15 May puns or June puns for summer ABM campaigns.

When should you send gifts?

Typically, holidays are great touchpoints to check in with prospects, clients, and employees. And there are a lot of holidays. Depending on your company’s size, campaign initiatives, or employee engagement plans, you can build a gifting strategy around the targeted holidays that make the most sense for your organization.

Planning your gifts in advance will help create opportunities to make connections through thoughtful and meaningful corporate gifts.

List of gift-giving holidays 2022

Sending Calendar - January

Using holidays to build a gifting strategy around is a great start. Think Champagne with flutes for New Year’s Eve, customized Fortune Cookies for Chinese New Year, a stress reliever football for the Super Bowl – you get the picture!

While not an all-inclusive list of gift-giving holidays, here is a list of gift giving holidays to get you started. And remember, don’t overlook the impact of sending a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, or branded dog swag on National Dog Day to your dog-loving client…it shows you care about your business relationship!

  1. New Year’s
  2. Chinese New Year
  3. Super Bowl
  4. Valentine’s Day
  5. Employee Appreciation Day
  6. March Madness
  7. National Sending Day
  8. St. Patrick’s Day
  9. Customer Appreciation Day
  10. Spring
  11. Earth Day
  12. Summer
  13. Independence Day
  14. National Dog Day
  15. Fall
  16. Halloween
  17. Thanksgiving
  18. Hanukkah
  19. Christmas
  20. Kwanzaa

Outside of holidays, sending gifts “just because” is another great way to build a relationship and standout with your recipient. Sometimes having no reason or agenda makes your gift land better.

How to gift by values

Being an excellent gift giver can include showing you support your recipient’s values. Some clients might work at organizations who are investing heavily in eco conscious and sustainability efforts. Others might be at women owned businesses, and would value a gift that gives back to supporting women in other countries.

Image of gifting icons that support social causes

Whatever the value, when you’re ready to start your gifting campaign for employees or prospects, you can select curated gift ideas that already support causes and values they would appreciate. Some values a gift can support include:

  • Women owned businesses
  • Minority owned or Black owned businesses
  • Businesses that donate a percentage of theirs ales
  • Businesses that plant trees with purchases
  • Businesses that ethically source their goods
  • Businesses that are eco conscious
  • Small businesses
  • Businesses that give back

Examples of gift ideas for values

Our Send Curation team works closely with small businesses, minority owned vendor partners, and companies that have a cause. They’ve already vetted, sourced, and quality checked hundreds of vendors, and can guide you to those choices to bring additional meaning to your corporate gift giving. Check out just a few options available:

  • Cup of Sunshine Tea Bags – supports a women-owned business
  • Wildflower Honey with Lemon – supports a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and women-owned business
  • Smart Accordion Lamp – supports a AAPI-owned (Asian American, Pacific Islander) business
  • License to Grill – supports a small business
  • Goldbelly – One of our most recent vendor partners, Goldbelly partners with local restaurants across the United States to create food gift boxes and meal kits

There are 31.7 million small businesses in the United State and approximately 17.7% are minority-owned. Small businesses form the backbone of the American economy – and they create really unique products!

By supporting and creating a diverse vendor community, we can provide you access to standout gifts that make you look like an expert gift giver in no time.

Curators of custom gift ideas

Image of custom gift of hot sauce in a box

Our Send Curation team is always out there looking for unique and exciting items to power your engagement efforts in new ways. Lean on the gifting experts on our Send Curation team to help you make connections, build relationships, and stand out. If you’d like more gift ideas to help you become an expert gift giver, check out our 167 Gift Idea Look Book for additional inspiration.

For more information about the Send Curation team and their capabilities, check out this webinar, or take the Sendoso sending platform for a spin to see what we can do for your engagement strategy. 

About the author: Morgan Harris is the Senior Manager of Send Curation & Supply Planning. She is a beach bum turned dessert gal–and loves it! Originally from Orange County, CA, she now resides in Phoenix, AZ where she is devoted to her cute golden retriever named Theo. She started at Sendoso as an Enterprise Onboarding Specialist where she was charged with many enterprise accounts–making them feel welcome, confident, and satisfied with their Sendoso experience.

Her happy customers and expertise has led her to be a keystone within Sendoso. As the head of the Send Curation team, aka Sendoso’s in-house “gift experts,” her team meets the difficult challenge of producing creativity for all gifting scenarios. Her team manages everything from supply planning, partnerships, curating our diverse gift marketplace, and seeking vendors aligned with the latest trends, charities, and values, such as being woman-owned, minority-owned, and eco-conscious, to name a few.

When she is not leading her team to create clever puns, standout dooropeners, and high-quality gift ideas, she makes time for fitness, good food, and traveling.

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