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July 29, 2022

Wiring prospects to respond: The unique value of an eGift

By Sr. Manager of Customer Education Kelly McNamee

eGift Card

KEY POINTS

  • Understand the innate power of eGifting and the value of our natural reactions.
  • Remove the pain points of traditional corporate eGifts.
  • Discover how real companies are seeing trackable return on investments, like a 345% response rate increase and a 97% increase in revenue.

Human beings are wired to return favors and pay back debts.

Sending and receiving a gift is far more than a physical exchange. It’s one of the few B2B marketing solutions that trigger predictable reactions based on human nature. 

Give a gift. Receive a response. Use that response to spark a conversation.

It’s even easier if you go the eGift route. You can receive the same natural reactions without the need to wrap or ship. 

It’s all about the rule of reciprocation.

The cause and effect of gifting

Eight years ago, before I was the head of customer education for Sendoso, I remember facilitating a sales training in a frigid conference room in Rochester, New York. 

My co-presenter, and now good friend, led a session about the rule of reciprocation. It was genius! It warmed me right up, and it stuck with me in a big way.

The rule of reciprocation states, “Human beings are wired to return favors and pay back debts, basically to treat others as they’ve treated us.” 

I knew the concept would be critical to my success. So I incorporated gifting, using gift ideas that were unique and unexpected, into many of my initiatives.

Studies show gifting works to elicit something more from a customer, a prospect, or even a diner. 

For example, restaurant servers who give two pieces of candy with a delay between the offerings saw a 21% increase in tips according to the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

This observed behavior is why recognizing people at multiple points in your sales or marketing relationship will result in a big impact. A gift creates the pull to reciprocate with a response, a meeting acceptance, a higher likelihood to sign a deal, or a request for a testimonial.

When DIY eGifting fails

Fast forward a few years to just before I joined Sendoso. I was building a customer success program for a legal software company. I was so excited to use eGifting as a way to congratulate 100 newly certified power user customers before asking them to provide testimonials. 

Perfect, right?

Not perfect at all. I had the cringe-worthy experience that anyone trying to do corporate gifting without an automated gifting platform experiences. I found an eGift option available in each of my customers’ countries. I pre-purchased 100 eGift cards. The investment was worrisome considering I didn’t know how many customers would even open my email. 

The tedious work began next. I created a spreadsheet, emailed the recipients to confirm their email addresses and countries, called when I didn’t hear back, and then sent the pre-purchased eGifts out one by one. 

Despite all the work, I couldn’t even determine who engaged with my email. Some went to spam, some bounced, and others were ignored.

Kelly McNamee

Sr. Manager of Customer Education

I spent all of that money upfront, and it was impossible to determine the true return on investment (ROI).

It was so frustrating.

Smart eGifts with trackable ROI

So how could I pass up the opportunity to become a Sendosian? Here was a platform designed to relieve digital marketing pain points, making eGift campaigns realistic and profitable. 

Sendoso customers discover quickly that the positive influence is unmistakable, at a low cost per engagement. 

eGifting ROI success

Sendoso customers know that eGifting is a powerful marketing channel.  Marketing leaders who incorporate eGifting at scale into their overall strategy see big results in meetings booked, deal velocity, marketing qualified leads, and more. 

MachiningCloud, a technology-forward company in the manufacturing industry, used eGifting to retarget customers who abandoned shopping carts on their e-commerce site. A simple nudge with coffee cards achieved impressive results.

Company: MachiningCloud

eGift Use Case: $5 eGift coffee cards

Process: To re-engage shoppers with abandoned online carts

ROI: 345% response rate increase, 97% increase in revenue

Closing enterprise deals with eGifts

eGift Use Case: $5 coffee cards

Process: Paired Sendoso eGifts with a HubSpot sequence to open doors with new prospects

Results: Influenced 83% of closed enterprise deals

Senior Strategy Advisor Jacob Light uses eGifts to nurture his biggest deals. In 2021, five of his six enterprise deals were influenced by eGift offers. 

Before using Sendoso, Light purchased gift cards to engage prospective customers. The campaign worked, but the manual process took hours.

“Each person on my team would send 20 to 40 handwritten cards per week,” explained Light. 

And over the past two years with Sendoso, we’ve been able to send 200 to 300 eGift offers per team member per week.

Jacob Light

Senior Strategy Advisor

The process is automated with Sendoso and a multiweek HubSpot automated sequence.

Light’s goal is to get responses, which determines which prospects can be moved forward. One decision-maker even admitted to responding because of the uniqueness of his eGift offer. 

Another win is the cost.

Light doesn’t worry about paying for eGift offers sent to bounced email addresses with Sendoso. The cost of investing used to be more problematic. He used to be on the hook for the pre-purchased gift cards, even if his prospects didn’t open his mail.  

Finding value in digital marketing

All the experts agree that digital gifts raise brand awareness and make a connection.

Take it from MachiningCloud Director of Sales and Marketing Matthew Nicholson, who used Sendoso eGifts to turn $1 million in revenue per year into $36 million in record time.  

“I don’t think you can just engage with coffee on day one and expect that $5 coffee is going to close the deal right away. But if you’re smart about how you engage those users, you can cut your timeframe down significantly,” said Nicholson.

Building customer loyalty with eGifts

eGift: $5–$250

Process: Referral campaign using Sendoso eGifts as a thank you

Results: Product Feedback Campaign: 20 testimonials

Valentine’s Day Campaign: 248 testimonials

The value of eGifts goes beyond prospects. Customer Marketing Manager Jessica Michell successfully uses eGifts through Sendoso to reward customers

“Advocacy is about surprising and delighting,” says Michell. “So I love knowing if an eGift hits spam or wasn’t opened, that we are refunded in those instances.”

I love using Sendoso Choice to ensure that my customers are able to redeem a gift card that they’ll enjoy.

Jessica Michell

Customer Marketing Manager

“There’s nothing worse than trying to surprise and delight an advocate and missing the mark because you’ve accidentally sent something that they won’t like.”

She used to send pre-purchased $150 Amazon gift cards to reward and thank customers who successfully submitted a referral. The process took hours, and she knew there had to be a better way.

With Sendoso the same process now takes 10–15 minutes. 

Michell ties her eGift campaign goals to her department goals. Digital outreach influences testimonials, referrals, product feedback, and G2 reviews. She loves that eGift campaigns can be automated and generate a quick response. A recent product referral campaign using an eGift as a thank you provided her with 20 testimonials. 

She also ran a coffee eGift campaign last Valentine’s Day where she asked customers to share their love for the organization by telling what they love about the product, which resulted in 248 quotes in less than 24 hours.

About the writer: Kelly McNamee is the senior manager of customer education at Sendoso, where her team increases adoption and ROI through lifecycle training and Sendoso University. Over the past 10 years, she has launched customer success, marketing, and education programs for several tech companies.  

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