Corporate Gifting Overview

What is Corporate Gifting?

Corporate gifting is the practice of creating a touchpoint with employees, clients, or prospects by sending a gift – whether giving a physical item such as a practical swag piece, an edible treat, or personalized clothing item, or via a non-physical gift such as an eGift card or an experience (such as airfare or concert tickets). These gifts may be meant to drive response (as with a prospecting gift), reward behaviors (like a gift for making a purchase, referring a friend, or completing a download when researching product or service.  

Why is Corporate Gifting Important?

Corporate gifting is a valuable component of your overall customer acquisition and employee retention programs. The strong psychological motivation behind corporate gifting can move the needle for any of the above-mentioned applications, making potential customers more inclined to respond to the prospecting process, employees feel more engaged and connected to their company, and customers become more loyal to your brand and products. 

Corporate Gifting Statistics 

With 81% of people reading their mail daily, and 75% at least scanning their direct mail, the importance of corporate gifting becomes clear. These campaigns are over 20% more likely to drive top-ranking results, and 40% more likely to drive acquisition than campaigns that skip the direct mail approach.

Trends in Corporate Gifting

Trends suggest that corporate gifting practices will continue to grow in the new decade, with better personalization and automation efforts becoming high-priority in order to deliver up to 10x returns. And more departments will begin to utilize gifting and automation outside of the traditional sales and marketing users. Learn more about the importance of corporate gifting here.

Corporate Gifting Types 

Corporate gifting is beneficial for many internal and external applications, owing to its unique power of creating genuine, meaningful connections between the sender and the recipient. The same motivators that make a gift perfect for marketing and prospecting purposes, also make it a powerful tool for connecting with employees to celebrate their success, improve retention, and show recognition for new achievements and roles.

Marketing Gifts 

 Marketing gifts are a great way to forge a connection with your audience, far beyond what can be accomplished with banner ads or emails. With any marketer or competitor having the ability to reach out (even daily) to your customers and prospects, it’s never been more important to go above and beyond to make an impression with meaningful gifts such as:

  • Thank you gifts for attending an event.
  • eGifts for downloading a piece of content. 
  • Marketing swag as gifts throughout the buyer journey
  • Referral gifts for customers who share your product or service with friends. 

The success of direct mail in this effort is clear, which is why 93% of marketers have at least considered using direct mail to reach out to their target customers or accounts. The results can be seen in better connection, response, and conversion from your recipients.

When sending marketing gifts, it also helps to pay attention to the industry or company type(s) you’ll be addressing with your send. For instance, personalizing by industry with some useful, nicely branded and unexpected goods can reap rewards (read: not a notebook or a koozie). You can also tailor your sends depending on whether your target is an SMB or an enterprise client, whether they are B2B or B2C, or even in a specialized field such as real estate or healthcare. Personalizing in this way can ramp up your response and your revenues over the long haul. 

For sending ideas tailored to each of the industries and specialties listed above, check out more information by following this link.

Sales Prospecting Gifts

Using gifts to improve the results of your sales prospecting can be extremely impactful. In fact, Hubspot reports that 72% of companies with less than 50 new opps per month didn’t achieve their revenue goals, compared to 15% with 51 to 100 new opps and just 4% for companies with 101 to 200 new opps. This type of touchpoint, when used correctly and effectively, can push both your inbound and outbound sales prospecting by presenting prospects an alternative to the overwhelm of emails and calls. (Even a simple handwritten note can be used to make a great impression). The effect of gifting is tied up in strong psychological motivators like the Endowment Effect, that can influence decisions toward reciprocity (business) that exceeds the value of the actual item given. 

A sales prospecting gift worked into the customer journey can improve outcomes even when giving a token gift such as a gift card for, say, coffee or a free lunch. They solidify the connection begun when the prospect sought you out. 

Some great ideas for these types of gifts include: 

  • A small, personalized item to make a connection or thank a new lead for their time.
  • A coffee eGift card as a nice touch to accompany a call or a meeting.
  • A swag item to strengthen the bond before or after a demo. 
  • A welcome package with a branded gift once a buyer closes a first sale.
  • A renewal gift to thank a repeat customer for their continued patronage. 

Personalization plays an important role in how the customer or prospect receives your gift. Personalizing based on their company, industry, role, region, or personal/professional interests can show that you’ve invested the time in getting to know them and showing their patronage has value beyond the bottom line. 

If you’re interested in learning how to personalize your gifts, and get some great ideas for your next send, check out more information and tips here. 

Corporate Gifts for Clients

Beyond prospecting, gifting for clients is an excellent way to improve your communication and connection with your most valuable source of new revenue – your current customers. Engaged, valued clients both become repeat customers, and an even go on to become brand evangelists, spreading the word about the value of your product or service. The investment in gifting is minimal compared to its impact on your pipeline and revenues when considering this potential expansive effect.

It’s important to employ best practices when creating a corporate gifting program for your clients, including:

1.   Starting with the goal and outcomes in mind

2.  Creating a budget that is both large enough to be impactful, without drawing potential ROI out of your efforts. This will depend on the above-mentioned goals for your campaign.

3.  Good personalization efforts, that deliver maximum connection for your recipient and drive response.

4.  Good automation and branding, that make great items easy to send and attractive to receive

These corporate gifts can be virtually anything, from live plants, to swag boxes, to sweets and indulgent treats. Even experiences and tickets make great gifts to show your clients how much their business means to you. If you’d like to learn more about great sends and how to make them happen, check out more information here.

Personalized Gifts for Customers 

Personalization is about the most important aspect of any send, whether to a customer, client, prospect, or employee. For customers, it shows that you both value their business, and that you take an interest in them as an individual (a powerful message in the age of pray-and-spray marketing tactics). Taking the time to personalize a gift based on their professional interests and affiliations, the products they use, or personal interests such as pets, sports, hobbies, alma mater and more can create a strong connection that resonates (and pays returns) for years to come. 

These gifts don’t have to be just holiday sends: The fact is, there are many places through the customer journey that are perfect for making the connection through a handsomely packaged, well-personalized gift. For instance, sending something small during event registrations, in welcome packages, at renewals and milestones, for referrals or support follow-ups, and even “just because” can have a strong psychological impact.  These gifts can be digital (such as eGift cards based on their interests), tangible (like tumblers, swag bags, and wellness kits), or even experience gifts like tickets to their favorite show. 

For more info on nailing the perfect send for your customer, check out our full list of perfect occasions and send ideas here.

Corporate Gifts for Employees

Making an employee feel welcomed or valued is one of the first and best ways to ensure you enjoy a long, happy working relationship together. Unengaged employees don’t put their best foot forward, internally or in their interaction with customers and the wider world. Salary increases aren’t always the solution, either. A well-personalized gift can convey that you recognize and appreciate them on a personal level, both as hard-working employees and as individuals. 

These gifts can help mark important occasions, such as personal milestones (baby or adoption, new house, new pet, or earning a degree), or professional milestones like years of service or a promotion. They can also be incentives or rewards for reaching a department or personal goal, earning a SPIFF, winning a contest, or recognizing someone in your organization who routinely goes the extra mile. 

To get a complete guide to gifting for your best employees, check out all our tips and send ideas by following this link.

Unique Corporate Gift Ideas 

Run-of-the-mill gifts get run-of-the-mill results. If you want to break out of the noise of digital and direct advertising, sometimes you have to go the extra mile in creating a unique and exciting experience for your recipient. 

The first step, of course, is good personalization. Ninety-six percent of digital marketers say that personalization advances customer relationships, and since recipients love receiving these items so much, they respond over 5x more often than the nearest direct marketing tactic, email. 

There are many ways to make a splash with your send: 

  • Unique items, such as VR headsets, fun office and desk items, old-school nostalgic items like Polaroid cameras, or even an office-ready hammock! 
  • Branded items like coffee kits, luggage tags for the traveler, swag boxes to help your customer hit the beach or have a movie night. 
  • Digital items like the gift of Spotify, an eGift card for their favorite coffee fix, or a charitable gift made in their name.

Getting great information about your recipient from conversations you’ve had, connections you have in common,, web presence (blogs and presentations are great sources of info), or through their LinkedIn profile can kick off a unique and personalized send that lets them know you value their business and their individuality. Plus, they’ll never forget opening that perfectly personalized, unexpected gift (instead of the 200th branded notebook they received at a conference). 

For more unique ideas that will be sure to leave a great impression, check out the guide here. 

Corporate Gifting Laws 

While giving a gift wouldn’t seem to require the lawyers to get involved, the truth of the matter is there are many instances in which a gift may not be accepted by a customer or client for one or more reasons. For this reason, it’s important to get a clear understanding of the common practices and laws surrounding gifting. With a little know-how on the customs and laws, you can be sure your gift will be compliant and appreciated. 

Sometimes, a specific law may prevent a recipient from accepting a gift (even something as benign as picking up the tab at lunch. For instance, the SEC establishes rules around the subject of gift-giving. Also, certain government entities and contractors are prohibited from accepting gifts in the course of their duties. 

Beyond the strict letter of the law, any organizations have company policies on which items can be accepted and of what value. When planning a campaign, be sure to check in with both your own HR department and any potentially impacted recipients, to better understand what items they are allowed to accept and of what monetary value. 

Being sure to keep gifts reasonable and within the law is the easiest way to ensure your gift can be accepted and appreciated. For full information on the laws and customs around gift-giving, check out our full report here.

Corporate Gifting Platform

The use of a software solution like a Sending Platform can have considerable impact on both the ability to send at scale, and the outcomes of your campaigns. This is because the intensive manual aspects of gifting are much better addressed through an integrated, organized solution that takes the physical work out of sending and provides excellent tracking and reporting functions for your campaigns. 

There are several considerations when selecting a platform for corporate gifting that can greatly improve your experience, and ensure your investment is being met with the best possible returns. For more information on selecting the best gifting platform for your needs, information on due diligence tips and tricks can be found here.

No matter who your recipient is or what occasion you’re celebrating, there is always a perfect gift to send, and an optimal way to make all your sends happen on time, on budget, and with maximum impact. If you’d like to learn more about the power of a Sending Platform to transform your corporate gifting programs, reach out to learn more with a live demo. 

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