Corporate Gifting Platform
What is a Corporate Gifting Platform?
A corporate gifting platform is an automated system for selecting, storing, packing, and shipping corporate gifts and custom swag items to customers, clients, employees, or prospects. The platform not only helps senders get items out the door, it automatically tracks shipping, receipt, and responses, and provides valuable reporting tools for understanding the impact and ROI on your campaigns.
Old-school gifting is certainly effective, but the multiple processes involved in getting a campaign from strategy to delivery require a near-prohibitive time investment, and require a staff member to monitor, track, and manually report on the success of items sent. This time investment costs money in terms of man-hours, and bogs down your sales or marketing teams in manual processes that take them away from their main objective: making connections, and sales. Calculating these human capital costs into your campaigns reveals the real value in moving to an automated solution.
Corporate Gifting Benefits You Need to Know
Beyond ease of use and ROI, there are several elements of a corporate gifting platform that make it the ideal solution for companies and teams that want to make an impact on their prospects and clients—without having an impact on their productivity and bottom line.
The most prominent feature and benefit of a corporate gifting platform is the automation— the ability to select, pack, personalize, ship, and track items with little to know manual work or data input. The best sending platforms allow users (whether individuals or teams) to create a campaign that runs from start to finish with the least amount of input. This could be a simple, triggered sending campaign, where an end-user action prompts the automation software to send a specific item (for instance, an eGift coffee card as a thank you for scheduling a discovery call) or a fully personalized send, where the gift is selected based on the recipients’ preferences in mind, then automated for delivery and response tracking. All of these options are made possible through CRM integration that removes the manual processes from the equation, including time-intensive elements such as shipping and tracking.
Scalability is one of the most attractive features of using a corporate gifting platform. Virtually every company, from SMBs to large, multi-departmental enterprise clients, can take advantage of the power of sending through corporate gifting companies. Plus, because of the powerful data and CRM integrations mentioned above, these campaigns can focus on just a few high-value recipients, a larger campaign of tiered customers or prospects, or even fully-automated, triggered sends to every prospect that enters a certain stage of your pipeline. This scalability allows teams to create genuine feelings of connection, even when interacting with a large pool of recipients.
3. Personalization / Customer Experience
The key to making an impact with a direct mail send or a corporate gift is in making the recipient feel like the gift was given with their specific needs and preferences in mind. Using the data already available in your CRM or with the help of preferences expressed on social media, the recipient can enjoy a gift sent “just for them,” which creates stronger connections than a non-personalized swag or gift item. The options are virtually limitless: personalized, practical gifts like drink tumblers, special interest items like team-branded clothing or pet-friendly toys and treats, “milestone” items such as baby or housewarming gifts, edible treats and craft spirits, and even experience gifts such as airfare, concert tickets, and more.
4. Buyer’s Journey
The best gift in the world is only effective if you can see and measure its impact on the recipient. With automation, you can be sure gifts reach their intended recipients, track the response to those items, and understand the outcome that gift had on the buying or service decisions on one or more recipients. These gift reports can help parse data, understanding better what factors motivated action and moved the needle. This access to visualization can inform and improve future campaigns, creating better opportunities to connect with your audience and close deals.
5. Budget Control
Budgeting can be one of the most challenging parts of the sending process, as many components go into the overall effectiveness and cost of a campaign. With the power to send virtually any item (including sending directly through outlets like Amazon), pre-selected budget parameters can ensure that your campaign keeps the bottom line and ROI at the forefront. The ability to set granular budget parameters empowers your senders with the freedom of choice, without concerns about overshooting the mark.
How to Choose a Corporate Gifting Platform
When choosing the right program for your business, it’s important to understand the full capabilities of an automated sending platform, and how those capabilities fit into your sending needs and campaign plans. With an expanding field of providers, conducting due diligence with the below best practices can ensure you select a provider who can offer the right range of capabilities while preserving your investment value.
Some areas to explore when evaluating providers may include:
Corporate Gifting Use Cases
Understanding the common applications of the service and expected outcomes is a great way to visualize how your company will benefit. Case studies are an excellent way to better understand the sending platform’s potential impact, so look for a solution that features this valuable information.
Understanding how effective your chosen platform is throughout the funnel is important as well. Each platform may be effective in a particular step of the customer journey (for instance, top-of-funnel applications); the very best platforms enable high-ROI sending at every stage of the lifecycle from lead to close and beyond.
Corporate Gifting Services
The range of services should include not just packaging and shipping, but a full-service suite of sourcing, logistics, and reporting features that can reduce the overall in-house workload of your campaigns from sourcing to analysis. Also, it’s important to understand the “service after the send,” and that company’s commitment to good customer service and speedy resolution of potential concerns.
Gifting Platform Integrations
The ability to integrate into existing CRM or marketing automation systems is essential to the smooth operation of a sending platform. A provider should be able to offer support and seamless integration, closing the loop for data in both directions.
Being able to work within a native workflow and familiar CRM or marketing automation platform is important for adoption by your users and teams, for executing integrated campaigns by adding sending to your current workflows, and for measuring the return of your campaigns.
Warehouse Fulfillment Capabilities
One of the struggles of manual sending is the necessity of keeping all your swag items and stock in-house. A platform with warehousing and offsite fulfillment capabilities alleviates that issue, freeing up real estate within the office, and entrusting the packing and tracking to a qualified staff of fulfillment experts. The best platforms can also offer customization options in their fulfillment, such as hand-written notes and personal touches like branded packaging and high-quality materials such as crinkle paper.
Gift options are another component of the service value proposition— after all, there are a world of options out there from which to select. Look for a platform that allows you to choose from a wide range of options including edible treats, spirits, eGifts, experience tickets, and tangible gifts. Not every platform supports every type of gift, so be sure to select an option that gives you as much freedom of choice as possible.
The ways you send are just as important as what you send. Your engagement can be digital (such as downloads with an accompanying eGift card), or physical (such as a printed informational packet or a box full of personalized goodies and celebratory packaging). It can also be a one-to-one touchpoint (sending a personalized, high-value item to one of your “big fish” prospects), or one-to-many (such as a thank you gift for any number of conference attendees as a follow up to the event). The types of campaigns you intend to send will bear consideration as you select a platform.
Making each gift feel personal is one of the most important aspects of direct mail and corporate gifting. Be sure to entrust your campaigns to a platform that offers plenty of personalization options— from the types of items available to send (including perishable, alcoholic, and non-tangible sends like eGift cards), to the above-mentioned touches like package branding, custom filler and materials, and personalized note cards. These small touches make for better reception to your items, and overall higher ROI.
Lastly, take stock of what your business goals are in contracting with any sending platform or automation provider. Be sure that the expectations you set for automation can be well met. Your sending platform should be able to align with your near-term and long-term goals on most if not all fronts, as well as being able to evolve along with your business as it changes.
A sending platform is useful in that you can achieve goals well beyond corporate gifts. You can use the power of automation for issuing customer rewards, sending direct mail, creating employee incentive and recognition campaigns, and more.
Streamline your Corporate Gifting Process Today
With all these considerations in mind, it becomes clear that the benefits of automation can change the way your teams and your company do business, and the returns your organization will see on its marketing efforts. With direct mail and corporate gifting playing such an important role within an omnichannel marketing mix, it makes the investment in automation a wise one.
If you’re interested in finding a corporate gifting platform that has the scope and capability to serve your sending need, you can learn more about Sendoso’s features and benefits here.