Why is Corporate Gifting Important?

What is Corporate Gifting?

Corporate gifting is the practice of creating a touchpoint with employees, clients, or prospects through the use of 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).

Why is Corporate Gifting Important?

Receiving a gift is a powerful experience; it creates a sense of connection to the giver and can create positive associations with a person or a brand. Companies and marketers have long relied on the power of gifting to secure better relationships with potential and existing clients, to show appreciation for their business When used as part of your overall marketing or employee retention efforts, gifting can be highly effective in terms of ROI and satisfaction.

The Psychology of Corporate Gifts

The effectiveness of gift-giving has a strong correlation to its psychological impact on the recipient. If you’ve ever gotten an unexpected surprise or treat (either in person or by direct mail) you’ve personally experienced this phenomenon in action. This is partly because physical contact with a gift results in the Endowment effect – a sense of ownership over an item which translates into an individual valuing it more highly, according to a study on the effects of gifting on business outcomes. It also influences feelings of reciprocity and trust. This effect can be seen in the results of marketing and gift-giving in several common scenarios of corporate gifting.

For Prospects

Gifting can motivate those who are not yet your customers to become one. In fact, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences, according to Instapage. Sending the right gift at the right time can be the motivator for prospects to take a desired action, such as completing a purchase, signing up for a service, or making a discovery call.

For Clients

Clients too can benefit from a well-timed gift. It can let them know their business is valued, encourage them to continue their service or become brand evangelists, and has the power to bring your company back to top-of-mind in cases where it’s been a while since the last interaction. According to a retail study, consumers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value.

For Employees

Clients and prospects aren’t the only people businesses need to consider. In many cases, the key to great customer outcomes starts much closer to home. In fact, a study reports that 57% of people claim that receiving mail makes them feel more valued. This statistic relates to direct mail gifts; however, if you’ve ever been the recipient of some nicely-branded, high-quality apparel you know it can work for your staff as well.

These gifts, especially when they are of good quality and well-personalized, create a feeling of being valued by your employer and foster a sense of belonging and connection to the team. These feelings translate into the way employees go about their roles, and the quality of service they provide to external stakeholders, customers, and prospects. 

Personal Events: New family member or personal milestone, completion of a certificate or degree program, new home, or other personal achievements. 

Company Events: Years of service, milestone years, service level recognition, or the completion of industry-specific training programs that further their skills. 

Special Recognition: Rewarding instances where an employee saved the day or went the extra mile to help a business goal or a colleague.

Corporate Gifting Statistics

Corporate gifting is effective for many reasons: Direct mail gets regular and concerted attention, it has wide-reaching, positive effect on recipients, and it triggers responses on a psychological and emotional level. Let’s look at five connected statistics and how they relate to gifting:

  • 81% of people read or scan their mail daily. (Almost no one discards mail without looking through it).

  • About 75% of people at least scan direct mail—Most likely due to the strong emotional response to receiving something specifically intended for them.

  • 79% of consumers find reading mail more convenient than going online. After all, it’s right there and waiting!

  • 38% of respondents say that the physical properties of mail influence how they feel about the sender. The production values of a physical mail piece can reinforce a brand’s values in a deep and intuitive way. As a result…

  • Campaigns including direct mail are 27% more likely to deliver top-ranking sales performance, and 40% more likely to deliver top-ranking acquisition levels, versus campaigns without mail.

  • Physical contact results in the Endowment effect – a sense of ownership over an item which translates into an individual valuing it more highly.   

While general direct mail statistics provide compelling reasons to add corporate gifting initiatives to your marketing plans, it’s also helpful to see how gifting has worked for an individual business or campaign. Fortunately, many of our clients have been happy to share statistics on their results, including:

  • Alleyoop, who used small gifts (such as coffee eGift cards, and fun, branded socks) to increase their phone connect rates by 20% when sending a gift before a scheduled call. They’ve also increased their meeting completion rates by 20%. Alleyoop was so pleased with their internal results, they started using it direct mail on behalf of their clients—some of whom saw a 45% reply rate and a 25% conversion rate as a result. 
  • Medical device company AlterG, who sent prospects a custom tumbler with the added incentive of an Amazon gift card after a completed sales call. This combo approach resulted in 34 new opportunities created, with a pipeline value of over a million dollars. The ROI on the campaign was an astounding 434%, proving that even small sends can result in huge returns. 
  • LiveRamp, who used the power of direct mail to increase their outbound marketing results. When they used Sendoso to add a gift touchpoint to their event invitations, it increased their response rates to over 30%. Those responses also came in much faster, with a decrease in response time of over 90%. Overall, LiveRamp increased their conversions to meetings from cold contacts to 35%. 

Corporate Gifting Trends

Heading into the new decade, the evolution of corporate gifting is set to continue its evolution. Many of the experts we’ve polled expect the growth of sending and direct mail marketing to continue, with some specific areas of growth and change highlighted within their predictions:

  • Overall, the use of direct mail marketing and corporate gifting will continue, delivering as large as 10x returns on investment. This growth will be especially prominent in the B2B sector.
  • Experts see increased consolidation of employee and prospect gifting programs into single brand initiatives that will improve recognition and brand perceptions.
  • There is an expected expansion of gifting going beyond the traditional marketing department applications and moving into other departments, like customer care and HR.
  • Improved personalization and automation will be at the forefront of growth, as well as a trend toward more inclusive and sustainable gifting selections. 

For more information on predictions for the evolution of direct mail marketing and corporate gifting in 2020 and beyond, read our blog post featuring insights from some of the industry’s prominent players

A Note about Corporate Gifting Policies and the Law

When planning a corporate gifting campaign and budget, some consideration must be given to the gift policies and potential laws regarding gifts for your recipients. Some recipients, such as government employees, may follow specific laws regarding the type and monetary value of gifts received. In other cases, employees may have to follow guidelines set by their employer. When sending gifts to clients or prospects, it is always a good idea to check with any relevant policies or laws in advance of sending your gift. A more complete guide to this topic is available on our blog.

Harness the Power of Corporate Gifting

As demonstrated by these predictions and studies, the overall importance of corporate gifting for both your internal and external recipients becomes clear. Taking stock of the above statistics and trends can help marketers, sales teams, HR personnel, and others to create highly effective corporate gifting policies and campaigns that can help move your business in the right direction. Using a sending platform to automate the process and understand the data can make those initiatives even more effective. 

If you’re interested in fully embracing the power of corporate gifting, reach out for a demo of the Sendoso Sending Platform.

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