Sendoso Logo
December 8, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Gifting

By Sendoso

These days, it’s harder than ever to keep customers engaged. The constant buzz of social media, podcasts, text messages, email, and yes, blogs, all combine to create an exhausting whirlwind of digital chatter that layers on top of our day-to-day work responsibilities.

With all that noise, it’s no wonder professionals open only 60% of the roughly 180 emails they receive each day. And when they do open an email, how many seconds do you think they spend skimming it to see if it’s worth reading? If you have an email account, you already know “a few seconds” is a generous estimate.

To rise above the chatter, your marketing team needs to forge a human connection through unique, creative campaigns that create demand. Believe it or not, direct mail is becoming one of the best ways to do so.

It’s true. Despite the inundation of ads and promotional mail, 41% of people in the US still look forward to checking their mail each day, and prospects who receive a corporate gift are 30 times more likely to respond than if they receive a simple email.

The Science of Corporate Gifting

Receiving a gift is a powerful experience that bonds the gift-giver and receiver. When done right, It creates a positive association with a person or brand. Whether it’s to a prospect, an existing customer, or an employee, sending business gifts via direct mail marketing is a critical physical touchpoint in our increasingly digital world.

This situation is partly due to what’s known as the “endowment effect,” where physical contact with a gift creates a sense of ownership, increasing the perceived value of that gift for the recipient, especially if the gift is a surprise. Gifting also brings “the law of reciprocity” into play, a phenomenon where the recipient feels compelled to return something of value to the gift-giver.

Here’s a quick look at how corporate gifting can impact different targets:

  • Prospects—Gifts are a great way to keep prospects engaged. The right gift at the right time can motivate prospects to complete a purchase, sign up for a service, or make a discovery call. Research shows that 80% of consumers are likely to work with a company that offers personalized experiences.
  • Customers—For every prospect you’re working on converting, there are two customers you should be focused on retaining. Send corporate gifts to existing customers to remind them that you value their business. You never know—that simple act could even lead them to become brand ambassadors.
  • Employees—Business gifts aren’t just for prospects and customers. They’re also an important way to show your appreciation to employees, helping you avoid the obvious and hidden costs of churn. Gifts to employees can help forge a sense of belonging and connection to their team or the company.

Gifts can be anything from a branded physical item like a travel mug, clothing, or a treat to an eGift card or even airfare and concert tickets.

That said, the value of the gift doesn’t necessarily increase either the endowment effect or the desire for reciprocity. In fact, giving a gift that’s too expensive or giving a gift at the wrong time can have the opposite effect.

Man smiling holding a gift box

The Art of Corporate Gifting

What you give and when you give it both matter. When a gift isn’t useful, seems too forward, or feels impersonal, it leaves the recipient in a tough spot. To avoid awkwardness, it’s critical to research your audience and make sure your gift is appropriate for the relationship, relevant to the recipient, and matches their interests.

Giving the right gift at the right time helps you rise above your competition and differentiates your company in a noisy marketplace. Although there are no-cut-and-dried rules here (you know your customers and employees best, after all), we do have a few top-line tips:

  • Give useful gifts—It can be tempting to focus on a gift’s “wow factor.” Instead, think about how your recipient will use the gift. Giving your employees branded apparel or swag can help deepen their relationship with the company and reinforce your corporate identity when others see it in the office or on virtual calls. Prospects and customers who receive a branded gift like a high-quality pen, drinkware, or a tech gadget will re-experience that positive association with your company each time they use it.
  • Give meaningful gifts—This is an excellent way to show recipients you “get” them. Say your prospect or customer has recently made significant changes to demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Sending a sustainably sourced gift is a meaningful way to show you’re paying attention while reinforcing your partnership in their mission.

You can also leverage gift-giving holidays to create a meaningful touchpoint with your customers. Think outside Valentine’s Day and Christmas: Celebrating Pride Month, the World Cup, Earth Day, and other significant holidays with a gift shows you know what’s important to your customers and employees.

  • Give thoughtful gifts—Thoughtful gifts show prospects, customers, and employees you value your relationship with them. For example, if your intended recipient is an avid golfer, a set of branded balls and tees plus an invitation to a round of golf on you is a great way to celebrate the first anniversary of being your customer.

    Tying gifts to key milestones is another way to be thoughtful. More significant milestones are also typically your chance to go for a bigger “wow” factor with your gift. If you have an employee who’s just landed a big contract after three years of steady, dedicated work, for example, you might swap the golf balls and tees for a set of new clubs. And if you have an employee celebrating 25 years with your company, maybe that round of golf becomes airfare and a tee time at Pebble Beach.
  • Give the gift of an experience—Good experiences have a way of sticking with people. Fortunately, you don’t need a stadium skybox to make an impression these days. Our digital world makes it easy to tap into intimate, curated experiences like a virtual happy hour (with the company footing the bill for cocktail-making kits), a professionally led virtual yoga class, or a virtual cooking class.

Ready to take the next step to become a corporate gifting master? Download Your Go-To Guide for Corporate Gifting today! This eBook offers detailed guidance on:

  • Applying the psychology of corporate gifting
  • Mastering the art of sending the right gift at the right time
  • Understanding US and international gifting laws, policies, and ethics
  • Leveraging gift-giving holidays
  • Streamlining your sending strategy with an intelligent sending management platform

Want to see Sendoso in action? Schedule a demo today.

Got questions? We’re here for you.

Let someone from our Support team help you along your sending journey.

See how companies generate over 200% ROI on new revenue with the leading sending platform.