10 ways to use gifting and direct mail for customer engagement
Why? Because a happy, engaged customer is a loyal customer - it’s CS 101!
More so than ever before, clients crave good customer experiences from those they choose to do business with. In fact, a positive customer experience is now more highly valued than price or product when it comes to making buying decisions. So, when fostering loyalty among existing customers, every interaction counts.
When trying to engage valued clients, direct mail and corporate gifting is a solid place to start. This is because gifting can help deliver impactful moments that surprise and delight in a unique way, and, in turn, build trust and loyalty.
If you’re wondering why corporate gifting for clients should be a part of your overall customer success strategy in 2022, and when you should be using direct mail and corporate gifting to encourage customer engagement, then keep reading.
Wondering what you can send? Here are the Best Corporate Gifting Ideas for Q3 2023
Why should you be using direct mail and corporate gifting in customer success?
As a customer success manager, you’re always thinking about the bottom line. Your goal is to reduce churn and increase customer satisfaction, which relies on finding ways to connect with customers on a personal level and helping them succeed by using your product or service.
Although corporate gifting may seem like a top of the funnel activity reserved for marketing or sales teams, it can be very useful for strengthening the health of key accounts that have already been won.
The payoffs for utilizing corporate gifting among existing customers can include:
- Stronger customer relationships
- Increased customer advocacy
- Increased customer retention
- More opportunities for driving upsells
- Staying top of mind with customers
Expense management and business budgeting software tool Divvy have been developing their gifting strategy with the help of Reachdesk, and have seen great results. They aimed to build and continue relationships with their customers, and, with a new customer gifting strategy in place, have received more social proof and an increase in brand awareness as a result:
“Just seeing the thank you LinkedIn posts shows how impactful gifting can be in appreciating and thanking our customers.”
Dani Mortimer, Customer Success Manager, Divvy
The lesson here? Customers love to feel appreciated, and corporate gifting and direct mail can help deliver that sentiment to them.
How to use gifting and direct mail for customer engagement
Building strong relationships with customers requires plenty of nurturing. It’s not just a case of showering them with attention when they sign the contract and then dropping off their radar as soon as the cheque clears. Every interaction throughout the customer journey should aim to build trust and show customers that you value their business.
What’s more, keeping your customers happy doesn’t have to be overly complicated or costly. Remember that the most effective gifts are highly personalized and hone in on relevance to the customer.
Here are 10 moments throughout the customer journey that you can employ to engage your clients and show them you’re thinking of them, with the help of direct mail and corporate gifting:
1. Onboarding new customers
Welcoming new clients with a gift sends a strong message that you’re excited to have them on board.
The gift you choose to send could be something as simple as a box of chocolates or cupcakes - there’s no need to go overboard at this stage. But, that small gesture should demonstrate your gratitude effectively and show that you’ll be attentive to your new client’s needs during the all-important onboarding period.
Always accompany your gift with a personalized thank-you note to show your appreciation and make them feel valued.
2. Promoting user adoption by rewarding usage
If you’re in the SaaS world, you know it pays to encourage your customers to use your product and learn more about it in the early stages of their partnership with you. The better acquainted your customers are with your product or service, the less likely they are to churn or abandon it in favor of a rival.
Rewarding usage is one way to keep users coming back, and what better reward is there than a gift? Customers could be rewarded for hours spent using your product, attending an educational session or meeting, or for trying out a new area of your product. Effective gifts could include lunch on you in the form of a Deliveroo voucher, branded swag, or brownies.
3. Incentivize customers to complete projects
If your company is in the process of implementing changes to your product, platform or service that require customer consent or participation, there’s every chance that you might be met with resistance - nobody likes extra admin.
So, to encourage your customers to carry out the action you require, why not offer gifts as an incentive? If your company is changing card providers and your customers need to provide additional details or fill out a form, you could offer eGift cards for successful completion of the task. This tactic worked for Divvy, who managed to over deliver on their goal to move users to a new version of their product through incentivizing customers with gifts.
4. Engage customers who have gone quiet
Gifts shouldn’t just be reserved for wooing new customers, they matter at all stages of the customer lifecycle. The last thing you want is for an account to churn because they don’t feel valued, so surprise them from time to time to keep them engaged. After all, the relationship you have with your customers is like any other - it has to be nurtured if it stands a chance of growing!
Remind disengaged customers that you’re still there if they need you with branded, everyday swag items like water bottles and hoodies.
5. Make customer events more special
With hybrid events and virtual experiences becoming increasingly popular, gifts that work in conjunction with them are the icing on the cake.
If you’re holding an event for customers, say a cocktail-making class, or a painting lesson, you could send each attendee a gift box of paints or a personalized cocktail shaker to encourage attendance and make their experience extra special.
6. Celebrate customer successes
When your customers win, you win. So, it’s important to congratulate them and show your support whenever they do - it’s all about reinforcing your partnership by taking a personalized approach.
You could send flowers or a celebratory treat for their team when they land a new client, announce new funding, or report record profits for the year.
7. Drive customer upsells
There are several ways to utilize gifting when driving upsells; it just depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For example, gifting could be used as a way to break the ice and speak to and engage multiple stakeholders, or to introduce yourself if taking over a customer account. In these cases, gifts like flowers or alcohol would work well.
Alternatively, or if it's a product-led upsell you’re after (a new feature perhaps) you could utilize gifting in conjunction with marketing to help grow the customer base and create excitement for what you're trying to sell - edible gifts and sweet treats wouldn’t go amiss here.
8. Spread the fun with seasonal campaigns
There are so many seasonal holidays that CS teams can take advantage of to show appreciation for their customers. From Valentine's Day to St Patrick’s Day to Hanukkah, there are enough holidays to plan creative and successful gifting campaigns for the whole year.
You don’t have to go down the traditional route either. Instead, surprise and delight your customers by planning gifting campaigns around offbeat holidays - who wouldn’t love it if a branded blanket arrived on their desk for Napping Day on March 15th! Just remember to make gifts relevant to these dates and personalize them to your customers’ likes and interests.
9. Celebrate personal milestones
Paying attention to milestones like promotions, birthdays, and weddings elevates your customer relationships from strictly professional to personal. Celebrating these kinds of events with your customers’ signals that you value and appreciate them.
Gift sends for these types of occasions could include celebration cakes, champagne, pampering items for self-care, or branded swag - there’s nothing cuter than a branded babygrow to build customer loyalty!
10. Say thank you to your star advocates and drive referrals
Loyal, happy customers can become enthusiastic advocates for your business, particularly with the help of social media. You can ask these power users to provide online reviews, testimonials and case studies in exchange for increasingly better gifts.
A tiered system works well here, with lower-tiered customers receiving a lower value coffee evoucher for submitting a testimonial, working up to power users, who might receive gourmet food and drink hampers or a personalized bottle of fizz for referring you to a new account. Remember to increase the cost and level of personalization of the gift each time a customer carries out the desired action.
If you aren’t currently using gifting as part of your customer success strategy, now is a good time to start.
From celebrating customer wins to making events more special, there’s space for corporate gifting and direct mail to help improve your interactions and relationships with customers.
We all like to be surprised every once in a while, so why not put some effort into surprising those that matter to your bottom line.