With the influx of email outreach, contacts in sales workflows are bombarded now more than ever with digital clutter. Offline is becoming the new online; people want personalization and connection. Not generic, robot-generated mass messaging. Gifting can be an extremely powerful sales tool to provide that personal touch, differentiate you from other sales teams, and increase your ROI.
According to Sales Hacker, the most effective gifts are those that are useful. Additionally, sending gifts with a perceived value of less than $11 are likely to get thrown away. If you want to make gifting effective, ensure it is nice, useful, and unique. Over 77% of respondents are likely to respond to a personalized note, so the most important piece to running a successful gifting campaign is to include a handwritten note with the gift.
The creativity and options for gifting are endless: combining an engaging message with useful gifts will tremendously boost engagement with clients. You can do just that with Postal.
While many pieces of mail will go straight to the recycling bin, you can prevent this by designing pieces of mail that have creative visuals that coincides with the message you want to deliver. To compliment our gift recommendations, we also listed some general design concepts we recommend you keep in mind.
Here are 20 Gifting Ideas and Design Concepts
1. Notebook and pen
The go-to for any contact is the good ol' fashion nice notebook and pen. Who wouldn’t get use from this? We recommend a non-branded Moleskine notebook paired a branded pen. You do not want to overwhelm your contact with branded gifts, but they are good to incorporate where you can.
2. Mug, coffee, and mug warmer
A mug or coffee is another corporate gifting classic. Make your gift a bit more unique by incorporating a portable mug warmer! Research shows the feeling of warmth makes people more generous and comfortable. What better way to take advantage of this than getting a warm mug of joe in the hands of your customer?
3. Gift cards
Gift cards are one of the best gifts because they are so universal. If you know what niche your contact is interested in, tailor your gift card selection to that! If not, everyone shops on Amazon.
4. Baked goods and baking kits
Baked goods are delicious and great for offices to share and enjoy. If you are worried about perishability, a great alternative is all-in-one baking gift jars.
5. Subscription boxes
Choose a box based on what your contact is interested in! Do they like sustainability, try MightyFix. Wine? Try Winc. Jewelry? Check out Emma & Chole. There are even Cheese subscription boxes and fishing tackle boxes for outdoor enthusiasts. With numerous options to choose from, all the contact has to do is disclose their preferences, eagerly await their box, and enjoy!
6. Gifting donations
Many will likely appreciate the opportunity to donate the value of their gift to a charity of their choice. This will always be an option when an invite to accept a gift is sent. Especially for high-value accounts that seem untouchable, try offering a donation opportunity to convery generosity.
7. Cocktail kits
Similar to baking kits, send your contact a cocktail kit with all of the ingredients to make their favorite cocktail at home. Maybe even include some recipes or suggestions you think they'd enjoy.
8. Locked alcohol
Send your contact a bottle of their favorite alcohol with a lock on it. The deal is if they schedule a meeting with you, you will give them the key or code to unlock the bottle. This style of gifting can be done with a lot of things beside booze too, so get creative!
Many of the executives you will be sending gifts will probably be fairly well off. They most likely will not appreciate physical gifts as much as they would appreciate an experience. This could be a massage, a skydiving excursion, a cooking class for your contact and their spouse, etc. There as many excursion options, just make sure to find one that aligns with your budget, since these types of gifts can be a higher spend. You can also model these after the locked booze and only give them the physical voucher or ticket after they accept a meeting.
10. Desk accessories
From a succulent plant to a playful stress ball, everyone likes to have something fun sitting around their office space. The more you know about your contact, the more you can tailor this gift to their interests. This can be something that is useful or just looks good on a desk. As long as it is unique and creative, it's hard to go wrong with a desk toy.
11. Design mail keeping your target market in mind
We've all gotten that letter or postcard in the mail that has absolutely no relevance to us and is almost insulting with how much they are missing our demographic interests. This is the last thing that you want to do when starting a campaign: sending mail to a list of random addresses without considering your target market. Not only would this contribute to budgetary inefficiency, but it could also sour potential customers from your lack of acknowledgement. As you design your mail, keep in mind the customer persona who would buy your product.
12. Tie the design to the message
The options here are literally endless and only limited by your creativity. This one goes for mail as well as gifting - figure out how your design can uniquely correspond with the message you are delivering to the customer. One standout example was a Belgium mail campaign marking World Water Day with a postcard that was only legible when held under water. Yes, this example is extreme, but there are plenty of other ways to engage similarly in the business world.
13. Avoid clutter and use whitespace efficiently
Some of the most effective postcards have the least amount of text and visual elements to it. Whitespace is essentially the void areas between the different elements of your design. While you want to make your piece of mail pop, leaving little whitespace between elements will often give the consumer too much input and deter them from your message. Make sure the message you are delivering isn't redundant in design of your postcard in this sense. Try to choose a singular message and design your piece of mail around that.
14. Test your design
Whether it be a colleague in your department or one of your friends, make sure multiple sets of human eyes see your design before it goes live. Simply ask those around you for feedback and you will most likely receive some constructive advice. Another way to test more specific aspects of your design is to implement an A/B test. Read our article on A/B testing for set-up tips and how to arrive at an optimal design for a piece of mail. This method will let customers tell you which piece of mail is more visually attractive. Again, testing your design is a high-level concept but continual design innovation will eventually differentiate you from competitors.
15. Make your mail STAND OUT
Every time you open your mailbox there is always that one letter that instantly catches your eye. More times than not, it's probably going to be an envelope that is handwritten and addressed to you directly. Other times it might just be a really well-designed advertisement that naturally catches your attention. While making your mail stand out to your target audience certainly is a concept that will drive engagement, it can also be drastically overdone. Don't use gigantic red block letters that scream at people. Rather think of your target customer and incorporate designs that would catch their attention.
16. Choose your images wisely
Effective use of imagery could be your biggest ally when designing pieces of direct mail. Don't use images that have poor resolution and don't go too crazy with them either. If you use an image as the background of your letter or postcard, make sure it's not too busy. Avoid text that overlaps other visual elements as well. Consumers don't want to have to squint to read something. Studies have shown that including faces of other people naturally evoke positive responses because it infers trust. If possible, include lifestyle imagery of others using your product or service to show this sense of trust your company creates. A small blurb about a case study or customer testimonial can work great in this use as well.
17. Ensure your mail piece has some benefit for the customer
There is a reason why some people are addicted to extreme couponing. Any free offer or coupon that benefit consumers are instantly going to be more attractive than other mail advertisements. Notice that all of our gift recommendations are items that are useful or exciting. The same methodology applies here as well: include some discount or other benefit that will drive your target audience to act on your mail.
18. Include gripping headers and sub-headers
When you first look at a postcard or letter, the largest font will almost always be what you read first. Make sure your piece of mail has one simple header that addresses your main message or issue facing the customer. Sub-headers should be smaller fonts and support the idea in your main header. There is no right or wrong way to layout headers and sub-headers on a mail template. Another thing to consider here is including a call-to-action. This can be something like a Q/R code or a link to your company's website. Whatever it is, make sure your sub-headers lead your audience to this.
19. Use compelling language and tone
This one might seem to be a no-brainer. However, many postcards or advertisements you see in the mail aren't very compelling and don't use insightful language. Always try to make sure your language and tone are aligned with the message to the consumer. For instance, if your company is a software that provides a solution for a common problem, try to use inquisitive and helpful language in your pieces of mail. Conveying empathy to your customers through direct mail will show them you want to help and you will see more engaged responses by doing so.
20. Keep the formatting simple and aligned with your message
Similar to the whitespace concept, ensure you have a simple message that is reflected in the theme of your design. Before you send a campaign, just ask your peers and colleagues if they think the design properly conveys the message you are sending. If they stare at it for too long, chances are you're going to want to reduce the word count. Realistically very few consumers are going to stop and admire the design of your Postal. However, the quicker they get the message will influence how they perceive your company and their decision to make a purchase.
As four in 10 of Americans look forward to checking their mail every day, this curiosity creates unparalleled opportunity for engagement. The dynamic duo of personalized messages tied into creative pieces of mail is hard to refuse for many consumers. Continually testing your design and message combos is what will set you apart in the long-run. Don't waste your money and the customer's time with mundane offerings; differentiate yourself with unique messages, designs, and products.