A great way to build your Community and advocacy marketing is to send gifts to your customers and potential influencer partners. It’s a common tactic that can lead to revenue and growth for your business. Remember, influencers get messages all the time and in today’s increasingly digital world, you need to remember that most people won’t care about your cold email unless you show some value. If you have a great product, sending gifts can be a great way to get capture an influencer’s attention. For example, teams working on fashion products, have the benefit of building a strong gifting model into your mixed media models because at scale gifting shows implicit value, connection to the brand, and exclusivity.
Teams can pair gifting and affiliates, gifting and sponsored content, or just gifting itself. On Dovetale, we’ve seen millions of dollars of gifts processed to influencers. The average gift value is around $80.43, the average production value is $21.23 and the average influencer has about 25K followers with an engagement rate of 4.2%. That means if this influencer posted about your product, about 1,000 people will engage with the post and if 1% of those purchased, 10 people would become customers. That means your net gain on this one influencer could be $592. Of course, you’ll need to factor in labor and marketing costs, but these types of activations can be extraordinarily lucrative for you.
Most experienced influencers have a PO box available on their YouTube channel or in the Dovetale directory, but if you’re planning to work with up and comers you can either reach out to influencers directly or use the Dovetale gifting product. Reaching out to influencers directly to give them a gift is always a great way to break the ice so that’s a great way to build a relationship. That being said, Dovetale has several gifting features that keep address information anonymous and protects influencers. Teams can simply send a gift to an influencer and they can redeem it without the brand knowing their personal details. In general, I wouldn’t recommend sending a gift without an email, DM, or some other communication. Influencers have some weird things show up at their mailbox and you don’t want to be in that category :)
How Do I Know it’s Working
There are some clever ways of measuring the results from gifting. Here are a couple of tips:
- According to our research, gifting leads to a 22% lift in organic content posts. Measure the UGC after you’ve sent your gifts. If you don’t see a lift in posts after 6 weeks, consider gifting a new cohort of influencers.
- Some teams encourage influencers to regift their old clothes or products. This can lead to word of mouth sales and an increase in organic posts.
- Many teams include discount and affiliate codes alongside gifts. It’s a great way to measure sales.
We’ve seen many teams set up gifting campaigns. Here are a couple of great strategies that have worked well for Dovetale users.
Sending Birthday Gifts
A great way to show influencers and potential partners that you care is to send them a birthday present. Influencers feel closer to the brands that send them personalized gifts on their bday, anniversary, and other special days. Teams can use Dovetale to find an influencer’s birthday or websites such as Famous Birthdays.
Make The Package Stand Out
One clever way to get noticed is to send unique and colorful packages to your recipients. Everyone is getting regular brown Amazon cardboard boxes and if you’re the one sending the bright yellow box there is a higher likelihood someone will open yours first. A quick way to accomplish this is to have a stencil and spraypaint :)
Give a Unique Opportunity
One of the best ways to engage influencers is to get them involved in unique opportunities such as events, product feedback, and large ad campaigns. Great partnerships start with trust and the more they feel like they are apart of the team the more long-term ROI you’ll get.
Why should people care about your product? Breaking down the value proposition is important to your gifting process because some influencers get hundreds of gifts per month and you need to stand out. Answering simple questions like why would they open this brown box versus the other ones pilling up at their PO boxes? Use a first-principles approach to understand the core value proposition and demonstrate value as quickly as you can.
Sending Gifts to Assistants
Assistants rarely get recognition for their hard work. One really great way to engage an influencer or celebrity is to send their assistant a gift and make the ask to them. The only tough part is getting the contact information of someone’s assistant or manager. One way is to check out the business email for the influencer and cross-reference it on LinkedIn.
Get an Introduction
Introductions are always great, but hard to get. Tools like LinkedIn are helpful in the business world because you can see mutual connections, but there really isn’t a tool for this for creators. That means you have to spend the time scrolling through who they follow to see if you know anyone.
Make a Clear and Simple Ask
Mentioned above, one of the best ways to get what you want is to just ask. If the ask is genuine and there is clear value, your request has a high chance of being fulfilled.
Run a Competition
Simulating supply and demand through contesting is a great way to create urgency. Incorporating gifting into your competitions is a great way to get the UGC flywheel started.
Send Celebrity/ Influencer Photos Using The Product
Rarely do people want to take a shot on your brand without knowing it’s already cool. Sending proof that it is already well adopted and a well-established brand creates a manufactured demand and priority. People feel more important and included. They will post more often and feel special about the new gift they received. It’s a simple additive to a package or email.
Gifting at an Event
Gift bags are a great way for important people to see your products. People love SWAG and free stuff at events. One pro tip is to make your gift bag stand out in a clever way since most brands try to capture attention like this.
Gifting is Different than Paying with Product
The last thing to remember is that gifting is not a form of payment unless you make it explicitly clear. Some influencers are instantly turned off by marketers that do this and making it clear from the start is a good way to remove tensions.
Brands That Do This Well