Creating Better Connections in a Digital World

By Kris Rudeegraap, CEO at Sendoso

Have you ever sat down to work on a Monday, fired up your email and just been completely overwhelmed by the number of messages? Like many of us, you probably go through and delete massive swaths of cold emails every single day. I’ve spent a significant portion of my career selling and I’m shocked at how email, one of the oldest forms of digital communication, has become so impersonal. And useless.

“But Kris,” some might say, “we personalize our emails when we send them!”

Do you, though? Does simply inserting someone’s first name into an email qualify as personalization? I don’t think it does. Sure, you might do some audience segmentation when sending out sales emails. You might even insert some random fact about how you saw a prospect’s LinkedIn post or something similar.

But I’m here to tell you the cold, hard truth: It’s not enough. Prospects, customers, and employees are all inundated with digital messages. Ultimately, those emails are as impersonal as the pesky extended car warranty calls.

In reality, people are burned-out. Not just from email, but from a wide variety of digital marketing communications. This sense of digital fatigue was already brewing prior to the pandemic, but since Covid forced so many businesses to accelerate their digital transformation, many of us have felt flooded by digital communications.

That’s where sending comes in. Sending can help you stand out and be remembered. It can be the difference between closing a sale or losing it. But more importantly, it can be the difference between creating an authentic connection or being one more digital touchpoint automatically redirected to a junk mail folder.

Create Better Connections With a Send

People crave authentic connections. It’s as true in the business world as it is in friendship or romance.

That’s what makes sending so unique. Sendoso has always believed that authentic human connections are the antidote to our increasingly cluttered digital world.

At Sendoso, we’re redefining the way businesses connect with their customers on a human level by offering a comprehensive gifting solution backed by a global fulfillment infrastructure, carefully curated premium vendors, demonstrable ROI, personalization, and customization that delivers tangible benefits. We don’t just power gift giving. We power personal engagement.

Why Sending Works

Let me tell you a quick story.

My background is in the trenches. I was a tech salesperson. When I was just starting out my career, my managers told me that sending email was the fastest and most effective way to reach cold prospects. And this was true, to some extent, for a long time. Like thousands of other salespeople, I’d spend a huge portion of my time sending cold emails to prospects who didn’t know who I was or weren’t familiar with my company. And, if I was really lucky, they’d respond positively.

But here’s the thing about cold emails: I always felt underwhelmed by just sending people a lot of totally unsolicited messages. I felt like I was spamming them. I felt that what I was sending still seemed impersonal no matter how much I tried to customize them. They just didn’t really speak to the prospects’ individual needs. I also saw that sending emails to a huge number of prospects was a terrible way to get people to notice me or even care about what I had to say, even if the solution I was selling was a perfect match for them.

Sure, a hardened salesperson might remind you that it’s a numbers game—that for every so many rejections there was a positive response right around the corner. And to some extent, that’s true. But what’s missing in that equation is the effect a personal connection powered by a physical touchpoint can have on just getting your foot in the door, much less an actual sale.

In my own experiences as a salesperson, I realized that I needed to be more creative. When I would have online meetings with prospects, I noticed their backgrounds and listened attentively to our conversations. I would get enough information to find quirky personal gifts off of Amazon. I’d find things like a beanie from their favorite sports team, a dog toy, whatever I could find to continue the conversation. I would dig into our swag closet at work and send them hand-written notes to make our connections more personable.

And it turned out that sending works! My prospects loved receiving personalized gifts.

Feeling Valued With a Gift

According to research, 77% say that gifts make them feel appreciated and 67% say that receiving gifts make them feel the relationship is valued. And when it comes to businesses sending gifts, 40% feel more connected to businesses that send them gifts.

The challenge for me back then, and for many people today, is that sending can be very manual and time-consuming.

I wanted to be able to make sending a personalized gift as easy as sending an email. I wanted to be able to click a button inside of Salesforce and have it magically send, track, and expense everything I sent.

That was my main motivation for creating Sendoso. With Sendoso, you can send almost anything, anywhere in the world. All while tracking ROI on everything you send. We combine the personalization of a handwritten letter, the joy of sending and receiving gifts, and the trackability of digital media.

So what types of sends work best? This sometimes changes from year to year, and the pandemic has certainly played a role in terms of what people want to receive. Let’s take a closer look at the past year’s most popular sends and a few creative ways to use them to engage audiences.

Most Popular Sends to Engage Audiences


Across all categories and geographies, eGifts are among the most popular to send. eGifts are electronic gift certificates for brands like Amazon, Starbucks, and Uber Eats. Prepaid gift cards are also quite popular.

What makes eGifts so attractive is that they get significantly higher response rates than typical digital marketing vehicles. For example, the average clickthrough rate for email marketing is about 2%. But with eGifts, for example, 30% of all redeemed eGifts are used within the first 24 hours and 50% within two weeks!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, when it comes to eGifts, the higher the value the higher the redemption rate.

$5 – $10 ~15% redeemed
$10 – $15 30% redeemed
$15 – $99 ~45% redeemed
$100+ 70% redeemed

A prime example of this is how performance marketing agency Directive used Sendoso to significantly boost the number of qualified leads they generated. By combining a paid media campaign with a $100 Uber Eats eGift, Directive generated a more than 500% increase in leads and opportunities (i.e. leads that have reached the proposal stage), ultimately delivering a more than 1,000% return on investment (ROI).

Read the complete customer success story here.

Direct Sends

Direct sends are gifts sent on your behalf directly from a vendor. The most popular gifts in these categories dramatically varied based on region and type of position. Certainly, food and drink gifts rank among the highest, particularly gifts with candy, chocolate, and/or alcohol.


In fact, vendors with the top three highest address confirmation acceptance rates in 2021 all incorporated food or alcohol. Additionally, gift givers and recipients both enjoyed sending gifts from companies that have a positive social impact, i.e. firms with rigorous fair trade and sustainability practices.

RollWorks, a division of NextRoll, offers ambitious B2B companies an account-based platform to align their marketing and sales teams and confidently grow revenue. They needed a way to stand out from their existing digital strategy, and found sending Sendoso cocktail kits to be extremely effective in driving demand. RollWorks saw a 55% increase in response rates when using Sendoso, directly contributing more than $500,000 in potential revenue.

Read the complete case study here.

Other Key Insights into Gift Giving

Based on our research, we see that flexible eGifts are best for top of funnel targets who may not be familiar with your brand. That’s often things like buying a prospect a cup of coffee to entice them into a meeting or demo. Luckily, with technology these days, you don’t always have to do it in person!

As you go down the funnel, more custom and curated items are popular. It makes sense, given that you likely have more detail on your targets at that point, which you can use to customize gifts. Indeed, it’s at these later funnel stages where we see investment in sending high valuable gifts pay off.

Lastly, redemption isn’t always done during office hours. In fact, we see higher redemption rates on weekends and after hours—perfect for following up on Monday or the next business day.

ant more insights into sending trends? Sendoso has the data and vision you need to see why sending should be a part of your marketing mix. Check out how you can utilize Sensoso by requesting a demo with one of our experts.

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