Brand Partners
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How to Market Your Gifts for Ultimate Growth

February 15, 2024
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Ecommerce brands are constantly on the prowl for ways to grow their business. With tried-and-true strategies like a rock solid website UX, email marketing, and social media ads on lock, finding a standout channel is tough. 

Seemingly every competitor is doing the same things, selling the same stuff, and targeting the same customers. What can you do to attract more interest and eyeballs? How can you position your products to cast a wider next and snag more fine across the world wide web?

Turn all of your DTC products into the perfect gifts.

Marketing your products as gifts, complete with unique and memorable digital gifting experience, is a way to reach more audiences and inspire more shopping. Teaming with Zest to power your designated gifting storefront is the most impactful way to present your goods as gifts and sell more through his shiny new channel.

Amplify Your Bread-and-butter Marketing Channels 

Nailing down a truly knockout marketing strategy for your online brand can feel like an impossible task. After all, you’re trying to leverage the same ever growing list of channels as your competitors, target the same audiences, and do it all just differently enough that people associate your brand with the marketing they just saw.

Woof, talk about an anomaly! If that paragraph resonates, you’re not alone. The number one challenge marketers try to tackle today is deciding which platforms to use to smash their goals, and more than 80% of that cabal think marketing has changed more in the past three years than the preceding 50 years. With the changes in ecommerce tech, consumer behaviors, and the social media landscape, it’s no shocker that the overwhelming vibe is “where do I even start?”

When it comes to shouting about your shiny new gifting channel, we recommend sticking with a few OG channels:

  • Email marketing
  • Direct mail marketing
  • Social media

Thirty-four percent of marketers rely on three channels to get the messaging into the world. This tried-and-true trio is probably already part of your marketing mix as it is, but leveraging them to position your products as the most ideal presents could be a bit new. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a great way to advertise promotions, re-engage customers, and drive sales in general with your shoppers. Despite being around for decades, email is an old channel that’s  still learning new tricks.

Throughout 2024, we expect email marketing to become smarter, deeply personalized, and more interactive than ever. Yep, this ain’t your grandma’s chain letter anymore (although it may not be a bad idea to end each marketing email with “Buy this or your love life will be cursed for 7 years” and see what happens). 

When it comes to selling more gifts via email, we recommend sticking a blurb about gifting your products in every single email. The goal is to drill the message that your gift storefront is open into your audience’s subconscious — you want your brand to be synonymous with gifting. Why?

If you send just one general gifting announcement when you launch with Zest, the odds of it landing in your shoppers’ inbox at the very moment they need to buy a gift is slim. But if you consistently talk about your gifting capabilities in every email, your shoppers will know exactly where to turn when the moment to buy a gift strikes. 

What’s more is your unique position to expand your email marketing to tackle both B2C and B2B messaging. On top of your regularly scheduled B2C emails, a corporate gifting storefront is a key differentiator when emailing other businesses about their own gifting initiatives. 

A CTA button that says "Grab some email inspo right here."

Direct Mail Marketing

We know, we know. You may be wondering why this borderline archaic channel is gracing our list of top recs for getting the word out about your gifting prowess. And, well, it’s because this channel is making a comeback and could be an easier path to standing out from the crowd versus the Very Noisy internet. 

At the end of 2022, the United States Postal Service reported that marketing mail revenue increased $1.4 billion, or 9.7%, throughout the year thanks to resiliency and its strong ROI. While this growth halted in 2023 due to inflation, we think its resiliency will hold strong. 

Direct mail marketing like postcards or physical catalogs is more memorable than other types of marketing, studies show, and 82% of millennials think printed ads are more trustworthy than digital ones. And if you think that direct mail is going to fade out fast as Gen Z gets more spending power, think again.

Much like the comeback of vinyl albums and Polaroid cameras, Gen Z is genuinely excited about tangible mail — even more so than millennials. Catalogs stick around in homes longer, are referenced more, and are more trustworthy than digital media, so hwy not get ahead of the new (old?) trend and lead the print renaissance in 2024?

When tackling this channel, we recommend integrating with some new tech that wasn’t quite available when Toys “R” Us was dropping catalogs on doorsteps in 1993. For instance, you could carve out a whole section dedicated to seasonal gifts or top corporate gifts, then drive traffic directly to your storefront. Or for every product that’s featured in your catalog and on your Zest storefront, stick a QR code next to it so shoppers can go from flipping pages to your gifting flow in seconds. 

Social Media

Of the three channels we recommend tapping into to sell more through your gifting channel, social media is the youngest (and most unhinged) contender by far. Despite being much like the wild, wild west, social media is one of the top ways to find and attract buyers, build up your fandom, and get discovered.

More people than ever, 26% of social media users, are foregoing The Googs (erm, Google) while on their purchasing journey, and instead they go right to social media to search for things to buy. This makes your brand’s social media accounts a prime spot to chat up gifting, point to extremely giftable products, and be sought out when people are searching social for gift ideas. 

Thumb through the whole Digital 2023: Global Overview Report here!

However, as popular as social media is, it’s tough to know where to start. Paids ads, or display ads, are hugely popular and account for more than one-third of digital ad spend. Influencer marketing has tripled since 2019, and then there’s gaining organic social clout by consistently posting content to your accounts. 

When it comes to gaining gifting traction and growing that channel, it depends on your unique audience and budget.

If you’re trying to reach more corporate gifters and enterprise accounts, LinkedIn ads may reach more of your target audience while also costing less per click thanks to less competition. If you’re targeting Gen Z or millennials, TikTok is your platform du jour as more than 85% of users fall in that age range. And if you don’t have super deep pockets or want to dodge any of the ad spend horror stories, drumming up organic content to build your gifting rep is the way to go across any and all platforms. 

Just remember: Building your fandom, trust, and credibility needs consistency. Consistent posting, consistent messaging, consistent #hashtags, consistent branding — and that can take  a lot of work. To ensure continuity, we recommend hiring someone to manage and grow your social presence.

Consider your target audience and your budget when picking your platform.

Holler About Gifting Right on Your Website

On top of the aforementioned marketing channels, you happen to be sitting on top of another major marketing asset: your website! Optimizing your website for gifting is critical to making the most of the channel. 

While gifting isn’t an entirely novel channel, it may be a relatively different course of action than your shoppers are used to. Typically, someone comes to your ecommerce store, buys an item, and sends it to themself. But when it comes to gifting and your new Zest-fueled storefront, their mental model needs to shift slightly (and you need to be the one to guide them).

Unless someone is searching specifically for your corporate gifting options or happened to click your gifting CTA in your latest email, your average shopper isn’t going to be keeping their peepers peeled for a gifting option while they shop. Call attention to your channel, tout its benefits, and push more people into the gifting pipeline with just a few additions to your site.

Navigation Bar, Banners, and Popups

We’ve all been scrolling a site before when BLAM! A popup appears to tell us about some great deal or encourage us to sign up for the email newsletter for special deals. These things seem ubiquitous in the world of ecommerce, and there’s a good reason why.

All popups, or lightboxes, combined see just over 3% conversion rate. This is on par with a good email marketing conversion rate, and way above most paid ads. When it comes to your gifting channel, we recommend using your popups, announcement bars, modals, chatbots, and more as a place to simply let your shoppers know that their favorite stuff is now extremely giftable. Toss in a CTA button that sends them to your Zest-powered storefront or a category of gifts and watch your numbers pop off.

Swipe this popup copy and get inspired with more ideas right here.

Publish a Landing Page Dedicated to Gifting

Another way to spread your gifting gospel is to publish a landing page just about your brand’s gifting options. Companies like Brightland, Caraway, and Giften Market have pages that easily guide their shoppers through their gifting options complete with crystal clear CTAs to send a gift or pick from some other popular presents.

If a landing page isn’t in the cards and you’re one of our brand partners taking advantage of gifting on your product description pages, make the CTA to send a gift as clear and obvious as possible. Zest partners like Olipop and Graza keep these CTAs on-brand and super simple (just like the Zest gifting experience, eh?). 

On top of gently guiding your shoppers to send your goods as gifts, publishing a gifting-dedicated landing page is an awesome SEO play. With enough content about gifts on your website, you’ll start appearing at the top of searches for great gifts, gifts for different occasions, and more organic game-changers. 

Graza's PDP has two CTAs for gifting. Look at how stinkin' cute they are. Almost as tasteful as the olive oil itself.

Toss Zest Gifting on Your FAQ Page

Change is hard. But getting your customers to change and embrace your gifting channel will be a heckuva lot easier if they trust your new fangled gift page. Your FAQ section or page is a great place to proactively answer questions like “What is Zest?” or “How does e-gifting work?” and assuage any fears or trepidations from loyal fans. 

If possible, try and snag some feedback from people who’ve used your gifting storefront and toss a testimonial or two on your site to put any fears to rest. A little FAQ can stop a lotta headaches before they even happen.

Keep Gifters Engaged Long After the Unboxing

One of the most important stages in ecommerce is the post-purchase experience. How a brand engages a customer after the conversion is where loyalty is earned or lost forever. From transparency and tracking to support re-engagement, these are critical pieces to growth and scaling, and apply to your shoppers whether they’re buying for themselves or someone else. 

To solidify gifter loyalty, we recommend crafting specific email sequences for this audience instead of sending them the same generic marketing materials as the rest of your customer pool. Thank gifters for sharing your products with more people, advertise gifting promos like free shipping or volume-based discounts, and make sure to stay top of mind as the calendar closes in on historically gift-heavy holidays. 

If you’re using Klaviyo, connect it to your Zest account to create lists of gifters and recipients, and automatically trigger impactful email campaigns. Or tap into Zapier and set up essentially any automation that will best fit your business, customers, and goals.

I Scream, You scream, We All Scream for Gifting

The truth is, the more you hype up gifting, the more gifts you’ll sell. Your company will become synonymous with online gifting, corporate gifts, last-minute gifts and more. Success starts when you start screaming (about gifting, that is). 

With consistent and repetitive messaging across your marketing channels and website, it’ll be impossible for your customers not to notice how giftable your goods are. Tapping into gifting as a growth channel sets your brand apart from competition, makes your site more memorable, and will ultimately put your products in more hands.

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Liz Lorge
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