Whether you think “swag” stands for Stuff We All Get or Souvenirs, Wearables, and Gifts — or didn’t even know it started as an acronym! — there’s no question marketers love giving away these physical items at trade shows or as customer thank-you gifts.
Traditionally, T-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, pens, and water bottles emblazoned with a company logo have been used to boost brand awareness, nurture existing leads, and drive sales.
But these days, there are more environmentally friendly — and cost-effective — options for marketers looking to woo leads and reward customers. A digital B2B gift card offers more options and is often more desired by recipients. One that can be used to buy lunch, for example, may be appreciated far more than something that will most likely be donated to a thrift store someday.
That’s just the beginning. Here are seven more reasons marketers should be sending digital gifts instead of physical ones, so you can make the case for making the switch on your team.
READ MORE: What Are the Best Virtual Gift Cards for Different Types of Recipients?
Sending physical gifts can be time-consuming and expensive. First, you have to budget for shipping the box of goodies to your office or trade show location. Or you have to pay each time you ship an item. And if the package gets lost in the mail? You’re paying again to re-ship. Even if you have a vendor that provides drop-shipping, you may be experiencing delays or shortages related to recent supply chain issues, meaning your choice is limited. Sending a digital B2B gift card directly through email is much more efficient and cost-effective.
For businesses with a global presence, sending physical gifts to customers can be expensive and complicated. Not to mention that shipping overseas takes a long time. While most gift cards work only in the country where they were purchased, virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards are redeemable in more than 150 countries.
At one time or another, we’ve all received a gift we didn’t like or had no use for. Whether you’re thanking a customer for attending a webinar or stopping by your trade show booth, giving them a digital gift card they can use however they want is sure to be more appreciated. And for those customers unable to or uncomfortable with accepting it, you can offer the option to donate their reward to organizations like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, or the Clean Water Fund.
If you use marketing automation software such as Marketo or HubSpot, you can integrate a digital rewards management platform to incorporate digital gifts into your existing workflows easily and efficiently. This also allows you to take advantage of your marketing platform’s customer segmentation, email templates, and campaign processes to save you time and effort across your marketing efforts.
The beauty of sending digital gifts? They’re far easier to manage than physical ones. That’s because digital rewards management platforms make the process of sending, tracking, and confirming delivery seamless. With BHN Rewards, for example, you can quickly see how many gifts were sent, who has redeemed their gift, and if there were any delivery errors due to incorrect or outdated email addresses, so you can immediately correct them.
Globally, 85% of people said they’ve shifted their purchase behavior toward being more sustainable in the past five years, according to a 2021 Global Sustainability Study by consultancy firm Simon-Kucher & Partners. A B2B gift card has a smaller carbon footprint, plus it won’t end up in a landfill, like many swag items do.
The downside of giving away swag? Anyone who stops by your booth can simply pick up that branded USB drive and walk away. But with a digital incentive, the potential customer has to provide an email address for delivery. Now your marketing team has a built-in way to follow up with those attendees when they go to their email to claim their gift card. Best of all, you can still keep your brand top-of-mind with recipients by customizing the reward email with your logo and relevant messaging.
Distributing digital rewards is a lot easier with a great rewards management platform. Learn about what to look for in our Buyer’s Guide!