10 Ways to Position Your Gift as a Gesture, not a Bribe

Richie Pusateri

Incorporating offline engagement (integrated direct mail, corporate gifts, and other experiences) into a digital sales or marketing strategy can deliver an outstanding ROI and positions your company in a way that digital-only channels can't achieve. At 5.1%, direct mail has the highest household response rate among outreach channels, according to the Data and Marketing Association—more than eight times greater than that of email (0.6%), paid search (0.6%), online display (0.2%), and social media (0.4%).

However, many companies with a global presence have implemented anti-gifting policies due to various regulations, which means organizations need to get creative when it comes to surprising and delighting their recipients."

Globally, regulators are asking organizations to review their corporate entertainment and gifts guidelines as part of tougher governmental stances on anti-bribery and corruption," Thomson Reuters reports. Thomson Reuters suggests that organizations examine recent cases in which companies have been reprimanded for not meeting regulatory expectations to ensure they are following guidelines accordingly. Regulators, they warn, are no longer accepting the 'everyone does it' excuse that some professionals use to justify their adherence to 'market practices.'

This regulatory shift shouldn't discourage companies from gifting and delighting their recipients. According to Reuters, inappropriate or restricted gifts include "items of material value that could be seen as extravagant or aimed at influencing decision-making or making a client feel obligated to the firm or that individual." To avoid gifting items that might be interpreted as bribery, teams should position their gifts as authentic, personal, and meaningful gestures. Here are 10 positioning and gifting examples to help you get started:

1. "Wishing you and your partner the best..."

wishing you the best

Paired with a tasty treat or a curated gift basket, this simple message is a great way to celebrate major life events from a wedding to a pregnancy announcement. Your recipient will be touched by the thoughtfulness of recognizing such milestones, which may also include the purchase of a new home or the graduation of a child.

2. "Thank you for taking this meeting with me..."

It's never a bad idea to say thank you. Show gratitude to your prospect and encourage your leads to book a follow-up meeting with a simple but underrated message of thanks. A gesture like this pairs well with a multitude of gifts and shows that you truly value your contact's time.

3. "Congratulations on the ___!"

Personalizing a celebratory gesture is a great way to improve a connection with your recipient. Tailor your message to fit a major accomplishment such as a promotion or an award. A gift like this also demonstrates that you've taken an interest and are paying attention to your connection's professional achievements—something everyone appreciates.

4. "Happy {Insert day of the week}..."

gift idea

You don't need a major event or specific connection to build rapport with a customer. Pick any old day to send a gift and spark conversation with your contact. A box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers will delight your gift recipient and add a dash of joy to their desk. Get creative with your gift by researching whether certain days have a particular significance for your contact's brand.

5. "A little something to relieve some stress..."

Who doesn't need to add some relaxation to their routine? Items such as a spa gift set or a candle will help your recipient pause and recharge amid the demands of work, home, and family. Your gesture could be the sign they've been waiting for to finally unplug and take a moment to themselves.

6. "Enjoy your vacation..."

Worried that you'll lose momentum with a lead who's going on vacation? Send them a thoughtful bon voyage gift that will keep you top-of-mind when they return to the office. You'll also have a reason to reach out to hear how that all-inclusive vacation or adventure turned out after all. This gift provides a great follow-up opportunity post-vacation.

7. "A charitable donation on your behalf..."

Connecting with someone who has a heart of gold or strong community ties? Postal's Charity on Top gift card provides access to over 1.8 million charities, allowing recipients to choose a cause of their choice to give to. It will also give you a chance to learn what issues are important to your contact and check in with them as you come across relevant news or developments.

8. "Celebrating company news..."

gift idea to celebrate company news

A new launch, acquisition, or funding round are all great sending occasions to connect with clients. Help your recipient celebrate their team's success with our celebration box or some delicious treats and fine wines.

Bonus: if they share with their colleagues, your company's name might be the talk of the break room.

9. "Coffee or lunch is on me..."

Take coffee chats and client meals into the virtual world. Offer to buy coffee or lunch by sending your recipient a Starbucks or Grubhub gift card. During a period when travel and in-person meetings can be fraught with precautionary measures and unpredictable schedules, your giftee will appreciate the simplicity of having a cappuccino or meal on their own time but your dime.

10. "A handwritten note..."

handwritten note

Sometimes a simple handwritten note is the most meaningful action you can take. With email inboxes overflowing, stand out to your contact by sending a classic handwritten letter.

Bribe-free engagement

If you're still feeling uncertain of what is (or is not) okay to give, search for a gifting policy on your prospect's website, which some companies share publicly. It might even be appropriate to ask the contact directly: "Hey, I wanted to show you my appreciation for the 30 minutes you set aside for me last week—any chance your company has a gifting policy I should be aware of?"

Given that you're reading this article, you are clearly taking the time to ensure your actions are genuine and aboveboard. Rest assured that you can still reap the enormous benefits of corporate gift giving while steering clear of any whiffs of bribery. Are you ready to experiment with some of the ideas above? Our team is available to help you authentically surprise and delight the important people in your life.

Request a trial to speak with one of our offline marketing automation specialists today.

Sales
Richie Pusateri

Rich graduated from Cal Poly in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Concentrating in Marketing. He is a B2B marketing enthusiast with a passion for storytelling through relatable content and memorable experiences. Rich was one of the first founding team members of Postal.io when he started as an intern in 2019 and now holds the Content Marketing Manager role. When he isn’t creating content to tell the story of Offline Marketing Automation, you can probably find him on the ocean. Rich holds a U.S. Coast Guard-issued captains license and owns a small local business—Central Coast Fishing Charters out of Morro Bay, CA. He currently lives in Shell Beach, CA with his brother Dominic.