We have highlighted many incredible professionals and business owners talking about how they show appreciation and gratitude to their clients and employees through sending out thank you and appreciation cards, and the incredible gifts they include. This week’s show I interview gifting experts Elden Stuart & Jodie Pegram from SendOutCards gifting… They will share their insights on corporate gifting and what they see our customers sending out from the gifting department at SendOutCards. Regardless if you leverage our service in your relationship marketing strategy, today’s show will give you incredible ideas for showing appreciation and gratitude to your clients, employees and your family & friends.
Kody Bateman: Hey everybody. This is Kody Bateman. Welcome to a special edition of our Relationship Marketing Weekly show. I’m really excited about this show today. By the way, this has come by – highly requested by many of you who have listened into our shows from week to week.
It’s the holiday season. A lot of you want to know some detail about gifting, about what types of gifts you ought to send out to customers and clients during the holidays, perhaps what types of greeting card and gift combinations to send out.
So what we wanted to do is show specifically about that. Now, I’ve got some incredible gifts to be on the show with us today. We have Elden Stuart and Jodie Pegram. They are over the gifting department here at SendOutCards. So Jodie and Elden, welcome to the show today.
Elden Stuart: Hi Kody. Thanks for having us. We’re honored to be here today.
Kody: It looks like you got a bunch of cool-looking gifts in front of you. So I have a feeling you’re going to be showing some things off today it looks like.
Elden: As a matter of fact, we are. We love to show our gifts off here in the gifting department.
Kody: Well, first of all, kudos to both of you for the incredible job that you do in – I mean these two are over the gifting department. Listen, we have sent out over eight and a half million gifts out of this department in conjunction with about 140 million greeting cards. We will probably – we will send several hundred thousand greeting cards over the – or excuse me, gifts, over the next 30 days.
So if anybody knows what there needs to be known about sending gifts to clients and customers, it’s the two people you see on the screen here with Elden and Jodie because keep in mind, not only do they select these gifts, but they also oversee the fulfillment of these gifts on behalf of thousands of our customers here at SendOutCards. So they know what they’re talking about and it’s going to be fun to have this show today.
First of all, I want to get you guys sharing your expertise with us. First of all, one of the big questions that I get all the time is, when should I send – you know, because most people send greeting cards and one of the big questions I get is, “Well, should I send a gift with my greeting card to some of the people?” and so we get that question a lot and the typical answer and the way I like to answer that is based on what our clients do.
So typically most clients, we’re talking – I’m giving you a spectrum of over thousands and thousands of our customers who send out cards and gifts to their customers.
So my opinion here is actually the opinion of thousands of people. The primary activity that most companies do is they have a list of people they send holiday cards out to and in that list, they will usually have some type of VIP list and there’s usually categories in the VIP list. So most of our clients will say, “OK, we’re going to send 200 or 300 greeting cards out to a group list of 300 people.”
From that list, we’ve got a sub-list of 30 people that we call our VIP list and they’re going to get a gift. Of that list, we have a super VIP list of five or six people that we’re going to send even a bigger gift to. That is the typical exercise that I have seen over the years over and over and over again.
So there’s a greeting card list. There’s a VIP list that you add gifts to the greeting card and there’s a super VIP list that you add even a bigger list or a bigger gift to that group of people. So having that in mind, I want to switch it over to the two of you. First of all, talk to us about what is – you got a bunch of gifts in front of you there. What is the number one selling gif that we have, that people use during the holiday season and why would you think it is?
Elden: So for SendOutCards, our biggest selling gift and has been forever is our brownies. So we have our famous chocolate fudge brownie that is a perennial best seller and Kody, we sell this in different configurations, right? So we sell it in a two-pack. We sell it in a four-pack, an eight-pack and so on.
Typically, this would be our best-selling configuration of our brownie and this is about $4. So our gifts rate – we start with this in our standard packaging and then we can go up to a larger – a four or an eight-pack or we also can – added value is very important, right? So if you’re trying to make an impression, you’re going to want to improve the packaging. So we can do – typically we sell a number of our brownies in this signature box. We put a ribbon around this and this makes a great impression for clients, a company that’s trying to make an impression with their clients.
Kody: OK. So just to go back to my example, a typical company might have a couple of lists of a couple of other people they send greeting cards to and from that list, they might have 20 or 30 people on a VIP. It sounds like a lot of those lists, those lists of 20 to 30 VIP lists, that two-pack of brownie or four-pack of brownie is probably mostly what people send on that list, wouldn’t you think?
Elden: Absolutely. They will send – because it’s certainly a great product and it’s an economical product, right? It doesn’t cost a lot of money to send this. So we – also here at SendOutCards, we try to add some variety to that with some different flavored brownies. Like we have a butterscotch brownie that we also sell very well. We added this chocolate-covered Oreos that sell quite well. Again, these are all the same price range as the brownies that do so well for us. So that range of type of gifts, it’s always usually a gourmet food, right? Gourmet food, chocolate. Going to sell. It’s always an appreciated gift.
Kody: Yeah, and I think what’s cool is with SendOutCards, what’s really nice is that when you send the gift, the greeting card you’re sending goes with the gift. So your – if you use the SendOutCards service, your customer would receive this nice package. They open it up. There’s a card in it from you and obviously, the gifts of the packaging is really nice. You guys by the way do an incredible job making sure that – there’s a lot of tender loving care that goes into making sure that those packages look really nice.
Jodie, I noticed that you got some bigger gifts there in front of you. So let’s go back to our scenario. I send 200 or 300 greeting cards. I got a list of VIP of about 30 people. They get the box of brownies or something similar to that price-range-wise. Well, I’ve got that five or six – group of five or six or maybe as many as ten people. They really need something special from me and I’m noticing you got some pretty cool stuff in front of you.
So share with us some of the premium higher-end gifts that we offer as ideas for others.
Jodie Pegram: So this is one of our higher-end items. In this you will get like comfort chocolate chip cookies, which are amazing. You get a medley of our caramels. You also get your brownies in here and it’s displayed in this box, in the premium box, which is really nice. It’s a nice display.
It comes wrapped like – I don’t know if you can see this, but just the presentation is awesome. This is one you can definitely send.
Kody: Yeah, there’s no question as I sit and look at that. I happen to know that’s a wood box that’s specially built. It’s a great box. It’s really nice. There are other services out there you can do this with by the way. The purpose of this show is to give you ideas. Whether you use SendOutCards or not, we encourage you to do something. I mean go to the store and do it if you need to. Use Harry and David if you want. I don’t care who you use. What’s important in this messaging in how to leverage relationships in your business, which is what this show is all about, the holiday season is really important. It is very important to remember people during this type of year and Elden and Jodie, you guys, kudos to you because I would put our offering up against anything out there. You guys are a big part of that, especially during the holiday seasons.
Like Jodie, what you have in front of you, that specialty crate box. By the way, I’m on the receiving end of this. So I want those who are listening on the show today to think about receiving gifts and I’m on the receiving end of a lot of gifts.
I will tell you, when a – Jodie, if you can just hold up that box real quick. When I get something like that, like a whole bunch of stuff comes in here, when I get something like that from somebody and it has got a card in it, let me tell you, you feel, you really do feel a deep sense of appreciation for somebody that put forth the effort to do that.
I will tell you, you need – during the holiday seasons, you really need to leverage that. Let people know how much you care about them. Now Elden, you mentioned we have a lot of other fun things. There are fun little ideas we have. There are things you put in the greeting cards. There are little token gifts. There’s all kinds of stuff. So share some of that with us, if you would.
Elden: Absolutely. So another one of our most popular gifts here at SendOutCards is all of our card-sized gifts that are tokens and gifts that fit inside the card. One of the reasons why of course is that there’s not any additional shipping cost. But we sell a lot of different tokens. Here is an example. This is called our prosperity key. It’s just a little token. You can put it in your pocket, put it on your keychain. It slips right in the card. It’s fairly inexpensive. Great gift and we sell a number of these. They have different words on them, positive affirmation words. Super popular gift. We have them in different configurations. Like this one says, “Someone cares about you.” We just launched a new one here. It’s a gratitude blessing ring. Gratitude is a very important word here for us at SendOutCards.
So this has been – gifts like this for us are very popular and this is a gift that you can send to those 200 or 300 people on your list and not spend a lot of money doing that.
So we – another thing that – we actually love this Kody. This is an idea we’ve launched earlier this year. We talked earlier about our brownies, right? How popular our brownies are and we do a little extra touch now. We can take a plate that says, “Thank you!” or a plate that says, “Happy birthday!” and put our brownie on it and it ups the value. It gives some added value to our brownie for not a lot of cost and people love this. This is a very great item.
Here’s another one. We really like this. We have a range of cakes. These are a single serving – this is kind of like a party in a little container. You can send this to someone. This one is an appreciation cake. So I can send this to you because I appreciate you what you do for me and you can make this at home quickly. I sent you a party in the mail wherever you are, so awesome.
These gifts I’ve just shown you are fairly inexpensive. These are cost-effective gifs that you can send to anybody and –
Kody: OK. That’s super cool, great ideas, fun little things. By the way, those little token gifts, it’s interesting because personally, I’ve never been a – personally, I’ve never been a real fan of the little token gifts. But man, they sell like crazy. Like there are so many – and here’s what I found is that the reason those do so well is because the people that receive them really do enjoy it.
You know, the little token, there’s an affirmation on it, something with positivity. They carry some great meaning and it’s very cost-effective to send those out and it just carries a little bit extra meaning on top of the greeting card itself and honestly, I’ve been surprised. I’ve actually been surprised at how well – when you guys wanted to do that, I’m like, “Oh, yeah, a little token, whatever.” Then all of a sudden, like everybody starts using those.
So great ideas, great little things. Now I’ve got a question for both of you and it carries on to the question of everybody that’s listening today. Jodie and Elden, both of you I’m assuming live in a neighborhood and there’s that – comes that time of the year when you got to do the neighbor gifts, the infamous neighbor gifts. You know, what am I going to do for my neighbors? It’s always a moment of stress. It’s a time of stress for people. What am I going to do for the neighbors?
I know that a lot of people use our service for that. So Jodie, I’m going to start with you. Tell me about your neighborhood and how – what could we do to make it really convenient for you to send the neighbor gift out this year?
Jodie: So I live in a great neighborhood. I live – my home is 50 years old. So I have a lot of people that have been there for a long time and I actually use your gifts or our gifts now a lot and I’ve sent the two-pack of brownies as well as I’ve sent this kit to my next door neighbor, the one that I had showed you earlier to – it’s an elderly couple. Amazing. The presentation is beautiful. I mean they – she cried. I mean he was just amazed that I would send that and just really honestly financially didn’t kill me to send. You know what I mean?
So it was really, really nice. I’ve also sent a lot of the chocolate dip Oreos, a lot of them. Very reasonable and people appreciate that. They’re a chocolate gift. They’re from Fernwood and they’re handmade. They’re a nice gift.
Kody: Well, I think what’s even more important in that, obviously your neighbors really appreciate it and you say it’s cost-effective, but even more important is it’s time-effective. I mean it –
Kody: You need as much time as you can possibly get to get all those holiday needs done for your family and for your friends and everything. So the ability to have a service that can take care of your neighbors like that and like you said, you have the next door neighbor that you wanted to do something a little extra special for and how much time you save by doing a service like this that will do it for you.
Jodie: You know, I buy for a lot of people. There’s a lot of elderly people also in our neighborhood and there’s a lot of elderly people that nobody – it’s almost like they’re forgotten. I’ve sent a lot of gifts and it is convenient and it’s time-efficient. It takes me two seconds to get online and send a gift. It’s not hard. It’s so convenient. So yeah, it leaves me no place to say, “Hey, you know what? I was busy this weekend. I didn’t have time.” Everybody has 10 minutes to get on and send a gift, to make somebody feel good.
Kody: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you Jodie. I really appreciate that. Elden, any final thoughts or words from you, things that you’ve noticed as people send these gifts out?
Elden: So I was just going to make – try to make it a little funny here, right? So if I were to buy all of these cookies and just give them myself and walk around the neighborhood, it’s possible they wouldn’t make it to the doorstep because I would eat them.
Our service is great that we offer because we can send out these gifts. Like you said, save time, save money and save my waistline, right? So that’s the one good thing. But I think we offer here at our company a wide range of gifts for every budget. It’s interesting that we get compliments on all of the gifts that we offer, whether our – from our least expensive to our higher end and the gifts fit in that range of whatever people are looking for.
So – and usually, it’s a gourmet food item. People love gourmet food and our chocolate and our sweets.
Jodie: And we can offer them year-round, not just at Christmastime. I mean there are so many people I’ve touched by out of the blue not – they didn’t expect anything, but out of the blue just saying, “Hey, you know what? I’m thinking about you.” It matters to people. It really makes a difference in one person’s life. If each one of us would touch one person, it would make a huge difference. It doesn’t have to be just at Christmastime.
Kody: So I feel compelled as – listening to your stories, I feel compelled to issue a challenge to everybody that’s listening here today and Jodie, you inspired this. Just outside of everything that you do for your business and all the stuff that you send out for your clients and everybody else, I just feel like it would be kind of fun to do this. You know, during the holiday season, people are softer. People are more kind. People are more sensitive to other people’s needs.
We do have a growing population out there. We do have a group of elderly people. Many of us have our own parents, perhaps grandparents, and friends of our parents and grandparents. This is a sensitive time of year for those folks.
So I’m going to just – on top of everything that you need to do, I would just like to issue a challenge, to – you know, sometime during the holiday season, find an elderly person, somebody that’s in their late years. You can determine what that age ought to be. But some – an elderly person. It might be someone in your neighborhood. It might be in your family. It might be a friend of a family member. Whoever it is, someone who’s elderly, who might be alone, who might be – they might be an older couple together alone or family is away from them during the holidays. Find that one – just one. Just find one. Everybody that’s listening, find one elderly couple or elderly person and make an extra effort to reach out to them with kind words and with a kind gift and remember them.
I would even challenge it more than that. More than just having a gift sent to them, walk over and knock on their door and give them a gift and tell them that – you know, wish them the “Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!” and let them know that you care about them. That was not planned at all. It was not part of the script. It was not part of anything for the show today. But I think that no matter who you are, no matter which country you live in, no matter what walk of life you come from, I believe that all of us can take on that challenge.
I think it’s really important. Jodie, wouldn’t you agree? I mean wouldn’t that be a fun challenge for all of us to do?
Jodie: You know what? Absolutely, absolutely. I’ve already got like 10 people in mind and to tell you the truth Kody, there is a lady next to me that she didn’t get a lot of visitors and I – she was always mowing her grass. My husband is always trying to help her. She was probably close to 80 and she ended up committing suicide because she was so lonely. And you know what? We have neighbors like that. You have – I have neighbors. We all have somebody around us that one little card, one little gift, a knock on the door that said, “You know what? This token that says someone cares.” I mean let’s do it. I love that. I think that’s a great idea. There are so many people that we can make a difference in their lives for sure.
Kody: Well, thank you and I appreciate you inspiring that. I think that’s kind of a fun twist to our show today. So whether you use the SendOutCards service or not to do that, it’s totally up to you. If you want to go to the store and buy a gift and a card and do that, walk up to somebody’s door and do it, great. If you want to use SendOutCards, you can send the gift to yourself. You can send a card and a gift to yourself and walk it over to that neighbor friend. I just think that would be a lot of fun to do during the holiday season.
Elden and Jodie, thank you so much for being on the show today and thank you for the incredible service that you – and you’ve got an amazing staff of people. They all care. You guys, it’s amazing how much you care. The tender loving care that you put into every gift that goes out of here is really inspiring to me and it should be to all those who are listening.
So thank you very much. I appreciate all that you do. Thanks everybody. We will see you next week on our Relationship Marketing show. God bless everybody and take care now.
Jodie: Thank you.