Play Blueprint: Surprise Gift

This article applies to:

Why Run It: Sending a surprise gift is a great way to create fans.

Who It's For: Business owners, operators, and sales teams who are looking for a great way to “wow!” prospects, clients, and customers.

Implementation time: 15-25min

Play Snapshot

A campaign that remembers and reminds your prospects, customers, and team members of their importance with a free gift is a surefire way to win.  By automating the entire process, you never have to remember anything, and your gift can really pay off in terms of higher satisfaction, referrals, social proof, and yes, more sales.  This isn’t just a campaign about sending a customer a coupon on their birthday, either.  There are countless types of gifts – from flowers and brownies to vacations – that can be automated in your business. 

There are several ways to run this play, so let’s look at the most likely options for success in your business:

New (and Repeat) Customers:  The idea behind the entire Surprise Gift play is simple – we want to honor our customers with a token of our appreciation.  By setting up the campaign correctly, you and your team can automate this completely and capture loads of goodwill from anyone in your target group(s).   ] 

Customer Anniversary or Birthdays:  This has been one of the most useful plays in the Keap playbook for years, and for good reason.  The simple act – now automated – of wishing someone happy birthday or anniversary carries a lot of positive emotional weight.  Just as importantly, this is a critical aspect of nurturing long-term relationships with clients and team members, too. 

The best part of these two types of plays is they can both be implemented easily and can run – literally – for years.  Once your recipient has their gift, it’s also the perfect time to follow up with them for referrals, sales, or just to check in with them.  They are going to be very happy to hear from you. 

Running this play consists of deciding the type of gift you’ll send, creating the proper tags and the fulfillment process, removing the tags and creating the follow up for the play.  

Pro Tip: It’s FAR more effective to have the fulfillment handled by another company that specializes in this type of work.  That might be a local florist or other store that will send the gift based on an email from your business or one of countless companies online who can automate and send out gifts ranging from cards to brownies to wine. 

Play Components:

1. Gift Trigger

Depending on why you’ll be sending a gift, you’ll create the appropriate tag.  BE CLEAR!   The tags you’ll use for a new or repeat customer can be based on data you likely already have, but in the case of a Birthday or Anniversary, remember, you’ll need to have that information as a merge field in order to use a tag for it.  So while a gift for a new customer might simply be “Send Gift,” one for a birthday or anniversary should be clear enough to remember it. 

The second tag you’ll need to create is a history tag, which will, once the play is complete, may be used to replace the appropriate tag.  To use the previous example, “Send Gift” might be replaced by “Gift Sent.” 

2. Gift Fulfillment

It’s important, when you run this play, that you have all the data you need – name, physical address, and so on.  These will be used as merge fields in the fulfillment steps of this play, so list hygiene is critically important, whomever is handling the actual fulfillment. 

3. Follow Up

You want to create an email follow up from you or your team for after the gift is delivered.  This shouldn't be a hard sell or a "thank me for being so wonderful" email, but instead, a soft call to action – perhaps ask for a referral, testimonial, or suggest a relevant upsell.  Whatever you do, don’t ruin the goodwill you’ve built by making a sales pitch or a direct offer in the email – it’s not only tactless, it’s unprofessional and may actually have a negative effect. 

For Manual Gifts:

These are virtually the same process, but instead of the fulfillment being handled outside of your organization, you can assign a task to someone within your business to handle sending or shipping the gift.  The automation will resume once the assigned task has been completed. 

As you would in the automated campaign above, you’ll still Create the Tag(s) and Create the Sequence Box, but within the sequence box, you’ll be creating a task.  Once the assignee checks that task off, the campaign will proceed to the delay timer and on to the follow up you’ve created. 

Below is your action plan that breaks down the tactics and tasks of each step -- and details the assets, and content you'll need to execute this play like a pro.

Option 1 - tag applied trigger: a specific tag that launches this automation when applied to a contact

  • Tag- Send a gift 
  • Tag- Send Birthday gift
  • Tag- Product “A”purchased- send a gift

Option 2 - pipeline stage move trigger: a specific stage in your sales pipeline that will trigger this automation when a deal is moved into or out-of that stage 

  • Stage-Closed/Won
  • Stage- Payment complete/ work complete

Option 3 - product purchase trigger: the purchase of a specific product or a product in a selected product category will trigger this automation

  • Product “A” purchased

  • Product from Category “A” purchased

Checkpoints to Launch

Choose what kind of trigger makes the most sense for your current setup
Create the necessary tags/fields/automation to trigger the appropriate automation 

Some gift options:

Gift from your own products or services (a free guide, a t-shirt, access to a course)
Gift card or e-gift card
Gift box/basket, flowers, etc.

There are lots of options for how to run this play both manually and in an automated way. 

If you're going to have the gift manually shipped by an employee:

In the automation sequence following the launch trigger, create a “send a gift” task or “send a gift” email to be sent (automatically) to the employee who will handle fulfillment.

If you're going to have the gift automatically shipped by a third party:

Choose a third party gift service (here's some we recommend):

Tango card


Gift Goose 

In the Automation sequence following the launch trigger you will drag out the “send HTTP Post” process and configure it based on the integration you are using. Tango cards, Thankster, and Gift Goose can all be set up using Zapier.

Zapier <> Tango Card

Zapier <> Thankster

Zapier <> Gift Goose

Pro tip: If your gift is to be shipped manually, using a task to assign gift delivery to yourself or an employee means you can use a task completion goal at the end of the automation sequence. This can then trigger new automation like adding a note to the contact record (sent gift A), and also a notification to Admin (free gift has been shipped to ~Contact.Firstname~).

Checkpoints to Launch:

Choose if you're going to ship or deliver the gift manually or through automation
If manual: connect the trigger to a sequence containing a task creation for you or someone on your team
If automated: choose a third party service and setup an integration to automatically deliver the appropriate info to them when a gift needs to be sent

 Go To Advanced Automation Template

Success Metrics

Primary Metric: Sentiment

This play is a little harder to measure, and may depend on what the "soft call to action" is that you use in the follow up. If you ask for a testimonial, we would measure the number of testimonials that come in. But also, you're allowed to just run this play with zero motive. Your customers make your business, and showing them appreciation doesn't necessarily need to equal anything in return. 
[ COMING SOON: Tutorials for the best way to measure this metric ]

Common Next Plays

  • Testimonial Request [Recommended]
  • Refer a Friend
  • Personalized Check In