Sendoso, the leading Sending Platform, today unveiled findings that showcase the critical importance of building human connections with buyers in its 2021 State of Sending Report.

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Societal issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and social justice conversations pushed brands to be more open and honest — and ultimately more human — bringing the concept of “human to human” (H2H) to the forefront. And while personalization tactics were already on the rise before the pandemic, B2B buyers and customers expect experiences that are similar to that of a B2C consumer. Sendoso’s 2021 State of Sending Report surveyed 750 U.S.-based marketing, sales, and CX professionals to dig deeper on this concept, finding 91% of respondents believe building a personal, human connection with their buyers has become more important to closing sales since March 2020.

“When the pandemic forced and accelerated remote work, businesses understandably turned all their attention — and budget — towards digital tactics,” said Kris Rudeegraap, CEO and co-founder of Sendoso. “The problem with this is that digital was already fatiguing buyers pre-pandemic, and it only got more difficult and taxing to reach buyers digitally once the pandemic began. Our 2021 State of Sending report proves that in both online and offline channels, we need to focus on building human connections, and the revenue will follow.”

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Digital Fatigue Has Increased and it’s a Massive Barrier to Customer Engagement

  • The overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) agreed that target audiences are fatigued by increased virtual and digital buyer/customer engagement efforts.
  • While virtual events have become a new norm, they’re not helping with personalization. 92% of respondents agreed that virtual meetings, events, webinars and conferences need to be more personalized and interactive to be more effective in the next 12 months.

Marketing, Sales, and CX Budgets Have Increased to Support Relationship-Building

  • Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents said their budget stayed the same or increased by at least 1-25% for 2021.
  • Respondents aim to use this budget to acquire new customers, build stronger relationships with customers and buyers, and boost customer retention.

Human-to-Human Strategies Combat Digital Fatigue and Deliver Results

  • By being more human in their approach, revenue leaders said they can achieve higher client retention (64%), deeper client relationships (63%), and more closed sales (54%) as a result.
  • With various social issues crossing over into customer relations in 2020, most of the respondents who addressed these types of social issues publicly (44%) said they received a positive response (84%).

Sending is a Creative Competitive Advantage

  • The biggest advantages in using sends (direct mail, eGifts, experiences) cited by revenue leaders is standing out from competition (65%) and the ability to be creative or personal (60%).
  • Seventy-nine percent of revenue leaders are planning to use sending strategies in the next 12 months, and nearly three-quarters of respondents (71%) expect the amount of monthly sends to increase in the same time period.
  • The top three sends respondents plan on using in the next 12 months are eGift cards, custom-branded swag bundles and experiences.
  • When asked which areas of marketing, sales, and customer success that sending initiatives can best support, 35% of respondents said the middle of the funnel activities, 23% said customer retention, and 20% said top of the funnel activities.

The report also explores data from thousands of sending teams across the globe in order to understand the most popular sends and trends from the last twelve months.

  • Starbucks (22%), (17%), and GrubHub (13%) were the top eGift sends that resulted in securing the most meetings for revenue teams.
  • eGfits resonated well with target audiences — 70% of all eGifts were redeemed within four days by recipients.
  • A Yeti tumbler was the top physical send of 2020.

“The 2021 State of Sending Report reinforced a lot of ideas we all felt were true, namely building authentic relationships with customers,” said Dan Frohnen, CMO at Sendoso. “Our customers can now prove their strategies are the right ones to employ in this environment. When digital tactics are executed poorly, they can feel cheap and impersonal. That’s why creating human connections is priceless.”

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