We all like gifts. Whether it’s from a family or a vendor, gifts are appreciated.
Vendors of all types send each other gifts from time to time. Sometimes it’s a small annual token for doing business together, sometimes it’s an outright gift for just listening to a pitch (ahem, martech vendors). Or an incentive for filing out a survey. Whatever the reason, you may be wondering how to automate giftcard sends.
Why send gift cards to clients and prospects?
- Survey Incentives for completing surveys
- Thanking advocates
- Holiday gifts for Customers
- Thank you for patience or apologies.
I’m not going to comment on the ethics or efficacy of this type of gift. This article is just about automating the gifting process.
Gift card sending is tedious because you must go through a lot of process because it’s a cash payment and small, untraceable physical items tend to disappear. I managed this process once for a survey incentive and spent more time ensuring the cards didn’t go missing than anything else. If you do this regularly, you might:
- Go to Finance to get approval.
- buy the cards.
- log all the cards.
- Pull together the list of recipients, addresses, etc.
- Confirm the recipients should receive a card.
- Match the card number to the recipient.
- Do a mail merge (yours or a vendor).
- Figure out if the recipient will have to reject it.
- Collect and log returned items.
- And you’re really sure if the person received it.
Why go through all this when you can automate the whole process while maintaining the right records?
If you’ve received a small gift card from a vendor recently, it might have been through a service called Rybbon, founded by Jignesh Shah. I had a chance to speak with Jignesh, go through a demo, and test out the service. (I did not receive any gifts from Rybbon). I did enjoy the setup and gift process because it’s surprisingly simple. I barely read the directions to get a campaign working; and when I can successfully send a $5 giftcard in a test with minimal help, I know it’s simple.
What is Rybbon?
It’s a point service that allows anyone to send gift cards electronically and in a traceable way to one or more recipients. The service is only for gift cards and does not currently offer fulfillment of other items. Rybbon offers a wide selection of US and international e-gift cards.
How is Rybbon Priced?
Rybbon’s pricing levels are interesting. After the free version, there are more features and a 10% processing fee per card. Rybbon also refunds all unclaimed gifts, which is a big plus since unused physical gift cards create issues for compliance. You can try the service out for free, up to 100 cards in the US only.
Setup in Rybbon
Once you have an account, adjust the settings to personalize Rybbon for your brand.
How it Works from a CSV file in Rybbon (Direct Method)
There are two ways to use your Rybbon account. The first is what I call the “Direct Method” which is to use Rybbon as a standalone service. Just create a Rybbon Campaign and upload leads. The second way is to integrate Rybbon with Marketo or another tool.
Step 1: Choose a gift card and options
Step 2: Upload Names
Notice that whether you add an email by hand or import a CSV, deduping happens automatically. This was nice, because I didn’t realize the system had accepted the first name, so I typed it in again.
Step 3: Customize the Email
Note that you can go into Settings and adjust the From Email and Domains used so the branding is consistent and Spam filters will view this as a legitimate email. I did not do that here because it’s a demo account.
You can also further customize the email by clicking the Edit icon in the middle right.
Step 4: Customize the Page
Step 5: Pay
This was a test account. Note that you can Save in the upper right corner if you aren’t ready to deploy this campaign. You do receive a receipt immediately, however, unsent cards can be refunded immediately. Unclaimed cards are automatically refunded after your chosen claim period ends. This is helpful because you never quite know how many people will claim, or be able to claim, your cards.
Step 6: Watch the reports
One way to use this page is to collect data on an AB test of gift cards. Do Amazon cards work better than Best Buy? Depends.
Remember, you only pay for cards claimed by the recipients.
How it Works from Marketo
In Marketo, you can use Rybbon through an Email Script Token (Velocity Script) that you get from your Rybbon campaign and then insert into your Email. If you’re afraid of Velocity Scripts, don’t be. I don’t know the script language at all, so I copied the code, pressed a couple of buttons and it worked. This can be a great gateway to learning Velocity Scripting. The nice thing is you can use this Script in a Batch or Trigger flow!
Now, there is a feature in Rybbon where you can receive back info if the Lead accepted your gift. This requires the REST API and integration. It’s not hard if you’re an Admin. I did not test this feature. I’ve used a similar feature from PFL and it works well to trigger flows based on Delivered.
So how do you get that Script in there?
While Velocity Scripting brings up the imagery of “hard,” it turns out it isn’t. The script template I received from the Rybbon campaign setup renders the image and a link back to the Rybbon claim site. It doesn’t even need an API connection.
Step 1: Create a Marketo Campaign in Rybbon
To get here is similar to the Step 1 in the Direct method, just choose Marketo.
Step 2: Get the Marketo Token for the Campaign
You can get the token during the Setup process too.
Step 3: Copy Script
Step 4: go to Marketo Program
Step 5: Create Marketo Email Script Token
Step 6: Paste in Script and select the 4 fields: Company Name, Email Address, First Name, Last Name
Step 7: Add Email Script token to your email.
Step 8: Test the Email with a Lead sample.
You must follow this carefully if you want to deploy a Test. Failure to connect the Sample to a test Lead will cause it to fail.
Step 9: Approve and Go Live (Batch or Trigger)
What if I want to have Sales trigger a gift card send?
The script won’t work if you expose the email to Sales Insight. The better way is to create a Trigger flow with the Campaign is Requested from Sales Insight feature. Then train your reps to use the Add to Marketo Campaign feature in SFDC. Other integrations include SurveyMonkey.
If you’re concerned about Sales using up a limited budget, there are a few ways to control this:
- Setup a Program with Requested or Wait List Program Status.
- Review and Change Status to Approved – Send (with a trigger/batch to Send).
- Just let the cards run out and shut off the Campaign when the budget is at $0.
Rybbon is an easy to use, solid solution to gift card sending and processing. Whether you use it standalone or with Marketo, Rybbon makes gift carding fast. In terms of ease of use, it’s simple. There’s no real need even for the API connection with Marketo if it’s not that important to you for logging acceptance. I picked up the key parts within a few minutes. There are a few other gift card tools out there, some are limited to sending coffee, or require more complex setup. Rybbon seems to have struck the right balance of simple, scalable, and powerful for marketers.
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