March 18, 2022

How to Pair Puns and Gifting for a Marketing Win


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  • Incorporating puns into B2B marketing campaigns adds humor to grab attention.
  • Humor is a proven way to gain attention, appear relatable, and be remembered.
  • Clever direct mail marketing can increase response rates.

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Love a good play on words? Most successful marketers do. Experienced marketers can turn puns into memorable marketing moments.

Some even find new success by taking their crafty puns a step further. They’re combining their favorite puns with clever direct mail strategies. Puns can add personality to the simplest of gifts.

Pair an eGift card for coffee with a clever pun note that reads:

“Let’s share what we’ve been brewing.”

The combination adds a hint of humor. It also shows clients and prospects that you gave the gift extra thought.

It’s a strategy designed to engage prospects, increase response rates, and book meetings. Below, we’ll share some popular marketing puns and discuss how to incorporate witty wording into your sends and how real B2B marketing teams are finding success one pun at a time.

A Good Pun Is Its Own Reword

Used correctly, a good play on words can transform a marketing or sales campaign. You’ll commonly see puns mentioned in direct mail customer success stories. Teams select a gift to offer prospects and tie the messaging in with a pun.

Send a bottle of wine to a potential client with a note reading:

“Hope this gift from us gives you a Riesling to smile.”

“If you come up with a pun, whether it’s the handwritten note or the gift itself, it creates some smile, laughter, quirkiness that really showcases that you’re thoughtful,” explains Sendoso CEO and Co-Founder Kris Rudeegraap.

Data show the importance of humor in advertising and marketing. Researchers at Nielsen studied which marketing themes resonated most with global audiences. Humor ranks near the top for both European and North American audiences. Forbes found four major benefits of infusing humor into your marketing campaign:

  • Grabs attention
  • Spreads laughter
  • More relatable
  • Easy to recall

Decision-makers are more likely to remember gifts and correspondence that trigger emotion. And modern marketing is about creating a memorable experience. So think outside the box, free yourself to be a little cheesy, and create a pun-inspired marketing campaign too good to forget.

Pun-Inspired Direct Mail Wins

Triggering emotion isn’t just memorable. It’s a moneymaker for many B2B companies.

Donut Miss Out on Tipalti

No, that’s not a typo. Software company Tipalti created marketing magic by working donut puns into their copy and direct mail campaign.

The result? Tipalti turned $3 million in influenced closed-won revenue. The Tipalti team found success by using Sendoso Direct to surprise decision-makers with do-it-yourself donut kits. Each kit included a handwritten note tying their send together with a pun:

“Do-nut miss out on this offer! I am reaching out to sweeten your day with this box of ‘do it yourself’ donuts.”

The puns didn’t stop there. They ended the note with “please donut say no to me.”

Set a Meating with Samsara

San Francisco–based Samsara won big by pairing food and puns. The marketing team designed the “Let’s Meat” campaign to target hard-to-reach accounts. The marketing sequence started by sending beef jerky in branded packaging.

Sales development representatives sent recipients who accepted a meeting a $50 gift card as a thank you with the message:

“I would have loved to take you out to dinner, but ‘let’s meat’ instead.”

This pun-inspired campaign also proved to be valuable. Marketing leaders at Samsara credit the “Let’s Meat” campaign with driving a 250% increase in pipeline sourced from direct mail.

Expanding Creative Marketing Themes

Don’t limit your creativity to puns. Successful marketing teams are always cultivating new ways to get noticed. Themed gifts, holiday sends, and even metaphors can be strong strategies to stand out from the competition.

Terminus Cooks Up ABM Magic

Account-based marketing company Terminus achieved big gains by creating a multi-touch awareness campaign using metaphors and puns. Every aspect of the direct mail campaign tied into cooking.

The marketing team collaborated with Sendoso to turn their account-based marketing eBook into a printed cookbook. The book explained ABM strategies by using food metaphors. It resonated well with top-of-funnel prospects and generated high-volume organic traffic.

Each ABM campaign was presented as a recipe coupling strategic marketing steps with food-inspired gifts for prospects.

For example:

  • Meet and Cheeseboard, a strategy to increase demo attendance
  • Retention Rigatoni, a strategy to boost renewal rates
  • Strawberry Surround Sound Ice Cream, a strategy to improve close rates by using Sendoso Direct to deliver pints of ice cream to potential customers

What happened next surprised everyone.

The ABM cookbook drove $5.5M in pipeline opportunities and $659K in revenue.

Puns with Purpose

Consider timing when designing campaigns featuring puns. Some of the best taglines are centered around holidays, social media trends, or national monthly celebrations.

For example, March is National Craft Month, so consider a craft-inspired theme and tagline like:

“Skills aren’t our only common thread. Let me show you how we measure up.”

No matter what type of pun you’re using, there are some important things to note. The primary goal of your B2B marketing copy is to entice prospects. However, make sure your key selling point is clear, consider your target audience, and keep it simple.

Remember, humor is a social thing; people regularly share funny stories. In fact, most viral online videos are those that make viewers laugh. A fun brand is a confident brand, and a confident brand always stands out.

Looking for a little pun-spiration? Browse 12 months of gifting puns highlighting the best gifts and messaging. Or join the SuperSender program to brainstorm ideas with the best in the business.

Got questions? We’re here for you.

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