January 24, 2024

Rethink work anniversaries: 3 strategies to boost retention


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  • Gifts celebrating employment milestones should reflect years of hard work.
  • Phase-out corporate pins, certificates, and cheap branded swag.
  • Improve employee retention by offering personalized corporate gifts or experiences.

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We’re going to be blunt. Don’t skimp when it’s time to celebrate work anniversaries.

It’s time to modernize how we show appreciation for hardworking employees and clients. How is it possible? The answers can be pulled straight from any successful account-based marketing (ABM) strategy.

Work anniversaries are not the time to save on corporate gifts.

Nobody wants a corporate pin or mass-produced swag after loyally working hard for ten years. Cheap gifts or disregarding employee milestones can send employees and clients fishing for better deals and better connections.

Improving retention with work anniversaries

Genuine and enthusiastic retention is a marketing solution that too many companies skip. They are so intent on expanding to more accounts that they overlook the value that existing clients bring to the bottom line.

Instead, celebrate each client (and employee) anniversary and milestone with purpose. Show customers you’re truly grateful for them believing in your message and your product.

B2B direct mail campaigns can be just as successful when put to work internally as those designed to drum up new leads. Streamline all direct mail by using an automated gifting platform. Sendoso takes the guesswork and manual labor out of celebrating client and work anniversaries.

Read below for three proven strategies.

Strategy #1: Driving sales through engagement

Target Audience: Prospects

A tried-and-true B2B sales strategy for cultivating interest and nudging clients in the right direction is to send a direct mail gift.

Unfortunately, a lot of sales teams are on auto-pilot. They blindly rely on sending a coffee gift card without consideration for each prospect.

A coffee card is nice, but that’s about it.

Think about it.

Will a coffee have made an impact that influences a signature when it comes time for a major contract decision? Or will it be utterly unpersuasive?

That’s why we say don’t stop your strategy there.

There are so many stages of the sales cycle that demand a customized, personalized touch to build confidence and ultimately close the deal.

Boulevard, a B2B spa solutions company, was in just that position when they brought in Sendoso. They needed options for ways to reach prospects across the decision-making spectrum.

Boulevard representatives shopped through the wide variety of gifts available on the Sendoso Direct Marketplace .They scaled their strategy to every level of the funnel. Some of their favorite gift ideas included Boulevard-branded cookies following a demo, branded candles from high-value vendors, and custom lunch eGifts to continue conversations.

Personal gifts that are tailored to each prospect generate excitement and can lead to substantial results. The same can be said for human resources departments tasked with selecting work anniversary gifts.

Once Boulevard had its sales engagement strategy in place, pipeline influence grew by nine times. They even landed a deal with a celebrity stylist.

For Boulevard, the math on the marketing ROI was straightforward.

“Sales reps who are regularly using their Sendoso budget are closing more deals and have more opportunities in the funnel,” said Boulevard’s Paid and Social Media Manager Katlyn McCue.


Strategy #2: Improving brand loyalty

Target Audience: Current customers

Existing customers don’t just become loyal to their B2B partners overnight (and with no effort).

Crafty and canny businesses are investing in brand loyalty and baking it into their marketing strategy to keep current clients.

Prop up your brand with an existing account by celebrating the milestones that highlight your partnership together.

Mark anniversaries with a potted plant from Sendoso Direct. Include a note that says, “Looking forward to continued growth over the next year.”

Also, keep up with the client’s business evolution through their social media pages. Send a gift when they’ve accomplished something significant. A bottle of champagne or fine wine for decision-makers commemorating their achievement can do wonders when renewal time rolls around.

Put swag or branded merchandise to good use by sending regular shipments to top clients from your virtual swag closet housed at Sendoso.

Use leftover swag from field marketing events to promote brand loyalty.

Sendoso client Liveramp delighted clients with surprise “swag bomb” gift boxes to help get their B2B clients “Liverampified.”

Be sure to showcase to signed clients how your company is advancing too. Include the latest company literature on new products and partnerships with every direct mail gift. You’ll be building up important relationships and cementing existing deals.

Strategy #3: Boost job retention

Target Audience: Employees

Let’s all agree that internal work anniversaries need a glow-up.

With all the job competition out there, it’s time to make a game plan for retaining quality employees.

Team members want to know they are contributing in a meaningful way to the success of the company. Salaries reflect the scope of work and experience, but perks and rewards are the day-to-day job retention strategies that keep employees content and productive.

So, before you give one of your hard-working employees a corporate gift that marks their time with the company, follow one rule: Make it something cool.

Look for corporate gift ideas that will boost employee engagement. Satisfied employees help improve company culture.

A coupon or a pin is demeaning compared to an employee’s years of service. And for goodness’ sake, stop handing out printed certificates. Because that goes straight in the trash.

Instead, try a personalized gift box influenced by each employee’s interests to celebrate their work anniversaries. People teams can take a few minutes to shop the Direct Marketplace for gifts that fit any category and budget. Whether the team member spends their free time sheltering adopted pets or crafting new recipes in the kitchen, Sendoso Direct has a gift that will make them feel valued and confident.

Don’t forget to include a personal, work anniversary message from the boss that not only motivates but also gets a laugh. For example, “You’re one smart cookie!”

At Quantum Metric, employee recognition became a cornerstone for their people team. Leaders created a system of public shout-outs for hard work, and let team members use rewards as cash in the company Swag Store™.

Onboarding is also a chance to show the newest team members your commitment to creating a successful work relationship.

Welcome new hires with tech gadgets to improve their adjusting workflows and snack boxes for midday munchies. Sendoso can fulfill it all.

People-first stance on work anniversaries

For many sales teams, personal relationships are what get deals off the ground. But after the deal is done, remember that the relationship still needs love.

Companies that take a people-first approach to their sales and marketing efforts are reshaping the playbook on brand awareness. They are concentrating on celebrating the folks who make work happen—both clients and employees—and marking those special work anniversaries.

Create brand loyalty and maintain momentum with direct mail strategies that focus on making others feel recognized, valued, and interested.

Sendoso can help you brainstorm the best work anniversary ideas. Reach out to us to speak with a Sendoso representative today about ways to celebrate with meaning and within your budget.

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