It says CX teams turn to its platform to source surprise gifts, “we’re sorry” gifts and make goods for not-so- ideal experiences, but Sara Rodell just wants to make the process of using Loop & Tie as easy as possible.
Earlier this month the Austin-based firm, which helps customers create curated gift collections with items from over 500 small businesses, launched an app that will integrate its platform directly with Salesforce’s customer relationship management (CRM) product, Sales Cloud.
That means a sales rep (or perhaps a marketing person working on their behalf) can organize sending a gift based on a particular contact, an account or a case, among other options. Gifts could also be associated with a recipient’s birthday, or the renewal date of a contract in some cases.
Those on the receiving end will be able to click on an e-mail link to browse through a list of gifts on the Loop & Tie platform. The company said the Salesforce app can allow organizations to strike a balance between personalization and scale, with the ability to send 10,000 gifts in minutes. (Disclosure: I provide content marketing services to Salesforce in Canada)
According to Rodell, who founded the company in 2011 and serves as its CEO, the Salesforce app made sense on several levels. The CRM vendor is among its investors, for instance, and Loop & Tie had been getting requests for the integration from clients.
“By connecting to Salesforce, we’re meeting them where they’re already managing their relationships,” Rodell told 360 Magazine. ““It’s not just the convenience of accessing everything in a single dashboard, but having the data in one place, which give you the power to asses the ROI of a gifting campaign.”
Depending on the customer, the key metrics could include whether sending gifts increases the number of meetings a sales rep books, she said, the longevity of a client relationship and even the time it takes to close a deal. Loop & Tie is also working with customers who use its platform for employee recognition, she added.
“All the intentions to connect didn’t change, but our channels and means with which we could connect were reduced significantly,” she said, alluding to the pandemic. “I think that gifting has really increased significantly as a result of the restrictions on not being able to see people in person.”
Perhaps as a result, some of the more popular choices among Loop & Tie’s gifting platforms have been those that could enhance a work-from-home space, like a riser to create a standing desk environment, or anything in the self-care space, she said.
Although Loop & Tie customers could offer gifts with their logo, Rodell said she has noticed a rise in “soft branding,” where companies recognize that customers will remember and appreciate items that have no obvious indication of who offered them.
“A lot of the times what we’re given in the corporate world are more tchotchkes. It would be more appropriate to call them product marketing,” she said.
“There’s a time and place where you really want to have that, but this is about increasing the diversity of products in your customer’s life . . . you want to offer something that feels more human. That’s the space I’m personally interested in.”
Rodell also noted the powerful conversations emerging around sustainability and diversity and inclusion. That means brands sending gifts need to be mindful they’re not contributing to waste and supporting a diverse group of makers. That’s one of the reasons Loop & Tie has aligned itself with small businesses, she added.
Besides Salesforce, Loop & Tie offers other options to integrate with enterprise applications via partners such as Zapier.
“Our guiding principle is to continue to innovate and reduce any friction points by helping our customers connect,” she said. “There are all sorts of platforms that might happen in.”
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.