How We Built A $468K/Year Corporate Gift Platform That Services 200+ Countries

Dmitriy Peregudov
Founder, Giftsenda
$39K
revenue/mo
1
Founders
10
Employees
Giftsenda
from Arlington MA, USA
started February 2021
$39,000
revenue/mo
1
Founders
10
Employees
778K
alexa rank
Discover what tools Dmitriy reccommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Giftsenda? Check out these stories:
Start A Swag Platform

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Dmitriy Peregudov, and I run Giftsenda - the SaaS gifting platform for Sales & Marketing teams.

Our marketplace offers gourmet gift baskets, tech gifts, gift cards, swag items, donation gifts, and more with physical delivery in 1-3 business days and immediate digital delivery.

During the winter holiday season of 2021, our team processed and delivered over 40,000 gift orders in 200+ countries worldwide.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

At the age of 19, I was working as a camp counselor in Youth Camps, and I noticed how much I enjoyed connecting with people and building strong organizations. Since then, I’ve learned to motivate, inspire, and, most importantly, give.

Later, this experience brought me to create a company GiftBasketsOverseas.com, an international company focusing on gourmet gifts.

The company was initially focusing on serving a B2C audience. However, as our team got more experienced, we acquired many corporate customers with overseas sending needs.

Most of our customers find us on Google - we've been focusing on our SEO and PPC campaigns from the early days and capitalized on it. Later we added Linked and Facebook as additional channels that were converting both corporate and personal gift senders.

Over the years, our customers taught us to reshape the business and helped us to serve them better. Their efforts made our company one of the best in International gifting in terms of service area and speed of service.

As my management team and I were brainstorming where to take the company next, I noticed that many of our customers would love more than just a website to send gifts. They would benefit from a robust bulk gifting solution to make their sending experience more automated, and yet personal at the same time.

Our platform allows one-stop shopping solutions for all types of corporate gifts anywhere in the World. Since any physical gift can be sent in minutes to a list of thousands of prospects or customers, the platform makes the gifting experience both versatile and convenient.

As we looked deeper into various gifting use cases, we realized that our business customers were sending gifts not only to build loyalty but also to accelerate their sales and marketing. My experience was also in Software Development and Marketing, so I had a pretty good idea of what the solution should look like.

This is how Giftsenda was born - a SaaS platform to personalize gift options for each recipient, all while making it super-easy for gift senders. In short, it’s a spin-off founded by a team with 18 years of international gift delivery experience, coupled with innovative software automation options such as CRM integration and ROI measurement.

My 3rd son Elio was born around the same time as Giftsenda. So, backed up by my wife and inspired by my now three children, I was fueled with energy to propel the growth of the newly born venture.

Now servicing 200+ countries and offering hundreds of gifts on the Giftsenda Marketplace, we are well-positioned to service all use cases of our customers.

Take us through the process of designing and prototyping your platform.

I have seen some tech-enabled gifting solutions on the market. However, none of our competitors had as much global gift delivery experience as our team. Many other solutions started from $1800 monthly and up, and we believed Giftsenda should be affordable for SMBs as well, so our Starter plans are just $150/month.

giftsenda

Over the years we also built an amazing CX team, so the parent company’s system was a turn-key solution to get started quickly.

The platform prototype was ready within 8 months or so, and we were inviting some of the customers to try the platform and received some great feedback. The parent company has also started using Giftsenda to connect with its many customers and we proved that the tool has almost immediate ROI.

We sent gifts to reconnect with some old leads and reactivate customers who haven’t placed orders for years. The results exceeded our expectations and we’ve also started using Giftsenda for prospecting.

My biggest learning is to not be afraid to move faster and to make mistakes quicker. The sooner we fail, the sooner we can get up and keep going in the right direction.

At the same time, new customers started to pop in, so over the last year, we’ve tailored our new features to their ongoing requests.

giftsenda

Describe the process of launching the business.

We had two customers interested in trying the service as soon as we could launch it, so this was very motivating for our team.

Since my past startups were always bootstrapped, I knew that we needed to design a product that brings clear value to the corporate customer in terms of ROI and time-saving. So all of our early core features focused on simple, clear functionality that saved time and effort in the laborious process of International gifting.

Everyone in the demand generation team was excited to develop a new platform and learn the sales process of offering Marketing Automation solutions instead of just selling gifts.

We naturally expanded our market to additional use cases such as Prospecting and Sales enablement gifts.

Once we launched we started to scale slowly, as we wanted to see how customers perceive our solution and what the feedback would be. We then made quick changes, as early customers were requesting features they felt were missing. It was a bit scary as we were not initially clear which features would be a clear win versus nice-to-haves.

Initially, I financed our operation as a direct investment from a parent company and also from my savings. While we may soon be open to additional investments, we are not in a rush to raise around just yet, as our focus, for now, is to continue developing in the right niche and helping our customers profitably grow their sales.

Our platform is fully custom built by a tech team of 4 Backend and Frontend developers. Additionally, integrations with CRM and customer engagement tools required specialized knowledge, and some of this expertise needed to be developed in-house or outsourced in the early stages. We are still adding a lot of functionality to the platform to integrate with several more CRM platforms in the coming months.

giftsenda

giftsenda

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

The most important value of the Giftsenda platform is clear, measurable ROI on your gifting.

In a traditional world, whenever a sales/marketing person sends a direct mail, the budget is used up as soon as the package is sent out and no matter whether the gift reaches the intended recipient or is perceived as valuable.

With Giftsenda’s tools, you can send a gift invite that costs you nothing, and when the gift is not “pre-accepted” via email-invite, your budget is saved.

Imagine you have a list of 124 prospects and you are looking to budget $50 per gift, plus delivery (assume around $10).

This campaign would have cost you 124 x $60 = $7,440 with traditional sending via some third-party website or directly.

Now, with Giftsenda, you send 124 gift invites using the Giftsenda platform or from within your CRM.

Imagine only 18 of these recipients accept your gift invite, this would cost you only 18 x $60 = $1,080, as you only need to pay for gifts that are accepted and being sent out by Giftsenda on your behalf.

With this, you’ll realize hefty savings of around $6,360 (85% of your original campaign cost)!

giftsenda

Another benefit: when you send a gift by traditional direct mail - you’d try to guess what your recipient might enjoy within your budget. Say you are sending a Box of chocolates, but the recipient is diabetic. Or imagine you are sending a wine basket, and the recipient doesn’t drink alcohol.

With Giftsenda, your recipient will have a chance to accept your gift or swap it for another one of the same value from the list of many options on our Marketplace, such as a gift card, tech gadget, swag set or gourmet gift, and many more within the budget selected by the sender.

giftsenda

Another huge benefit - your intended prospect will be able to specify their preferred delivery address, so you won’t have to send your gift to an unconfirmed address.

Your team can then follow the delivery progress for all accepted and shipped gifts on an easy-to-use dashboard.

Our main marketing channels are SEO / PPC, presence in relevant SaaS directories, affiliate marketing, retargeting and social media marketing. Everything we do is 100% online as this allows us to quickly measure ROI, make adjustments and scale our marketing efforts.

giftsenda

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

The Giftsenda Platform went live only 6 months ago and we already enjoy solid growth in numbers of customers and a monthly increase in the number of “gift sendas” (our internal unit of customer success).

Surround yourself with people of complementary (ideally different from your) skill sets, who would be looking in the same direction as you are. Believe in these people, trust them with things that you used to trust only yourself with, and empower them to make mistakes and learn alongside them.

Many of our gifts are priced at a similar level as directly from our suppliers, so the bulk of our cash comes from the subscription fees. Our customers are happy, and this gives us a lot of energy to keep improving.

Our goal is to continue building market awareness around our gifting platform while supporting the strong customer demand we are experiencing.

giftsenda

Currently, Giftsenda integrates with Hubspot and Salesforce.

The next stage of our development is to add many additional integrations with CRM, leading marketing platforms, and sales enablement tools such as Outreach, Salesloft, Marketo, and many others.

We are actively looking for reseller partnerships with Marketing Agencies and Integrators. Our partner reseller program offers superb revenue-sharing options for the right partner.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

My biggest learning is to not be afraid to move faster and to make mistakes quicker. The sooner we fail, the sooner we can get up and keep going in the right direction.

I came from a conservative bootstrapping mode and needed to learn to accelerate growth as Giftsenda is growing and changing faster than my previous ventures.

On a positive note: we have an amazing team of passionate people who truly care about customer success and love working together. To enable our customers to connect with their prospects through gifting - we need to be good at connecting well with one another.

With our team culture, we are well equipped to see Giftsenda grow to new heights in the coming years.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

  • Mouseflow for User Behavior Measurement
  • Semrush for SEO tracking
  • Asana for Project Management
  • Dialpad for the Phone System
  • Google Apps for Email
  • Zendesk for Documentation and Support

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Surround yourself with people of complementary (ideally different from your) skill sets, who would be looking in the same direction as you are. Believe in these people, trust them with things that you used to trust only yourself with, and empower them to make mistakes and learn alongside them.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Who we are looking for:

An eager to grow Sales & Business Development Representative SaaS to join our growing sales team as we rapidly grow our gifting platform and constantly expand to international markets (The US/Canada, the UK, EU, Australia). The right candidate should have a hands-on background in Sales, a "get-things-done" mentality, and be eager to grow into a rapidly developing company. Learn more or apply here!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

-  
Dmitriy Peregudov, Founder of Giftsenda
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Discover the best strategies of successful business owners

Join our newsletter and receive our handcrafted recap with the best insights shared by founders in Starter Story each week.

Useful, convenient, and free:

Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?

Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.

Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.

Join Brumate, Beardbrand, and the 265,000 other businesses using Klaviyo to grow their online sales.

Try Klaviyo for free right now ➜