Printed gift cards aren’t just another product you sell. They can actually be used as an effective marketing tool, especially during the holiday season.
Gift cards are one of the most popular forms of gift-giving in today’s economy. In fact, 61% of survey respondents claim they’d rather get a gift card than an actual gift. It gives them the flexibility to purchase something they really need or want, plus it removes the stress of pretending to like a gift that someone else picked out for them.
Let’s look at some specifics about using printed gift cards in your holiday marketing to increase sales and build customer loyalty.
Printed Gift Cards vs Gift Certificates
We know gift cards today as a small, credit card-like piece of plastic that contains a pre-set dollar amount and can be used only for certain stores, but there are other options when it comes to giving the gift of choice.
Before gift cards existed, gift certificates were the only option for people to offer “store credit” as a gift. These certificates were usually store specific and could be purchased in almost any dollar amount.
Despite the massive switch to gift cards, gift certificates are still highly in use. Gift certificates don’t require any major software in order to use them. They’re readily available and affordable to any business, regardless of size or budget. They can easily be branded or customized to match your company’s brand. And of course, they offer many of the same benefits as gift cards.
However, it’s clear that gift cards are thriving in today’s digital era. Unlike large gift certificates, gift cards fit snugly in any wallet. You can easily check your balance online. Most of the major brands and retailers offer them. And you can use them online. They’re a desirable option for consumers, which automatically makes them a smart choice for businesses.
Why Gift Card Marketing Is Valuable to Your Strategy
In order to use gift cards in your marketing, you must be technologically set up to authorize them and receive them as payment. Like other forms of marketing, starting a gift card strategy is an investment. Not only do you need the right software or POS integrations to use gift cards, but you must also consider the cost of the cards and how to let people know you now offer gift cards as an option.
However, the benefits are too great to ignore. It’s estimated that gift cards sales for 2017 reached almost $150 billion. Gift cards are an easy way to build your brand and drive traffic to your store, whether it’s brick and mortar or strictly e-commerce. Over half of consumers traditionally spend more than the gift card’s value, giving you another way to boost your sales.Gift cards are an easy way to build your brand and drive traffic to your store.Click To Tweet
How to Create a Gift Card Marketing Strategy
Whether you use printed gift cards or custom gift certificates, simply having them available for sale isn’t enough to see their full potential.
Rather, consider the possible ways you can leverage your gift cards as a marketing tool:
Personalize Your Gift Cards
Gift cards are most commonly used as a gift to others, so help your buyers personalize the experience. Offer a variety of designs and messages. Allow them to completely customize their e-gift cards. Leave them room to write a personal message on the envelope. Gift cards have a bad rap for being the most unimaginative gift, and a little personalization can go a long way in changing that perception.
Donate Gift Cards for Brand Awareness
Consider offering a few gift cards as part of a raffle prize or donation to a good cause. This will give your brand massive exposure in addition to bringing in customers (the winners of the gift cards). The smart strategy here is to offer several lower value cards rather than one or two high-value cards. The more cards you can provide, the more customers you can reach.
Encourage Higher Spending
Restaurants have led the charge in offering freebies with the purchase of a higher-value gift card. But other businesses can follow suit. Consider offering a bonus or freebie if a customer purchases a certain gift card value (e.g. spend $50 to get an extra $5).
Provide Gift Cards for Referrals
Offering gift card incentives can add fuel to your referral fire. Consumers are looking to save money and take advantage of deals during the holidays. Giving them an incentive to boost your business during the holidays comes at an excellent time for your biggest fans.
What to Include in Your Print Design
If you’re pursuing a print gift card or gift certificate marketing strategy for the holidays, it’s important you create the right visuals to help you maximize your benefits. Here are a few suggestions to include in your design:
Your Business Identity
Generic gift cards from your local office supply store will only make a generic impression. Instead, create a custom design for your gift cards or certificates. It should be well-branded to provide a consistent image and experience with your company. Use your business name, logo, phone number, website, and other contact information to show buyers where to redeem their gift.
Make it Attractive
Plain cards are boring. Work with a graphic artist to make your holiday gift cards pop. Use rich colors, dazzling images, fun fonts, and festive messages that will make it as much fun to give the card as it is to receive it.
Remember, a gift card is just that – a gift. Most gifts come in nice paper, bows, or other packaging, so try to design your cards or certificates to look every bit as appealing as any other gift.
Include the Value
The recipient needs to know what their card or certificate is worth. You can leave a space to write in the dollar amount. Or, consider printing cards in various denominations. This can encourage buyers to spend a little more, plus the value of the card is clear.
Does Size Matter?
Gift card sizes are standard, but certificates are not. There is no right or wrong as to the size of your gift certificates, but it’s important you’re able to place the certificate in an envelope without having to fold it.
Number Your Gift Cards and Certificates
To combat gift card or gift certificate fraud, it’s important to number each one so you can verify its purchase.
Presentation Is Key
How will your buyers present your gift cards? Should you include a branded envelope with the purchase of a card or certificate? Or will you attach a custom rack card to the back of the gift card, like major retailers do?
A wow-worthy presentation can encourage customers to give their friends or loved ones a gift card. It’s less work for them if the gift card already looks nice and comes with everything you need to give it to the recipient.
Order Your Holiday Gift Cards Today
The holidays are quickly approaching, but it’s not too late to stock up on printed gift cards or gift certificates to boost your sales.
Contact us today to get a quote on custom holiday gift cards or certificates to improve your sales before the end of the year.