For the simplicity of the post, we use the words gift cards as a generic term sharing the same meaning with gift vouchers, gift experiences and gift certificates.
A gift card is used interchangeably as either:
- A gift card with a monetary value that the recipient can use in exchange for goods or services.
- A gift experience that is used in exchange for a service.
Coming up in this post:
- What do consumers want from gift cards?
- Gift card promotions for Christmas
- Create bespoke Christmas offerings
- Communicate effectively!
- Christmas Pricing Promotions
- Marketing wording for your gift cards
- Want to introduce gift vouchers to your business?
Firstly, it is important to understand your potential customers and think about what it is they want from the gift cards you offer. Consider when looking at these reasons, that they are not for the customer directly, but for an intended recipient.
Generally, people’s desires for gift cards look something like this:
- Unique experiences that they’ve never seen before
- Experiences they’d never get around to trying or buying themselves
- Experiences that match their interests and desires
- Monetary value gift cards so they can choose what to spend themselves
- Great deals and promotions
- Convenience for consumers to shop quickly and easily online without overthinking it, with the added bonus of avoiding gift wrapping
- Need to buy a deluxe gift last-minute- especially if they have forgotten on Christmas morning! An e-card can be delivered directly to the recipient
So how do you encourage more purchasing of your gift cards this Christmas?
It’s simple, introduce new gift card promotions.
Gift cards are an easy sell for the holiday season. With gift cards topping consumer wish lists by a whopping 61%! With 59% of consumers planning to give gift cards.
So if you aren’t selling gift cards already, it’s certainly time to seriously consider this extra revenue source.
Without delay, let’s look at the different gift cards promotions you can introduce this Christmas.
Going back to the reasons why people buy gift cards, you need to consider the uniqueness, desires, personalisation and promotions of the offering. Tapping into these elements through a range of your different products and services will certainly increase customer gift card spending.
If you’re a regular follower of our blog content, then you will have seen us using the term FOMO before. But if not, we will happily explain what it is for you.
FOMO is Fear of Missing Out. This is a legitimate fear or anxiety for missing out that is growing, especially among millennials. The term is so popular that it has even been added to the Oxford Dictionary. If you don’t believe us check it out!
While we mention it a lot, it is a very critical component to consider when implementing your promotions for gift cards. Almost all your gift card offerings must aim to induce a FOMO to maximise sales.
To do this you need to create packages that have a limited offer period, that’s why it works perfectly for Christmas! By limiting your gift card offering by either creating a unique gift or a promotional deal for a limited time.
An easier way to say this is to make exclusive gifts just for Christmas.
So for the run-up to Christmas and even until Christmas Day itself, you need to create the feeling that certain gift card deals or packages are exclusive for Christmas only.
If you’re in the hospitality industry, you could consider running gift card deals that offer a 10% discount on all gift cards in the month of December.
Or even offering a 20% discount to additional gift cards purchased when spending over a certain amount on gift cards in December.
By selling unique gift card packages that are unavailable at any other time in the year will also induce someone’s FOMO. For example:
“For an exclusive time only we are offering a speciality 7-course à la carte menu at the chefs’ table. Gift cards on this package are only available until December 30th limited vouchers available.”
An easy way to beat your competition is to create a way that your customers can personalise their vouchers.
So how can you enable your gift cards to be personalised?
… By creating Add-ons.
Add-ons are a simple and easy way of enabling your customers to easily “add on” items or services to a standard gift card offering that you sell.
For example, say you have an overnight stay gift card for 2 people. You could create an option to add Champagne on ice, chocolates, flowers, rose petals on the bed, anything that can enhance the stay! Providing lots of options gives your customers a chance to really tailor their gift to the recipient. Allowing them to tap into their desires to make them the perfect, personable gift.
Check out our gift card management system, where we have an easy-to-use add on feature here.
Your number one priority is to make sure people know about your gift cards. That’s why you need to make sure you’re shouting loud and proud about your gift cards on all of your communication channels.
Your email campaigns will obviously only notify your existing or previous customers who are signed up to your email subscriptions. But with that being said, email campaigns are a very effective marketing tool. Your subscription base will have chosen to sign up to receive your emails to catch deals and promotions. So, they will welcome a gift card email campaign for Christmas.
How to run your email campaign
For maximum reach, you need to send various email blasts out as part of a wider email campaign for Christmas gift cards.
1st email blast
From the 1st of December
Begin from the start of December. Right after your Black Friday Campaign is finished is a good time to begin your Christmas campaign, especially to catch the early Christmas shoppers.
(FYI, if you need more information on how to run Black Friday marketing strategy see our post here.)
Your first post can be related to Black Friday. You can say, “If you’ve missed out on our Black Friday and Cyber Monday gift card deals, then you can catch more here with our Christmas offerings”.
2nd email blast
Send in the middle of December
Your second post is to remind your customers of the types of Christmas gift cards you offer. Use smart marketing wording to persuade them to click through to your website. We will talk about this further along in the post.
3rd email blast
Send the week before Christmas
Make sure your subject heading is highlighting the proximity to Christmas, and that time is running out to get that perfect gift! This will create a sense of urgency in your customers, making them more likely to purchase a gift card.
4th email blast
Last Chance!! Send on Christmas Eve
Here you will catch the last-minute panic buyers. Highlighting their fear of missing out on a good deal will enough them to click-through to your website.
“Still stuck for what to get? You can’t go wrong with a luxury gift card!”
5th email blast
Send on Christmas Day! – Yes really!!
This is to capture all the people who have forgotten people off their lists.
You will be amazed by how many gift cards we see get purchased on Christmas day itself. Maybe people have been forgotten, or maybe they get that last-minute guilty feeling that they didn’t spend enough. Who really knows? But one thing is for sure, people are still looking for easy and convenient gifts to buy on Christmas Day.
The best thing about gift cards is they are still a luxury item, which can be delivered via email instantly. So it doesn’t look like a last-minute gift.
You can Say, “It’s not too late! Send an e-gift card now, and they would be none the wiser!”
6th email blast
Send a reminder email to get online shopping for further deals for Boxing Day Sales.
An important reminder, make sure your email campaigns are optimised for mobile.
Also, you must include a direct link through to your gift card store for easy purchasing. Your customers aren’t likely to buy a gift card if they need to search your website independently to find your store.
As well as contacting your existing customers, you also want to be communicating to a new audience.
That’s where social media plays an important role!
Ways to increase gift card sales through Social Media
Social Media Campaign
Make sure you advertise your gift cards on social media alongside your email campaigns.
Use lots of pictures or videos. Video is 70% more effective for producing online conversions.
Social Media Competitions
There are many ways you can run competitions on social media, and you can use your gift cards as a prize. Effectively increasing your gift card awareness. For tips on the types of competitions you can run see our post here.
Don’t forget to include a direct link to your gift card store on your social media.
Most importantly your gift cards must be easily found on your website.
For more information on how to present your gift voucher website check out a past post of ours here, where we go over all features of a high-quality website design for gift cards specifically.
Other ways to increase online sales:
You can also include customer testimonials to receiving and experiencing your gift cards on your website. This is a nice way to get people to trust your product if they’ve never purchased or experienced it before.
Banner ads or pop-up boxes
For the month of December, you can introduce a banner ad across the top of your website with a direct link to your gift card store.
Or another way to increase your gift card click-through-rate is to have a pop-up box directing traffic to your gift card store.
Dedicated Landing page
Don’t just hide your gift card store under a header tab on your home page, create a dedicated landing page filled with gift card, gift voucher and gift certificate keywords to capture people searching the web.
Use Paid Ads
Don’t forget to introduce paid ads to increase your likelihood of being found on search engines.
Organic traffic through blog posts
A nice way to introduce people to your gift cards is to create blog posts. These blog posts can show the behind the scenes of the experiences available, meet the team, or even help on what to buy loved ones this Christmas.
But this marketing method is a slow burner, so don’t expect fantastic results short term.
Your online gift card system also needs to be able to run smoothly and keep up with online shopping demand.
Let’s not forget about capturing your in-house customers. There are some people- believe it or not, who don’t always check the websites of the places they are interested in visiting. In these cases, they would never see your gift card offerings if you only stuck to online marketing tools.
One of the easiest ways to increase awareness is to have in-house marketing informing guests throughout your grounds.
You can place them in the following areas:
- Check-out desks
- Retail desks
- Waiting areas
- Bill folders
Also, train your staff to up-sell in high-traffic areas. There are many ways you can increase sales with on-site promotion.
We’ve touched a little on pricing, but let’s look at how you can use pricing promotions for gift cards in more detail.
Be careful with price promotions, don’t slash your prices too hard as Christmas is the most lucrative time of the year for gift card sales. People may be buying your gift cards anyway!
To predict whether using promotional deals on your gift cards will be worth it, decide by using your figures for last year’s sales.
But, if you’re in a highly competitive industry for gift cards, there are a few strategies you can introduce to get the edge over your competitors.
Use gift cards as promotional items
Draw customers in with promotional offers on the price of your gift cards.
One method is to give customers a lower value monetary gift card for every £$00 they spend on gift cards.
e.g. “Receive a $10 gift card for every $100 spent on gift cards during December”
This method also encourages more spending. So if someone has purchased a gift card for $75 they may feel persuaded to purchase another to take them over the $100 target to get the free gift card.
Offer deals on gift cards
You can discount your gift cards by a certain percentage. This works especially well with gift cards for experiences. Just make sure you show the saving made or the percentage discount clearly on your gift card store.
For your lowest selling gift cards, introducing a BOGOF deal can persuade people to buy. This will incentivise the shopper to get two gifts for the price of one. Also, you will have two potential guests to win over and introduce to your brand.
We have gone into a lot of detail previously on how to market carefully for gift vouchers. You can see the full post here. But for now, we will cut and paste a direct passage from our post to demonstrate to you how you can use clever wording in your marketing to grab attention and evoke emotion.
Read on to see what we mean!
“All you need to do is cleverly tap into basic human emotions. This could be anything from romantic love, family, friendship, happiness, joy, thrill, reward and even good morals.
Now we don’t all have the resources to display a production level on par with the giant department stores! But we can use storytelling in our marketing and email campaigns to grab attention and evoke emotion.
Word choice is important in marketing to influence a purchase. You can do this easily by tapping into different categories of emotion to convey the message you’re trying to sell.
Positive wording is more powerful than negative; it’s best to convey messages of happiness and reward for the most enticing results.
An example of emotionally triggering categories of words:
• Health: Buzzwords that trigger health invoking emotions: Boost, energise, cure, flush, vibrant, nourish
• Hope: Bright, Destiny, Empower, Overcome, Undo, dreams,
• Passion: Blissful, Delightful, Jubilant, Rave, Thrilled, indulge
• Urgency: Before you forget…, Quick, Limited, Seize, While it’s fresh on your mind… Don’t wait…, It’s not too late!”
Another way to grab attention for shoppers is to answer their own questions. One of the biggest they’ll come across at Christmas is, “what do I get her/him/them?!”
A successful way to market to this is to create personas and the perfect gifts for that type of person.
“The perfect gift for…the guy who already has it all”
“The perfect gift for… making her feel special”
“The perfect gift for… a much needed romantic break away!”
You get the gist! It can be anything you put your mind to. Just make sure the personas match your target audience. Whether that’s mums, girlfriends, wives, husbands, friends etc…
If you are not yet selling gift cards, you be might be considering it after reading this post. But if you need more convincing, then check out our post: Why You Must Sell Gift Vouchers This Christmas.
Some more reasons to convince you why gift cards are the way to go:
Studies have shown that small to medium-size businesses are selling the lion’s share of gift vouchers, with consumers preferring to buy them from independent and intimate stores and services.
75% of gift card recipients spent nearly $28 more than the value of the card.
60% of guests have been introduced to a new brand by receiving a gift card. Which has resulted in 17.7% of these new guests becoming loyal guests.
10-15% of purchased gift cards are forgotten about and expire. Which means free money for your business. While the experience or gift card has been bought, you’ve never payout for the service cost or item value of the gift card. Keeping 100% profit made on the gift card.
If you’re considering how to introduce gift card promotions for Christmas, don’t hesitate any longer. Many consumers have already started their Christmas shopping, so make sure you have your promotional nets at the ready to catch their dollars!