In this post, we have outlined for you an easy-to-follow gift certificate wording template.

One of the questions we get the most at Enjovia is what should be included on a gift certificate?

 

The most important thing is to cover your bases, as any business owner knows if you don’t plainly state everything it is inevitable that a customer will complain!

On top of this, most gift certificates are purchased for someone else, in fact for 60% of people have been introduced to a new brand through receiving their gift certificate. Each new customer will have no idea how to redeem, how to contact you and what the gift is unless you tell them.

One of the difficulties is balancing all the different information that needs to be shared, with how the certificate looks. That’s why we recommend that certificates should be 2 sides of a smaller paper size like A5 or a single side of A4 to ensure you have enough room for visuals and information.

 

If you’re just looking to sell monetary gift cards, the information can be a bit simpler, but if you want to sell experiences things can get a little more complicated.

(Note: you should definitely be selling experiences as that’s where the revenue growth is!)

 

Our gift certificate management system helps our customers sell millions in gift vouchers every year, so we’ve seen from painful experience the consequences of not including the right information. In this post, we are going to run through the best practice for what you should include on your gift certificate and explain why in each instance why it matters.

 

Brand and Title

We won’t go too much into this as it’s pretty obvious- leave room for your company’s branding and a suitable title. The only thing to keep in mind with the title is not to rename any product to an offer i.e ‘Christmas Special 3 Course Meal’ or to make them too vague like ‘Spa Special’ Always bear in mind that this will probably be given out as a gift so the buyer, who saw the full details when purchasing, will usually have more information on the gift than the receiver.

Personal Message

Leave space or use a system that facilitates a personal message, one of the reasons gift experiences and cards are given over cash is they are considered a step above in thoughtfulness. Allowing the buyer to leave a message gives them the opportunity to add context to the gift and to claim ownership. If you send a gift card without this, the receiver is unlikely to know who it’s even from! Adding a personal message allows the buyer to send it directly to the receiver.

 

Voucher Description

For monetary gift cards this is easy but on experiences make sure you leave space for the full description of what the experience entails. A ‘Romantic weekend getaway’ is a wonderful sounding gift but without a description, it’s not particularly useful. Does it include dinner or is it just a B&B rate? Make it clear and if the description is long, use bullet points or other formats. It’s also important to use this space to communicate particulars, is there a dress code? What are the check-in times?

 

Validity Date

This is one of the key things regarding any gift card, what separates a gift card from a booking, is that a booking is for a single point in time whereas a gift card can be used within a certain time period (usually 6 months to 12 months).

 

In most countries, monetary gift cards can not legally expire whereas experiences gift cards can. When a gift card can expire most buyers will expect a 12-month validity from purchase but will be happy with lower validity time periods if they purchase it at a deal.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is many experiences like skydives are typically from April – October. The real validity of the gift may only be in those months, but most businesses will accept a booking in the off-season. But, make sure this is clearly communicated. It is up to you when you redeem a voucher, one question we get asked a lot is when should a gift voucher/ card get redeemed?

We typically recommend at the point of booking for a few reasons:

  1. It acts like a pre-payment and avoids complaints if customers show up without their voucher/ card.
  2. Avoids repeat cancellations, if you redeem a gift card at the point of use, you will sometimes have to make bookings over and over again using the same gift card, but this can cause complaints if a customer has a legitimate reason for not being able to make the booking.

If your gift card does have set validity dates i.e. A Christmas Afternoon Tea. Make sure there is a clear valid from and valid to date.

 

How to redeem

Leave room on the gift card with information on how to redeem. On a gift card, this could be adding it to a digital wallet or a code they input in the checkout/buying process. When booking an experience, this can be more complicated and typically involves talking to someone, unless there is an integration between your booking systems and voucher systems.

Again remember that the receiver has often never heard of your business, so make sure the instructions are clear and if required you leave contact information.

Unique Code

Each gift card or voucher has a unique code that’s specific to that voucher. Many of our customers have come to us after using premade voucher books. Although premade voucher books are a great start for a smaller business, it soon becomes all to0 painful to manage properly. – Typically involving messy spreadsheets to try and keep track of it all.

How to fix this? Make sure the codes aren’t obvious. There is a lot of attempted fraud in the gift card business, would-be criminals will try to use photocopies and attempt to use sequential numbers to older vouchers they’ve seen. Make the numbers non-sequential and somewhat random to protect against this.

How many people is the voucher valid for?

When selling experiences it’s important to state on the voucher how many people the experience is valid for. This one seems obvious, but we’ve seen it cause a good few problems over the years.

 

Terms and Conditions

What terms and conditions should be on a voucher is the question we get asked the most. The key thing to remember is every business is different, but the job of the terms and conditions are to protect yourself from potential issues. As many businesses know, if you leave any wiggle room in your T&Cs there will be customers that will take the opportunity to take advantage.

 

Here is a list of things you may want to cover:

For Monetary

 

  • Should they be non-transferable, non-refundable and not exchangeable for cash? (We would recommend that they should always be non-transferable, non-refundable and unexchangeable for cash)
  • Do you want to give change or allow part redemption?
  • Are purchases made subject to the same terms and conditions as a normal booking?
  • Can a gift certificate be used to purchase further gift certificates?
  • When they do they expire?
  • What is your loss, theft or stolen policy?
  • Does a supplement exist on certain items?

 

Here’s an example that we feel covers the bases quite well:

All bookings made are subject to availability and change. Gift vouchers are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash. No change or certificate for unused differences can be issued. The actual gift voucher must be presented for validation on arrival. Any reservation made using your gift voucher will be subject to our normal booking policy. Gift vouchers will be automatically redeemed in the case of a no show. Supplements may apply to certain menu items. We are not responsible if a Gift Certificate is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without permission.

 

Experiences

With experiences there are even more variables, you may even want to use the terms and conditions to reiterate things you have already stated on other parts of the voucher.

 

  • Are bookings subject to availability and change? (We always advise that this should be in everyone’s terms and conditions)
  • Are there dates where they can’t be redeemed? It’s usually a safe bet to exclude public holidays.
  • If there are specifics like dates and times, should you restate them?
  • When is the voucher redeemed at point of booking or point of arrival?
  • Should they be non-transferable, non-refundable and not exchangeable for cash? (We would recommend that they should always be non-transferable, non-refundable and unexchangeable for cash)
  • Are purchases made subject to the same terms and conditions as a normal booking?
  • When they do they expire?
  • What is your loss, theft or stolen policy?
  • Does a supplement exist on certain items?

 

Although this is a longer example, we think this is a great example of Terms and Conditions that cover all the bases:

 

Subject to availability, certain date exceptions apply. Price based on a Character bedroom with 2 people sharing, complimentary upgrade based on availability at the time of check in. Check-in will be from 15.00 on the day of arrival and check-out will be 11.00 on the morning of departure. Your gift voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. Advance booking is required. Please quote the gift voucher number at the time of booking. All bookings are subject to availability and change. Gift vouchers are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash. No change or certificate for unused differences can be issued. The actual gift voucher must be presented for validation on arrival. Any reservation made using your gift voucher will be subject to our normal booking policy. Gift vouchers will be automatically redeemed in the case of a no show. Supplements may apply to certain menu items.

 

Finally, if you have any room or you’re using both sides of the paper, we recommend using as many photos of the experience as you can or to put a welcome message from the team. This really helps you set expectations and communicate your brand and feel from the start. Here are some A5 examples of some of our customers, they have gone with one side having information and one side being visual with welcome messages or space to highlight their facilities or experiences.

Enjovia Vouchers

If you need any help creating your gift certificate wording or would like any help with design, please get in touch with us, we are always happy to help!

 

Enjovia helps businesses to sell and manage their experiences as gift cards directly online from their own sites. Our focus is on improving our customers:

  1. Revenue – Our customers typically see their gift certificate/card sales at least double by selling and managing them on our specialist system. One of our clients the Celtic Manor Resort moved from £700k to £2.4 million in annual gift voucher sales since switching to us.
  2. Cash Flow – Unlike other providers, any revenue generated on the Enjovia system is sent directly to our customers’ accounts immediately at the point of sale.
  3. Ease of use – Our system has been built according to exact customer specifications. This means Enjovia customers have the best voucher redemption, store management and promotional tools on the market without the complexity. We also provide a fulfilment service that automatically sends out electronic and physical certificates on our customers’ behalf.