In this post, we’ve stated the best practice on what to include on your gift voucher template and explain in each instance why it matters. 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.
One of the difficulties is balancing all the relevant information with how the certificate looks. We recommend 2 sides of a smaller paper size like A5, to ensure you have enough room for visuals and information.
Leave room for your company's branding and a suitable title.
Don’t rename gift cards to offers, i.e ‘Christmas Special 3 Course Meal’ or make them too vague like ‘Spa Special’.
As a gift, the receiver won’t see as many of the details as the buyer has through the purchasing process.
Leave space or use a system that facilitates a personal message, one of the reasons gift experiences 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. Without this, the receiver won’t know who it’s even from! Adding a personal message allows the buyer to send it directly to the receiver for that special occasion.
It’s important to consider that most gift certificates are purchased for someone else. In fact, 60% of people have been introduced to a new brand by receiving a 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.
The description for monetary gift cards 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?
In most countries, monetary gift cards can not legally expire whereas experience 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.
Many experiences like skydives are typically from April - October. The 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.
We typically recommend at the point of booking for a few reasons:
Leave room on the gift card with clear information on how to book and redeem. When booking an experience, it typically involves making a reservation, unless there is an integration between your booking systems and voucher systems. Include your contact details.
Get rid of messy spreadsheets from using premade voucher books, and switch to using a unique code that’s specific to that voucher.
Ensure the codes aren’t obvious and use non-sequential and random numbers against fraud. 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.
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.
What terms and conditions should be on a voucher is the question we get asked the most. 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’s an example that we feel covers the bases quite well:
For monetary gift cards, the information is simpler, but if you want to sell experiences things can get a little more complicated.
You should definitely be selling experiences as that’s where the revenue growth is!
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.
Although this is a longer example, we think this is a great example of Terms and Conditions that cover all the bases:
Finally, if you have space, use as many photos of the experience or put a welcome message from the team. This really helps you set expectations and communicate your brand.
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.
If you need any help creating your gift template or would like any help with design, please get in touch with us, we are always happy to help!