Gift cards are great holiday present ideas for numerous reasons: They take pressure off buyers, empower recipients to buy things they actually like and drive traffic through retailers’ doors long after the holiday season is over. There’s no obvious downside to providing this option to shoppers this winter, but how should your small business go about promoting the offering?
The first step is to ensure your gift card design is on point. First Data’s Gift Card Marketing Guide stated that the best designs are:
- Appealing to the brand’s demographic
- Representative of the occasion for which they are given
Remember, you don’t have to limit your creativity to the card itself. Gift cards typically come in basic paper holders, but this is by no means mandatory. Why not take advantage of more elaborate packaging options such as decorative tins, boxes, gift bags and envelopes – and charge more for these attractive alternatives?
Getting the word out about gift cards
Once you’ve come up with a great design that’s sure to attract holiday shoppers, you can begin to go about promoting the fact that you have gift cards available. This is especially important if you’re offering them for the first time this holiday season. Here are some tips on how to go about getting the word out.
- Post signs at the point of sale, as well as at strategic points throughout your brick-and-mortar establishments
- Display the cards themselves at the point of sale to attract the attention of shoppers who may not have known about them beforehand and to encourage impulse purchases
- Prominently feature gift card information in your next email newsletter and on your website, and post the details on your social networking platforms
- Make it easy for customers to both purchase and redeem the cards online, perhaps by providing an electronic gift card option in addition to the physical equivalent
- Send out direct mail promotions that highlight gift cards as a great holiday present option
- Treat the buyer as well as the recipient (e.g. give the purchaser a $5 gift card for every $50 spent on cards for others)
At this time of year, your gift card initiatives will likely be focused on the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look beyond the next couple of months. If you have a loyalty program, consider making the cards reloadable and be sure to include instructions about how to sign up.