11 Marketing Ideas to Sell More Gift Cards

5 min read | |

Gift cards are a proven way to increase sales and boost your revenue, and with the global gift card market growing significantly, here are 11 ideas you can use to sell more gift cards and maximise your share.

Your website

Whether you see it as a primary sales tool for your business or not, your website is a fantastic place to highlight your gift cards. 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, so regardless of if a visitor is arriving on your website initially only to find your address or phone number, the important part is that they are there. You now have an opportunity to educate them on what you have to offer.

1. Main navigation

Adding a link for your gift cards on the main navigation is an obvious first step. This is particularly relevant for desktop website visitors as the navigation is one of the first places they will naturally look to orient themselves with your website and its content once they arrive.

(Florence Coffee Company include an item on the main navigation for gift cards)

2. Call out area

A call-out area highlighting gift cards on your homepage or another popular page is a great option. This is important for mobile and tablet website visitors for whom, in contrast to desktop, your main navigation might be compressed in a hamburger menu.

(Bahia Bowls includes a call-out area on their homepage for gift cards)

3. Digital gift cards

Once you have drawn attention on your website to your gift cards, making the sale there and then is a sure-fire way to avoid drop off. With no shipping costs and waiting for delivery, or the hassle of having to make a trip in-store, offering a digital option for gift cards is a great way to increase gift card sales.

(Florence Coffee Company allows website visitors to buy digital gift cards directly from their website)

Social media

Leveraging your social media platforms to promote your gift cards and drive sales is an effective tactic.

4. Posts

Regularly scheduling posts to highlight your gift cards rather than only as a one-off now and again is ideal for several reasons. 

  1. The average social media post reaches only a small number of your total audience unless you are using paid ads. Regular, consistent posts will increase the chances of reaching more people.
  2. People need to see the same message multiple times before taking action; this is called ‘effective frequency’. According to CoSchedule when considering social media, this number is 12 times! 

The caveat the above is there is a line to walk between reaching people and reinforcing your message and being repetitive to the detriment of engagement. To avoid this happening, vary the time of day and day of the week you post and the post’s content. Also, ensure there are enough other posts between each share.

(Sundae Scoops uses Instagram to let people know their gift cards are available to buy online)

5. Profile and bio

Don’t underestimate the real estate available in your about and bio sections of your social media profiles. The simple inclusion of ‘Gift cards available’ will help regularly remind visitors of your profile.

On Facebook, it is also possible to adjust the action button on your profile to a call to action for your gift cards.

(Add a gift card call to action on your Facebook profile)

In-store merchandising and signage

With 70% of purchasing decisions made once a customer gets in-store, point of sale displays and in-store merchandising is crucial to help you sell more gift cards.

6. Signage

Catch the attention of passing footfall traffic with a sign, display or sticker in your window or on your door. Additionally, make the most of the times you get your customers to stand still for more than a few seconds! Signage to advertise gift cards in waiting areas, on tables, or even at the hand basin and dryer is more likely to be read than in areas customers just pass through.

7. Point of sale display

Impulse buys happen most often when the customer is at checkout ready to purchase. Once at the till this is also your last chance to secure a gift card sale during the customers current buying cycle. Consider how you can display your gift cards around the checkout area to take advantage of this.

8. Your team

Your team is one of your most powerful assets for making a success of your gift card program. Aside from knowing how to load, accept, and answer gift card questions, they should also be clear on how to sell them. Educate staff on talking about gift cards with your customers. You could also consider incentivising them to sell more gift cards.

9. Email marketing

Incorporating promoting gift cards into your email marketing program is a must. Email marketing can deliver a solid return on investment and is one of the most efficient ways to get your message out. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your only option is to send emails specifically about your gift cards; it isn’t. Giving them a secondary mention or always including a link to buy at the bottom is a great way to advertise without being repetitive.

10. Promotions

Gift card customers typically spend more than the card’s value. Investing in a sales promotion is a smart way to increase revenue in the short term with the vouchers’ initial purchase but also in the future when the card is redeemed. An example sales promotion may be “Buy a gift voucher worth £50 and get a 10% top-up bonus”.

11. Occasion-specific gift cards

Visually linking your gift cards to occasions by having a few different designs available can be powerful, especially when coupled with other tactics we have already discussed in this post. An occasion-specific gift card design allows your customer to personalise the gift for their recipient better. 

Having a gift card for every occasion may be excessive and not worthwhile for many small businesses, so think about events during the year that your customers may buy more gift cards and consider having at least a couple of options available. For many businesses, this may be over the festive season at the end of the year. Bear in mind the occasions for which you sell many gift cards may not be a fixed date and therefore less immediately noticeable to you, for example, birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.

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