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5 Gift Card Marketing Strategies You Can Use Year-Round

Gift card programs are becoming more and more popular with businesses. 

The global gift card market is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2026. As a marketing strategy, gift cards can bring in new customers at a reduced acquisition cost.

For small businesses, gift card programs are a gold mine. 74% of customers said they regularly buy gift cards from small businesses. And 9 out of 10 people who received a gift card from a small business said that they would shop at that store and return to the shop in the future.

As a small business owner, you may already have a gift card program. But if not, you should consider setting up a gift card program to boost your sales.

Benefits of Selling Gift Cards as a Small Business

Gift card programs have several benefits, especially for small businesses. So why are gift cards good for your business? For the following reasons:

  • gift cards boost your business’s revenue
  • gift cards increase your sales
  • gift cards enhance your brand’s appeal
  • gift cards attract new customers
  • gift cards allow you to build relationships with your customers

Top 5 Gift Card Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Here are 5 gift card promotion ideas and strategies that you can use to enhance your gift card program.

1. Use Different Channels for Advertising Gift Cards

Get the most of your gift cards by marketing them wherever possible. Whether you own a retail business, a restaurant, or an online store, social media marketing and email marketing can improve your customers’ engagement with your gift card program.

Hosting giveaways and contests through social media and giving out gift cards as prizes is a great way to acquire new customers.

Including gift cards in your email marketing campaigns can help you drive results. 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once a month, so sending high-value gift cards to hundreds of customers can result in a great revenue stream.   

2. Place Them Everywhere

An obvious but easy-to-miss gift marketing strategy is placing your cards in an attention-grabbing way.

If you have a retail shop, you can place your gift cards at the register. By arranging highly visible and enticing gift cards on the counter, you can encourage an impulse buy within a few seconds. You can also display your gift cards on digital screens everywhere in your shop.

As a restaurant owner, you can display your deals and offers on menu boards and place them on the table. If you have an online store, you can promote gift cards strategically throughout your website and social media. 

Remember that the aim is to make your gift cards catch your customers' eyes. 

3. Give your Customers Better Offers

Value-adding offers make purchasing gift cards hard to resist. There are many ways to amp up your offers. You can sell gift cards worth $100 at a price of $90 or offer a “buy two get one free” deal on these cards. You can also give a discount of 20% or 30% on the bill with the purchase of two or more cards.

Besides gift card sales, another great way to get customers to buy them is by providing exciting freebies. At restaurants, you can give your customers a free drink or dessert for purchasing a card. If you own a retail store, you can give products that haven’t sold as surprise gifts to customers.

By giving attractive discounts and offers on gift cards, you can boost your revenue as most customers will spend more than the value of the card.

4. Celebrate Special Occasions Throughout the Year 

Most businesses offer gift cards during the holiday season. You can kick your gifting program up a notch and celebrate all special occasions with gift cards: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Women’s Day, Pride Month, Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday, and of course, the holiday season. You can create unique gift cards for each of these occasions.

Besides these occasions, you can make gifting cards an effective sales booster by marketing them as perfect gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and more. 

Customize your gift card designs so they're gifting-ready and occasion appropriate.

5. Use Gift Cards in your Loyalty Program

Integrate gift cards with your loyalty program and use them to reward customers. Giving high-value gift cards instead of loyalty points will make customers more likely to redeem them and spend beyond the card value. 

There are different ways in which you can use gift cards to reward loyal customers. You can give cards to customers who shop with your brand at least once a month. Or you can send customers cards on their birthdays or anniversaries.

This will boost your sales as well as increase brand loyalty.

Gift Card Program Best Practices

Gift cards offer small businesses many benefits. The biggest advantage is that they can generate revenue in advance of sales, helping you with cash flow. Here are some practices that the most successful gift card programs have in common:

Make your program multichannel: The modern customer likes using different channels for shopping. If you run a physical and an ecommerce store, ensure that you allow for customers buy and redeem gift cards from both.

Ensure your program brings value: Make your gift card programs more rewarding to encourage customer engagement. For example, Starbucks runs a multichannel gift card that is known for rewarding customers generously. As the reviews show, owning a Starbucks gift card can lead to free frappucinos and coffees.

Offering convenience: Make sure that your gift card program provides your customers with a seamless buying experience. Visa has gift cards that can be redeemed at any shop or restaurant where they accept Visa cards. Provide your customers with different options so they can choose what’s best for them.

Follow these best practices to make the most of your gift card strategy.

Refine your Gift Card Program with Paystone

A gift card program is a foolproof marketing tool to attract new customers, encourage repeat sales, and boost your cash flow.

If you want to improve your business’s gift card program (or set one up from scratch), consider signing up with Paystone. Our program offers custom design gift cards and unlimited gift card transactions, and they integrate with most major payment service providers. After joining us, you can start selling gift cards within 10 business days.

Akshat Biyani

Akshat Biyani

Akshat is a B2B content marketer who enjoys analyzing trends in SMB marketing, software technology and customer reviews for Google and Facebook.