Recently I shared how gift cards can inject cash flow into your business, especially during the uncertain economic times that COVID-19 has created for our nation and the world.
Whether you plan on adding gift cards or they’re a standard offering for your business, it’s critical that you create a marketing strategy. Without it, the task of promoting your gift cards can easily fall by the wayside, especially with all of the other things you have on your plate right now.
In today’s world, simply offering gift cards is not enough. You need to spread the word and make sure your customers know they’re available. There are several ways you can do this, as I’ll share below.
However, before I get tactical, I want to make sure I impress upon you the importance of frequency. By frequency I mean how many times customers are exposed to your message. If you want to stand out from the noise and make sure your message is heard, you need to meet your customers where they are – not just once, but time and time again. Here are a few ways you can do that.
Create an Email Campaign
If you have a customer database, now’s the time to put it to good use. In addition to letting your customers know you offer gift cards, use your messages to foster the emotional connection between your customers and your business. Keep them posted on your status and hours, any promotions you’re running and the steps you’re taking to maintain a safe, clean environment.
Offer a Gift Card Promotion
One of the best ways to boost your gift cards sales is by offering a promotion. This is a great way to entice customers to buy a gift card. The promotion can be anything from selling a gift card for less than the face value, such as selling a $50 gift card for $40, or offering a free bonus card. An example of this could be that the customer gets a free $10 gift card to keep – or share – when they buy a $50 gift card. If your business sells merchandise, you can also give away a free item when someone purchases a gift card of a certain value.
Be Active on Social Media
Now that you have a product and a promotion, it’s time to spread the word on social media. Lots of businesses have pumped up their social media presence, so it’s important to be creative if you want your message to stand out. Take unique photos of your gift cards and the most popular items you sell. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with video. There’s no need to create a professional video. Just be yourself.
Team Up with Community Partners
In times like this, we all need to lean on one another. Think about ways you can partner with different groups in your community, especially schools. Restaurant fundraisers are popular with lots of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs). They’re a great way to raise money while boosting awareness for your business. To encourage gift card sales, you could donate 10-20% of the face value of the card to the school.
There are obviously more ways you can promote gift cards, but hopefully this list helps you get started. You know your customers best, and how to reach them. Be open and transparent in your messages as you encourage customers to support not only your small business, but others in your community.