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Promo strategies

13 Examples of Gift Card Campaigns Done Like a Pro

Kate Banasik
Kate Banasik
August 8, 2021
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13 Examples of Gift Card Campaign Done Like a Pro

In this blog post, we will cover the benefits of gift card campaigns and a couple of real-life gift card campaign examples. We will go deeper into the campaign limitations and conditions as well as analyze the campaign creatives and copy. Let’s start with a short introduction to gift card campaigns. 

What are gift card campaigns? 

Gift card campaigns are campaigns where you give (not sell) gift cards to your customers or potential customers. For example, you could give 5$ gift cards to all new customers to encourage them to make their first purchase with you. You could also offer $10 gift cards to inactive customers to trigger re-engagement. You can send gift cards to customers on special occasions, like their birthdays or anniversaries. You can also give gift cards as a part of a loyalty program, referral program or giveaway rewards. The options are limitless. 

Why should you invest in gift card campaigns? 

Why do gift card campaigns sometimes work better than other types of sales promotions? Getting a gift card feels like a gift making customers feel special, while offering voucher discounts or cart discounts feels like a sales promotion. Moreover, thanks to the endowment effect, customers are more likely to use a gift card to make a purchase than to use a sales promotion. As they know they have “free money” to use, it would be a “loss” not to use it, while skipping a sales promotion does not feel like “losing.” 

From the retailers’ point of view, gift cards can be a cheaper incentive than, for example, free products or cashback, as many gift cards expire before being redeemed. Giving away gift cards only costs a retailer if a customer uses the incentive. 

The benefits of gift card campaigns 

Offering gift cards as incentives to your customers can help you: 

  • Increase sales and generate cash flow, thanks to the endowment effect and customers wanting to use the incentives. 
  • Bring in new business, if given to new customers. 
  • Promote impulse buys, as shoppers are more comfortable investing in additional goods or services when part of the purchase is covered. 
  • Increase the average shopping basket, especially if you put a minimum order value as a condition to use the gift card.
  • Offer real-time tracking, reporting and management (if you have a digital promotion management system). 
  • Help you to reduce fraud, as opposed to publicly available promotions, as gift cards are personalized and can be redeemed just once. 

Real-life gift card campaign examples 

James Allen – giveaway with gift card as reward

James Allen is a US-based diamond and bridal jewelry DTC company focused mostly on online sales. They have started off as a diamond manufacturer for other brands like Tiffany&Co. 

They have run a giveaway campaign offering a $2500 gift card as a prize. 

Promotion conditions:

  • To take part in the contest, participants (mainly women) have to find an engagement ring they like and drop a hint to their partners about it. Everyone who did so would automatically enter into the contest. The winner gets a $2500 gift card, non-refundable and not exchangeable for cash. 
James Allen gift card giveaway 1
James Alen gift card giveaway 2

Sephora – Re-engagement gift card campaign 

Sephora is a French multinational retailer of personal care and beauty products. 

Sephora launched a re-engagement campaign amongst their loyalty program members giving away $15 gift cards valid for purchases above $50 for a short period of time (11 days) in December (just before the Christmas season). 

Sephora winter gift card campaign

Peppermayo – Valentine’s Day gift card campaign 

Peppermayo is an Australian fashion brand, selling mainly online.  They have launched a Valentine's day campaign sending $30 gift cards to their subscribers. 

Promotion conditions:

  • Valid only on orders above $100. 
  • Cannot be combined with other promotions. 
  • Valid only on full-priced items. 
  • Cannot be spent on gift cards. 
  • The gift card expires 02/07/2018. 
  • The gift card has a LOVEME code (publicly available, not unique). 
Peppermayo gift card for Valentine's Day

Peppermayo has a very useful website where anyone, without logging in, can check their gift card balance: 

StyleBop – new collection gift card campaign

StyleBop.com is a luxury fashion retailer selling designer clothes online with headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany. 

They have launched a spring campaign offering a $50 gift card for the new spring designer collection. It is a good example of a product-promoting campaign that you can use to promote new launches, collections, leftover stock, or slow-moving goods.

Promotion conditions: 

  • Valid on orders above $300. 
  • Code: 2015spring (public, not unique). 
stylebop new collection gift card

Vivid Seats – Thank you gift card campaign 

Vivid Seats LLC is an independently owned and operated online ticket marketplace. 

They have run a thank you campaign sending a $30 gift card to customers who have bought from them previously. 

Promotion conditions:

  • Only valid on orders above $300. 
  • Expires the same day (giving big urgency to the offer).
Vivid Seats Thank you campaign with gift vouchers

Sleep Country – Winter gift card campaign

Sleep Country is Canada's leading omnichannel mattress and bedding retailer and a specialty sleep products retailer with brick-and-mortar stores across the country. 

They have launched a Christmas campaign offering $230 gift cards valid in December. The gift cards were delivered via emails but they were valid only on in-store purchases. 

Promotion conditions:

  • The promotion was valid only until the end of December 2017. 
  • The gift cards could be spent on anything in-store (not online). 
  • The gift cards had unique codes. 
SleepCountry Winter gift cards campaign for Christmas

Upstart – gift card as an incentive to check their offer

Upstart is an AI lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans using non-traditional variables, such as education and employment, to predict creditworthiness.

Upstart is encouraging their potential customers to check their loan rate (and therefore get interested in Upstart offer) by offering them $10 Amazon gift cards. This tactic uses other brand’s gift cards (as Upstart does not offer gift cards) as an incentive. It is a good example of incentivizing customer interaction with the brand. 


Upstart sing Amazon gift cards as incentive

Clean Choice Energy – acquisition gift card campaign

Clean Choice Energy is a US energy retailer focusing on providing energy from renewable sources. 

They have launched an acquisition-focused campaign offering a $50 visa gift card for those who switch to them as their energy provider.

Clean choice visa gift card

Jane – refer a friend giveaway with gift card as a prize

Jane is a curated marketplace with more than 2 000 shops plus big brands and designer names. They focus their offering on small brands, primarily female-owned ones. 

They have launched a refer a friend giveaway where everyone who refers their friends and the referred friends get a chance to win a $50 gift card.

Jane gift card giveaway

Rocksbox – gift cards for VIP customers

Rocksbox is a jewelry rental membership that makes it easy to discover new looks, rock the latest trends or add more of your favorite classic styles to your jewelry collection, without the commitment to purchase.

They have sent out an email campaign with a subject line “You made the list! Gift inside 🎉 '' to their VIP customers offering them a free one month of subscription and a $21 gift card (credits) for a purchase of any jewelry in their set. 

Promotion conditions:

  • Promotion is valid only until the end of August (limited time only). 
  • Promotion has to be claimed by clicking on a link in the email. 
Rocksbox gift cards for VIP clients

Lensabl – referral program with gift cards as rewards

Lensabl's initial mission was to sell replacement lenses for frames you already own. Today, they also sell frames and contacts, they offer vision benefit plans and online prescriptions. Lensabl is marketed as a cheaper alternative to traditional glasses purchases. They launched a referral program offering $20 Amazon gift cards for referrers and referred friends (update: now they offer $25 gift cards). They sent an email campaign with a subject line “Get a $20 Amazon Gift Card By Referring Your Friends” to advertise the referral program. This is a strange example as, considering their product, they could have offered their own gift cards instead of Amazon’s and it would have been much cheaper for them and bring them returning customers (in case of referrers). On the other hand, in the case of glasses, the purchase frequency is low, therefore Amazon gift cards may be more enticing to customers. 

Promotion conditions: 

  • The referrers only get the reward if the referred friend makes a purchase of above $45 value. 
  • The referrers get a $25 Amazon gift card for a successful referral. 
  • There is a maximum of 10 successful referrals per year one referrer can make. 


Lensable referral program with gift vouchers rewards

Ross Simons – gift card for the second purchase time-bound campaign

Ross Simons is a US-based retailer offering an array of jewelry including designer collections & brand-name watches.

Ross Simons launched a sale where, among other promotions, if someone places an order they will get a $50 gift card for future purchases. They sent an email campaign with the subject line “Overstock Event Ends Tonight! Save Up To 67% + $50 Gift Coupon with Purchase.”

Promotion conditions:

  • To get the gift coupon, one must purchase something from the overstock sale. 
  • Gift coupons are valid for purchases above $150. 
  • Gift coupons are single-use only (they cannot be split between more orders).
  • The gift coupons are sent only after the order placed within the sales timeframe is already shipped.
Ross Simons gift card campaign visuals

Air France – Valentine’s Day gift card campaign

Air France is a French airline, a subsidiary of KLM Group. 

They have launched a campaign for Valentine's day to increase the sales of their gift cards. For each gift card bought for Valentine's day, they offered $30 extra gift card credit. The subject line of their emails was “Evelyn, gift card special: $30 bonus for your Valentine.”

Promotion conditions:

  • The promotion is valid until February 20 (roughly two weeks since the start of the campaign).
  • The bonus is given only for purchases of gift cards over $150 in nominal value. 


AirFrance gift cards

Summary 

There are many ways you can use gift cards as incentives, from expanding your customer base, through settling unhappy customers, to other retention, acquisition or re-engagement strategies. Gift cards can have additional limitations to them to help you reach your goals while protecting your budget. We have analysed various gift card campaigns and we have noticed a pattern – most big brands add some limits to their promotions to ensure their effectiveness. To manage such personalized and targeted campaigns at scale, you need a powerful promotion engine. Voucherify can help you launch campaigns similar to above-mentioned and more, allowing you to narrowly target and personalize your gift card campaigns. 

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