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July 9, 2018

Must-haves of your gift cards software

Jagoda Hryszko
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If you base your gift card process on excel sheets and a hand-made distribution, it is hard to ensure personalization and keep up with your audience once scale starts growing. With a modern gift cards provider, many operations can be entirely automated and a campaign management won’t require constant bothering your developers. You can set automatic series of multi-channel messages which are going to take care of your regular and new customers by sending gift card when a customer match predefined criteria.

Let's go through some examples of using digital gift cards to see what features determine good software, ready to manage gift certificates at every scale.

Campaign ideas

Abandoned cart series - action is triggered automatically once a client leaves a cart. Gift card sent instantly to encourage him/her to get back and finalize a purchase.

Requirements: Such campaigns work well at scale if a gift card system is capable of capturing specific events performed by your customers. By triggering event-based messages, you can effortlessly respond to customer behavior and their buying activity.

Re-engagement series - this kind of campaign is based on a specific timeframe. You can define a time window for a customer’s absence and, when the time for re-engagement comes, the workflow should be triggered automatically.

Requirements: Gift card software which divides your audience into groups based on specific dates and timeframes. Thanks to such customer segmentation, you can reach dormant users and put time limits on gift cards. For example, send a gift card valid only for 7 days and available if the customer signed up within the last 30 days.

Best promoters/loyalty series - automatic message with a special gift card is triggered once a new customer appears on your bests list. This allows you to show your appreciation and effortlessly look after the most loyal customers.

Requirements: In this case, the word ‘special’ is the key. The gift cards engine must provide you with a text editor to design a nice, personal looking message. The point of distinguishing the most loyal customers is to appreciate their commitment with unique offers, not available for new clients. The thing is to ensure that your receivers are aware of how ‘special’ and ‘exclusive’ those gifts are. This is why you need gift card software which not only provides unique codes but can also wrap them into a personalized message.

Birthday gifts - gift cards are the perfect way to strengthen relationships with your opt-ins. You can leverage special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries and send your customers a personalized gift.

Requirements: Here, we come to one of the critical issue; integration possibilities. To trigger a birthday gift card, you won’t be scrolling through your customer list every day looking for a matching date. A connection between your gift cards software and CRM is enough to make it on your behalf. Automatically. Besides CRM, there are plenty of other tools you’d probably like to plug-in to make the workflow straightforward and friendly for your clients. It’s good to know if you can build in your existing toolkit into the gift cards infrastructure and create a consistent customer journey.

Referral rewards - A gift card can be a reward for a referrer or a new customer as well. In the simplest scenario, you can offer a $5 gift card as your appreciation for endorsement and encourage new customers to purchase with another card or a discount.

Requirements: Gift cards software connected with a referral program engine. Effective promotion strategy sooner or later requires more than one type of incentive. To make the most of its potential, it’s nice to have coupon codes, cart-level discount, loyalty and referral programs and finally a tool to manage the entire system and stay in control. The easiest and most beneficial option is to invest in software which provides all the puzzle pieces at once.

Loss aversion impulse - gift cards are perfect for playing with psychological marketing like the Loss Aversion phenomenon, a proven tendency to avoid losses much more than acquiring new gains. An example promotion might look like this “We’ve added an extra $10 to your card for purchases made today. Hurry up, the balance will be gone by midnight!”

Requirements: Besides some knowledge about Loss Aversion, in such dynamic promotions it is crucial to reach customers efficiently and deliver a message on time. Emails, SMS, and Live Chat are the most popular channels which you can use to send automatic but still personalized messages with gift cards. Each of these channels can be a good choice, but only when combined together can they really work at their best. Whatever channels you decide to use, keep in mind that people are striving for a genuinely omnichannel experience these days.

Pulling it together

Make personalization paramount, let your customers receive something unique.

With personal data, targeting becomes more accurate, and consumers are more likely to use gift cards if it includes their favorite products/services:

“(...) more than three-quarters of US business-to-consumer customers saw the benefit of trading personal information for more relevant discounts and offers.”

Use the digital environment to extend gift cards sales and facilitate their management.

In-store sale is only one of many channels which interact with your audience. If you want to keep up with a today’s customer, online sale and service is a must.

“56% of surveyed consumers would like to keep gift cards stored on their phone. This makes the card easily accessible and decreases the chances of it being lost.”

Choose comprehensive gift card provider which allows you to achieve your marketing goals without long hours spent on rebuilding your current infrastructure:

  • Check its tracking and accounting features
  • Test its rules engine and personalization possibilities
  • Choose from API platforms to ensure developer-friendliness
  • Search documentation for integration capabilities

Ensure your gift cards system use automations and a dynamic customers’ segmentation.

Do not invest on things that don’t scale; software should make things easier to manage and maintain, no matter system growth.

“The future of commerce is digital. Even if your brick and mortar storefront is thriving, don’t miss the opportunity to establish your brand online.” (Forbes)

Read more from Digital Gift Cards - Best practices in our White Paper
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