Gift Card Magic: Elevate Your Gift Card Marketing Strategy in 2023 with Voucherify
Gift cards have come a long way from being a simple alternative to traditional gifting. They have evolved into a versatile and influential marketing tool that can provide brands with a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace. According to Statista, the worldwide gift cards industry was valued at roughly 320 billion US dollars in 2017 and is expected to reach 510 billion US dollars by 2025. As consumer behavior continues to shift, and e-commerce gains further momentum, the significance of gift card marketing has never been more evident.
In this blog post, I will explore the various aspects of gift card marketing strategies in 2023 and shed light on the latest trends and best practices that businesses can adopt to maximize the impact of their gift card strategy.
What are gift cards?
A gift card is a prepaid card that represents a specific value and is issued by a brand. It serves as an alternative payment method for customers, allowing them to make purchases up to the value loaded onto the card. Gift cards can be physical or digital and are often given as gifts or rewards. They provide recipients with the flexibility to choose their desired products or services within the brand's offerings.
What is a gift card marketing strategy?
Gift card marketing strategy refers to the deliberate planning and implementation of tactics to promote and increase the sales of gift cards. It involves identifying target audiences, understanding their preferences, utilizing customer segmentation, and creating compelling messaging to attract them.
The key benefits of gift cards
1. Increased customer engagement and enhanced brand perception
Personalized gift card marketing enhances customer engagement by tailoring the gift card experience to individual recipients. By customizing the gift card with their name, special messages, or unique designs, brands create a stronger emotional connection with customers, leading to higher levels of engagement and interaction.
2. Higher conversion rates
Personalized gift cards have the potential to drive higher conversion rates. When customers receive a gift card that aligns with their interests or past purchasing behavior, they are more motivated to use it for a purchase, resulting in increased conversion rates and revenue generation for the business.
3. Data collection and insights
Personalized gift card marketing provides valuable data and insights into customer preferences, spending patterns, and demographics. This data enables brands to gain a deeper understanding of their target audience, refine their marketing strategies, and make data-driven decisions to optimize gift card campaigns and overall marketing effectiveness.
4. Improved cashflow
One of the perks of gift cards is improved cash flow for businesses. When customers purchase gift cards, the business receives payment upfront, which increases their cash flow immediately. Besides, the nature of gift cards often leads to a portion of them going unused or partially utilized, which translates to cost savings for the brands.
5. Improved revenue
There is a common rule of thumb which says that customers tend to spend, on average, more than the initial value of their gift cards. When customers have a gift card, they often feel a sense of freedom to explore and try different products or services, knowing that they have a preloaded payment method. The perception of having "free" money or a special occasion to celebrate can also lead customers to splurge or make higher-value purchases.
6. Reduced returns
When customers use gift cards during their purchase, they have the freedom to choose the items or services they desire, resulting in a lower likelihood of returns compared to traditional purchases. This self-selection process leads to higher customer satisfaction and lower instances of post-purchase dissatisfaction, ultimately benefiting brands by minimizing return-related costs and fostering customer loyalty.
The best practices of gift card marketing
There are several best practices for creating an engaging gift card campaign:
1. Choose intelligent gift card redemption rules
Implementing flexible redemption rules within your gift card system allows for personalized gift card experiences tailored to different occasions while also ensuring security against fraudulent activity. Voucherify offers you a variety of redemption options to choose from. For instance, you may set up a rule which says that customers from the "New customers" segment are not eligible for redemption, however redemption is possible for those in the “Regular customers” segment. You can also exclude on-sale or premium products from your gift card campaign, or forbid buying gift cards for gift cards. Besides, you might want to consider seasonal and time-based limits. What’s more, you can limit redemptions to a customer who is the gift card holder.
2. Automate your gift card processes
Relying on manual processes and spreadsheets becomes challenging as your gift card program scales. Modern gift card providers offer automation capabilities that streamline operations and campaign management without constant developer involvement. Automate email and SMS series triggered by specific criteria, such as abandoned carts, birthday campaigns, and rewarding your best promoters/loyal customers. Efficient customer tracking and segmentation are crucial for targeted distribution that resonates with recipients.
3. Continuously track and optimize
Effective gift card marketing requires a combination of innovative ideas, extensive testing, accurate customer tracking, and continuous adjustments. Utilize A/B testing to compare various gift card attributes and customer segments to identify what works best. Track key parameters, including the number of sold cards, redeemed amount, remaining balance, customer information, and popular products/services. Leverage software that enables simultaneous management of multiple gift card campaigns for enhanced targeting and ROI estimation.
4. Foster collaborations with affiliates
For large-scale marketing campaigns involving multiple business partners, establishing well-planned collaborations with affiliates is crucial. Choose a gift card provider that allows secure integration of partners into your gift card system, with controlled data access, while preserving the data necessary for tracking and analytics. Automate operations wherever possible to simplify gift card management and reduce reliance on excessive software or spreadsheets, saving time for your marketing and development teams.
5. Adapt an omnichannel approach
Implementing an omnichannel approach in your gift card marketing strategy involves utilizing various platforms and channels to promote and distribute gift cards. This can include online channels such as your website, social media, email marketing, and mobile apps, as well as offline channels like physical stores and partner locations. By reaching customers through multiple touchpoints, you can maximize the visibility and accessibility of your gift cards, increasing their chances of being purchased and redeemed.
6. Keep seasonality in mind
Planning your gift card promotions well in advance for key dates, such as holidays and special occasions, is essential for successful gift card marketing. By identifying relevant dates and aligning your promotions accordingly, you can leverage the increased consumer interest and purchasing behaviors during these periods. It allows you to create targeted campaigns, design themed gift cards, and offer special discounts or bonuses that resonate with customers' gifting needs.
7. Take care of legal matters
Gift cards are subject to legal regulations which can vary across the globe. In some countries, such as the United States, the federal law prohibits the issuance of gift cards with expiration dates of less than five years. However, certain countries may provide additional protections. It is important for both customers and brands to be aware of the applicable laws to ensure compliance with regulations regarding gift cards.
Examples of successful gift card campaigns
1. Social media gift card giveaway
Hosting a social media giveaway is an excellent strategy to create enthusiasm and anticipation for your gift cards. Giveaways generate significant interaction with your followers as they involve specific actions to enter. For instance, you can share a visual announcement of the giveaway on social media, prompting followers to follow your profile, like the post, and tag someone they would like to enjoy the experience with. Each time a friend is tagged, you gain additional visibility, making giveaways an effective method to generate excitement for your gift cards while also reaching and engaging a fresh audience.
2. Gift card campaign with a holiday theme
Launch a gift card campaign during particular holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or Christmas. Identify relevant holidays that align with your specific industry and strategize promotional activities accordingly. For example, Sweetgreen designed a gift card campaign specifically for Valentine's Day, incorporating pink colors and love-themed messages to highlight the holiday-specific offer. This targeted approach appeals to customers looking to purchase a gift for someone who enjoys the brand, enhancing the appeal of the gift card purchase.
3.Referral program with gift cards as rewards
Gift cards are like shiny stars in the referral program galaxy, showering promoters with instant joy for each new friend they bring along. It's a never-ending cycle of happy customers spreading the word! And guess what? The referred friends get a sweet treat too - a discount to kickstart their shopping spree. This creates a two-way program that taps into the distinct motivations of both sides.
4. Re-targeting gift cards
Another scenario where gift card emails prove useful is when you want to strengthen your re-engagement campaign. Frequently, abandoned cart emails incorporate gift certificates to encourage hesitant customers to complete their purchase. Additionally, gift cards can be included in follow-up newsletters as a means of staying connected.
5.Gratitude gift cards
A gratitude gift cards campaign holds great importance for a brand as it allows them to express gratitude to their customers, fostering a sense of appreciation and loyalty. By offering personalized gift cards as tokens of thanks, brands create positive associations and strengthen customer relationships, encouraging repeat business and generating positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Learn more: Find more inspirations for successful gift card campaigns
How to run a gift card campaign with Voucherify?
Creating gift card campaigns with Voucherify is a quick and easy process that allows you to launch effective campaigns without the need for a team of developers. To build a gift card campaign with Voucherify, follow these steps:
1. Set up a gift card campaign
In your Voucherify dashboard, select gift cards as your campaign type. Start by filling in general details – provide a campaign name, description, and define the campaign's start and end dates. Set up various parameters for your gift cards, such as their number, value, expiration date, redemption rules, and any additional metadata you need. Specify the card's code pattern, length, and prefix, or use auto-generated codes.
2. Provide the gift card value
In a Voucherify gift card campaign, the gift card value refers to the prepaid balance loaded onto each individual gift card. This value can be predetermined in the Voucherify dashboard. The gift card recipients can use the loaded balance to make purchases or avail services within the specified limitations of the campaign.
3. Define validation rules
Configure the validation rules that will mirror the redemption conditions you want to achieve. For instance, they can be determined by customer segments, products, orders, budget, or metadata.
5. Plan gift cards distribution
Determine how you want to distribute your gift cards. You can choose to send them via email, SMS, or generate them for printing and physical distribution. Voucherify enables you to integrate with the best messaging/engagement platforms such as Braze, MoEngage, MailChimp and ActiveCampaign.
6. Monitor and track usage
Use the Voucherify dashboard to monitor the campaign's performance, track the usage of gift cards, and analyze customer engagement. You can view metrics like redemption rates, revenue generated, and customer behavior. Most importantly, Voucherify offers you detailed logs of each action linked to the gift card, meaning how much it was charged, how much money was spent, and the amount of money left on a gift card.
Gift cards have become a staple in modern consumer culture, offering convenience, flexibility, and a personalized gifting experience. Voucherify provides a comprehensive gift card platform that streamlines the entire gift card process, from creation to distribution and redemption.
Run your next gift card campaign with Voucherify