It’s proven—people love gift cards! In Canada, the industry is expected to experience steady growth in the medium term, driven by consumer confidence and retail spending along with heightened corporate incentive and loyalty programs. Over 43% of Canadians prefer receiving gift cards compared to any other form of reward, and gift card adoption in certain sectors is set to increase as companies leverage them to attract patrons. Here are some ways to use them to your advantage!
Create a Buzz on Social Media
Most modern companies use social media to keep consumers in-the-know, trigger sales, and create brand awareness. Some have dedicated in-house staff while others, typically small-to-medium businesses, juggle this task as best they can or hire part-time freelancers with expertise in the field. The end goal is almost always the same: attract new customers, exchange with existing ones, and generate profits by default. A good tactic to produce a steady flow of traffic to your social media pages is to organize contests with gift card prizes. These types of posts yield tons of engagement in the form of likes, comments, shares and follows, all leading to increased visibility and sales. Running a weekly or a monthly contest is a great return on investment, especially since gaining customers is a difficult feat! You can even sponsor such posts and tailor your audience strategically to maximize your exposure.
Why not recompense your satisfied clients when they refer a friend? Word-of-mouth is still a powerful way to acquire new customers and crafting a reward system can nurture the relationship with existing ones, thus encouraging repeat business. This can be especially beneficial for self-employed professionals like realtors, photographers, etc. Include this strategy as part of your marketing efforts to get the message across your channels and incite others to refer you naturally. To be extra efficient, directly ask people to refer you in exchange for a gift card. Developing a simple email template along with a tracking method is a sure way to be systematic. If you send out a monthly newsletter, use the opportunity to reiterate this messaging.
If word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing strategy, so are reviews. In fact, they hold just as much weight today as referrals from friends and family. Again, ask! Exchange gift cards for positive reviews either on Google, Amazon, Facebook, your own website, or external websites such as Yelp. Not only will this boost your brand’s credibility, but it’ll also improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Retain Existing Customers
If issues arise, as they inevitably do, utilize gift cards to keep clients happy as part of your resolution process. Brands who react quickly and efficiently when customers become disenchanted have a good chance of salvaging the relationship. Stock up on gift cards and train your staff to use them as a strategic tool in such instances.
Increase Customer Loyalty
Rewarding specific behaviours with gift cards is also a great way to retain customers. Whether it’s for repeat business, at special events or just because, treating your clients will make them feel valued and keep them coming back. Since every company is different, it’s good to develop a unique program that truly reflects your customers. Brainstorm with your teams, pick and choose which gift cards are best suited for your specific clientele, and get going!
As you can see, there are many concrete ways to grow your business using gift cards. If you don’t yet have an account, sign up for free today. Our extensive list of retailers is sure to tick all your boxes!