Increase Your Holiday Sales

Increase Holiday Sales with a Gift CertificateThe holiday buying season is upon us, and it’s never too early, or late, to increase your holiday sales.

I always tell my clients, look into your “tool chest,” as you can simply recycle past offers or specials. A perfect example of this is to reintroduce, or create, your business “Gift Certificate” or “Gift Card.”

77% of Americans have given a gift card in the last year, and for the eighth year in a row, gift cards and certificates are the most requested holiday gift item.

According to Google, when scrambling to get a gift a couple of days before Christmas, you are most likely to buy a gift card.

 Everyone benefits from gift cards and certificates:

  1. The Buyer 93% of consumers would prefer a $25 gift card to a gift valued at $25 or more. Based on this statistic, gift cards and certificates are considered highly valuable. And in this holiday rush, the buyer will spend less time worrying and searching for the perfect gift that is ultimately wrong anyway.
  2. The User – The holder of the gift card can now use it when, and as, they wish. He or she can choose the item or service they would like to spend it on, rather than receiving something they didn’t want or need. And after all, isn’t it about guilt-free spending.
  3. The Seller – In a nutshell, the seller is offering the buyer a painless experience, while the user has the freedom to choose. The gift certificate sale literally represents cash in your pocket.  But one of the most important reasons is that 72% of customers spend more than the value of their card, which means even more cash in your pocket. Shall I repeat, who benefits from this? Yes, the business!

Here are some simple tips on maximizing the value of your gift card/certificate:


In addition to your offer, always specify valid dates/duration, as well as terms and conditions. Give the customer a choice as to what goods or service they may use it on. Plus, for those of you concerned with fraud, you may also want to include a unique serial number for each certificate.

So for example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer, this is what your content may contain…

  • Offer: “$50 Gift Certificate good towards any service.”
  • Dates/duration: Certificate must be presented at time of redemption and expires on March 31, 2016.
  • Terms and conditions: Cannot be combined with any other offer, is non-refundable and cannot be redeemed for cash.

Don’t overthink this and make it complicated. Remember, your goal is most likely to increase sales, build awareness, and get more folks to try your product or service, so don’t add too many limitations.

For example, if your goal is to boost sales, don’t put “non-transferable,” as it’s really not a concern who uses it, unless you want just “new customers only, etc.” Overall, know your business and create a gift certificate that is just right for your needs.


Use a variety of marketing communications to ensure you reach your target audience through diverse channels. Some customers/prospects may use social media, while others may prefer to visit your website or receive an e-newsletter, or visit your store. Whatever marketing means, use every appropriate channel to get the word out.

  • Partner with a Local Business:

A very effective way to market your gift certificate is to partner with another local business and create a unique package deal. Ideally, the other business should be related to yours in some way so that you are attracting the same category of customers.

  • Customer Profile:

Also, remember that this is a “gift,” so although you want to market to your direct customer profile, you should also market to those who may be buying the gift.

For example, if you’re a personal trainer who works exclusively with women, you should also market to men, as a husband may want to buy a gift certificate for his wife. However, be sure to change your messaging to speak to each target audience.

  • Benefits:

Reinforce the “convenience” benefit of purchasing a gift certificate (see Buyer and User benefits above).

Distribution and Packaging

There are primarily two ways to distribute your gift certificate:

1. In Person: 

This applies to someone picking up the hard-copy certificate. Be sure it looks professional and is printed on a high-quality card stock.  Also, you can add more class by wrapping it, putting it in a nice gift bag, tin, etc.

Remember, perception is reality and you want to be viewed as a professional, leading go-to source for your specific business industry.

2. Electronically: 

Digital gift cards are on the rise. 78% of consumers have received a digital (electronic) gift card. If you are making it available on your website, your design should be highly visible, easily accessible and on a well-organized page that will appeal to impulse purchasers.

When you deliver the purchased certificate via email, do NOT send it as an attachment because the recipient may never get it. The file may be too large and gets rejected by the server, or the file is corrupt and causes a virus, or the file goes into spam, etc.

A great solution is to create a professional looking online certificate through your e-newsletter service  (for those of you who know me well, I’m a huge fan of – it’s free and very user-friendly.) Then, as folks purchase the certificate, you can simply email them the faux certificate (which is really an e-newsletter) directly.

This is one of the best ways to increase sales for the holiday. But if you’re looking for alternative ways to promote your business this holiday season, please visit our blog on “The Power of Paying it Forward.

If you need assistance, or don’t have the time to create your gift certificate this busy holiday season, then we’re here to help. We, at Exceller Marketing, can quickly create your gift certificate and recommend the proper marketing channels for you to use to get the word out now.

Remember, it’s never too early or late…feel free to contact us today for a FREE consultation and get on your way to increasing sales and customers this holiday season.

Best regards, until next time!

Kathy Argyros
Founder and Chief Consultant, Exceller Marketing, Inc.

Exceller Marketing is a full-service marketing firm and website design agency servicing small and medium businesses, as well as entrepreneurs in Westchester County, NY and the tri-state area. With powerful traditional and digital marketing communications, coupled with business development, we keep our clients ahead of their competition.

Source: CardCash
Image: Deviant Art


  1. Peter C. Frank

    You should check with state and local laws but gift cards/gift certificates might have a minimum period of eligibility (i.e., a minimum period before they expire, e.g., one year) and/or might be required never to expire if purchased for cash value.

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