Holiday buying season is around the corner and now is the time to plan your promotions to increase sales for your Westchester, NY small business.

I always tell my clients, look into your “tool chest” and simply recycle past offers or specials.

A perfect example of this is to reintroduce, or create, your business “Gift Certificate” or “Gift Card.”

According to Google, when scrambling to get a gift, you’re most likely to buy a gift card…just place it in a nicely wrapped box and your good to go.

93% of American consumers have either given or sent a gift card or gift certificate, with these continuing to be the most requested holiday gift item year after year.

Everyone benefits from gift cards and certificates:

The Giver

Gift cards and gift certificates are considered highly valuable. And in this holiday rush, instead of worrying and searching for the perfect gift, the Giver can simply and quickly pick up or order a gift card or certificate.

The Receiver

The Receiver 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.

The Seller

In a nutshell, you, the Seller, are offering the Giver a painless experience, while the Receiver has the freedom to choose. The gift certificate sale literally represents cash in your pocket. But one of the most important reasons is that 65% of gift card holders spend an extra 38% beyond the value of the card, which means even more green in your pocket. Shall I repeat, who benefits from this? Yes, you the Seller/business owner!

How to maximize the value of your gift card:

1. Content

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 December 31, 2020.
    • 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 and audience.

2. Marketing

Marketing Communications:

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.


Reinforce the “convenience” benefit of purchasing a gift certificate.

3. Distribution and Packaging

There are primarily two ways to distribute your gift certificate:

  • 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.

  • Electronically:

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. Best way to do this is create a simple ecommerce solution so that the entire process is automated, from accepting payment to sending the Giver (or Receiver) the certificate directly.

Over 50% of all gift cards are not fulfilled in just one visit, so the customer will return for more purchases. This gives you the opportunity to upsell additional services and products at those return visits. The bottom line is, gift cards and certificates are the gift that keeps on giving.

Source: Gift Card Granny, ThriveHive

FREE Consultation

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

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 boutique-style, full-service web design and digital marketing agency in Westchester County, NY. We empower small businesses and entrepreneurs with outstanding web design and expert digital marketing services that keep our clients ahead of their competition.