Our Step-by-Step Guide to promoting gift Vouchers
So! You are all set up and running with Voucher Connect. You have your store connected to your website, and the vouchers are looking fabulous and ready to go! So what now …?
Now it’s time to sell…..But to sell, you first have to promote. Here’s our tips…
- Promote Digitally
Via Social Media
While this seems like a more-than obvious thing to do, it should not be underestimated or overlooked, or dealt with in a blase manner. You have an existing audience connected to and linked to your business whether its via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and the audience are all-ears. So create some posts initially to tell them that you are now selling instantly accessible gift vouchers online, and then constantly remind them of the fact. Use attractive imagery and punchy headlines to let everyone know that you have vouchers ready to sell them. The more you tell them the more they will remember! (But don’t go into overdrive either, you can get too much of a good thing!)
Via Newsletters & Mail Drops
Sitting alongside your social media channels, is the opportunity to tell your businesses’ existing list of customers about your gift vouchers. Send a newsletter or a maildrop telling them that you offer gift vouchers – highlight the unique selling points – like the fact that they can be emailed, printed at home, or that they don’t have any expiry. You will be surprised by the instant uptake you will get from this medium, provided it is done well….. And another handy tip is to always add in a CTA (Call to Action! – like click here to ‘Buy Now’) that links your Voucher Connect Store directly to the newsletter email. This will stop people getting lost along the way and encourage a speedy sale transaction.
Via Your Website
Visitors to your website are sitting ducks. They may be on your site for a myriad of reasons, but they are prime candidates to be told about your business’ vouchers. Employ a pop up window promoting your voucher offering and encouraging sales once people land on your site. The simple things are often the most effective. But also on your website, make sure the link to your voucher store is clear and obvious on the top menu bar, but also referenced throughout the site with constant clickable links to your e-commerce store. The key is to tell people what they need to know. Use ‘Gifts’ as another menu link idea – this will create interest (ohhh, what’s that?!) and encourage traffic to your voucher page.
Via Your Email
Often forgotten, but think about the amount of people your business’ reaches via email during the normal course of business (reservations, enquiries, orders, and bookings etc). So, with this in mind, why not employ that ‘Call To Action’ trick again and add a link to your voucher store in your email signature. It’s free, easy, and quick and you just never know how many people may have that ‘ah-ha moment’, and go and buy that gift that was on their to-do list anyway…!
- Promote In-House
There are so many little opportunities for you to reinforce your message on your own shop floor. The key is in being creative and to develop messages that draw people’s eye and attract their attention. Think the back of bathroom doors, inside changing rooms, on dining tables, at cash desks, at the front of house/hostess table, on street signs outside your premises, or depending on the tone of your business, on menu cards etc. Constantly planting the seed, giving the reminder of your voucher offering, will mean that when they do need to buy one, your business will most likely pop into their head.
- Promote Locally
Depending on your business and industry, the community in which your business is situated is an ideal target for your voucher-promotion operation. ‘Shop Local’ and other such mantras come to mind here. You could use your vouchers for example to build up brand awareness – offering them as prizes in local fundraising efforts – the idea being that the winners come back as customers (and talk to others about winning a prize to your establishment too). They will likely spend more money than the voucher is worth, and become repeat customers if they enjoyed the experience.
- Create Products to Promote
Putting together ‘deals’ – like for instance 3 courses and a glass of bubbles, or a mini-mani with a facial – as a voucher package gives your customers perceived added value and they will enjoy the bonus factor that they get from this. The package or deal is a) a fantastic excuse to reach out to your customers to entice them to buy vouchers, and b) the voucher you are putting in front of them has a ‘carrot’ attached to it which the customer gets the upshot of – again enticing them to ‘buy now’. You can of course be clever here, and allow the voucher to be redeemed only during your quieter times be it a certain day of the week or month/time of the year.
- Create a Calendar of Promotions
While it’s super obvious that Christmas is a clear high-volume period for voucher sales, you will need to do some work to increase your voucher sales (in terms of both the number of vouchers, and value of each voucher) throughout the rest of the year. If you fail to plan you plan to fail…… so sit down and put together an outline marketing plan for the year marking out all the gift-giving events in the calendar…. Mother’s & Father’s Day; Valentine’s Day and so on. Then you can schedule marketing and promotion campaigns (on your social media and via newsletters for example) in the days and weeks coming up to these events, reminding people of your vouchers – and play up the convenience factor for them – that they can be printed / emailed etc.
The dual benefit of this is that you will very quickly see the times of the year when there are no ‘hallmark’ excuses for voucher sales – and then you use these months to remind your customers that your vouchers are the perfect birthday/anniversary gift etc !
(Did you know?! September is the busiest birthday month, so in August, which is a typically quiet time, promote your voucher offering as a gift idea for family and friend’s upcoming birthdays)
While all of the above ideas are relatively cheap/affordable and easy to execute, another option is to throw some money at the problem, and carry out targeted advertising via your social media channels / PPC (pay-per-click) to increase your reach and target market. This may be the way to go if you have big ambitions, or aren’t happy with the success of the other mediums above – or if you have one particularly impressive special offer/promotion that you want to scream about it from the rooftops.
*** Don’t forget you don’t need to be a genius in the marketing world to develop really smart attractive digital and print campaigns – there are so many online tools that will do all the heavy lifting for you. Check out Canva and Mailchimp for example which will help you put together smashing promotion material and then manage the publication of them through mass email marketing.