8 gift card marketing ideas to increase sales

What is gift card marketing?

Gift card marketing is when you offer gift cards and promote them as a way for your customers to access your business’ product or service. The use of gift cards in marketing has become increasingly popular as a tool for businesses. So much so, reports show that gift card marketing has enjoyed a 15.6% growth in UK business-to-business sales, year on year.

There are a variety of reasons why businesses would choose to use gift cards in marketing. They include:

  1. 1. Converting customers to buy more.
  2. 2. Reaching and attracting new customers
  3. 3. Increasing customer referrals
  4. 4. Exploiting seasonal shopping moments, for example, a Bank Holiday weekend
  5. 5. Securing customer loyalty


Why should you use gift card marketing?

Gift card marketing reaches the customer and gets their attention, using very little effort.  It’s also incredibly simple to execute. Gift cards can be shared digitally via email, SMS all by using a code, or they can be issued physically as a tangible card.

Gift card marketing can also be activated quickly, which makes it easy to react to an event or an occasion. For example, if England were to progress in a World Cup competition (you never know!), a sportswear brand might offer a gift card focused on the event. Such as buy an England kit and get a gift voucher worth £19.66 (representing the year when the England team last won the World Cup).

One of the biggest reasons businesses choose gift card marketing is its effectiveness on sales and ability to boost income. Using it as an incentive can increase the chance of a customer buying more. In fact, research shows that when using a gift card, 74% of consumers spend an average of £41 more on top of the original gift card value. An excellent ROI when evaluating it as a tactic within your marketing strategy!

8 gift card marketing ideas

Whether you’re a fashion brand, leisure centre, restaurant, cinema or beauty salon, it’s worth considering gift card marketing to drive sales.

Here we’ve listed 8 gift card marketing ideas for you to use to boost your business’ income.

1. Offer gift cards as incentives

In the US, it’s reported that consumers prefer gift cards over other marketing incentives like coupons, monetary bonuses and discounts. Our own research also echoes these findings, as  58% of consumers said gift cards are their most preferred store or restaurant promotion.

You could also consider using gift cards as an incentive for taking part in customer research. We know that consumers are likely to spend more than the gift card value, so incentivising with a gift card will lead to a significant return.

2. Piggyback on key events

Take a look at what calendar events are coming up and market your gift cards around those days. For example, Black Friday, Easter or Mother’s Day.

A prepaid card allows the owner to spend whatever amount of money has been loaded onto the card, and once the balance is spent, the card can be topped up and reused.

3. Use gift cards to recognise loyalty

Regardless of why you implement your gift card marketing incentive - whether it’s to mark a membership milestone, for spending a certain amount, or for the number of purchases made - offering as little as a £5 or £10 gift card is a nice way to keep customers engaged, feeling appreciated and coming back.

4. Tell customers about your product or service

Sending information about your products or service, with your gift card tells recipients about you - whether they are repeat customers or new - it is a clever way to showcase new products and upcoming launches while they are engaged with your brand. It creates excitement and fuels a desire to know more.

5. Offer physical and digital cards

As with most other things consumers buy, customers want choice when it comes to gift cards. They expect the option to be able to shop and buy wherever and whenever they want, so make sure your gift cards are available physically and digitally.

6. Shift end of line stock

Gift cards can be an ideal way to bolster revenue in areas where sales have slipped. For example, an end of season range or a product with a short shelf life.

7. Spark busy periods when it’s quieter

Implementing a short-burst gift card marketing campaign for non-busy periods is a way to ensure sales at a time of the year, or the week, when there is less footfall or less sales. For example, in January when spending typically depletes after Christmas or during the summer months when people take holidays.

8. Make your gift card designs stand out

It’s important to use stylish, impressive designs with features that relate to your target market. It’ll make them much more memorable and for some people, who may hold onto gift cards for a few months before they’re redeemed, it means the card acts as a constant reminder of your brand everytime they see it. Brands could even consider collaborating with artists or designers for added prestige. We offer a full portfolio of comprehensive services, including design.


Our wide range of gift cards can be used in a variety of customer engagement programmes, for one-time rewards or as part of a long-term engagement strategy. 

If you’d like support with your gift cards, get in touch via our contact form on the right or call 0203 758 4313.

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