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5 Stellar Examples of Effective Gift Cards

Get the most out of your plastic gift cards by using them in effective ways.

When Used Effectively, Gift Cards are Hotter than Ever

#1 Open Gift Cards

We’ve all received gift cards as birthday, holiday, or thank you presents. Over the last 10 years, in fact, gift cards have become among the most popular gifts to receive. The fun of indulging in a purchase at one of your favorite stores is a great gift. For gift givers who are seeking more flexibility from their purchase, open gift cards may be a more attractive option. Instead of limiting redeemers to one store, open gift cards work more like cash and can be used as simply as a credit card at nearly any retailer. From employee bonuses and thank you gifts to straight up compensation, open gift cards can give you more options.

#2 Gift Cards & Charitable Donations

Corporate social responsibility is more than a trend. In fact, many people in today’s work force, especially younger people, look for employment with companies that show they care by giving back. By pairing charitable donations with your gift card program, you can show your customers, your clients, and your employees that you invest in your community. For example, a simple time-sensitive promotion that donates one dollar for every one hundred dollars worth of gift card sales could bring attention to your brand and help an organization that is devoted to doing good.

#3 Delayed Gift Cards

Every business has a slow season. By offering promotional gift cards or discounted gift cards that are activated during a slower time of year can help you boost sales and keep your revenue stream a little more even keel. Shoppers spend an average of 40 percent more than the value of their cards, reports the ecommerce platform Shopatron. If those cards are given as gifts, you can also increase your exposure to new customers. What’s so valuable about that? Shopatron also reports that 72 percent of people who receive gift cards make return visits to the store where they redeemed the card.

#4 Personalized Gift Cards

We all like to feel special. Gifts are made more thoughtful and meaningful when a personal flare is added to them. Applying this concept to one of the most popular and asked for gifts in America - plastic gift cards - can provide you with a memorable way to say thank you to your loved ones. Some retailers provide online card designing options, while others let you place your own photos, messages, and designs on them. Play with the different options until you find a way to put just the right touch on your thoughtful gift.

#5 Gift Cards & Fundraising

Your local school or non-profit organization can benefit from using gift cards as fundraising tools. By purchasing cards at a slight discount, say 15 percent below face value, the business you buy them from is paid upfront, and the organization can sell the cards at face value or just below, keeping the difference to help meet their fundraising goal. This is a great way to get your entire community involved in a fundraising effort that helps a local organization.