grow your business, Marketing Tip

11 Simple yet Effective Gift Card Marketing Ideas to Boost your Annual Sales

A person gifting a gift card to someone

Wondering what to do with that stack of gift cards under your counter? You’re ready to get new clients lining up and boosting your sale, but they will certainly not sell themselves, right?

Then how can you make the most of your investment? What ideas can you employ to effectively market your gift certificates such that people would actually want to buy them? 

We suggest that you let go of those worries and let us take you through this handsomely curated list of gift card marketing ideas that would help you:

  • Boost your revenue
  • Build client loyalty
  • Get new clients
  • Improve customer engagement
  • Uplift your brand name, and a lot more.

Let’s get started with the marketing ideas.

  1. Create striking designs
  2. Place strategically, and everywhere
  3. Charge-up your employees
  4. Encourage “Spend that coin!”
  5. Polish your offers
  6. Celebrate special occasions
  7. Contribute to fundraisers
  8. Create co-ops and referral programs 
  9. Integrate with your loyalty program
  10. Promote e-gift certificates
  11. Amp up your mailing game

1. Create striking designs

Your gift certificates will prove to be great marketing tools for your business. So they must reflect what your business stands for. Along with that, it also becomes necessary for you to put an effort in order to make it appear a little more thoughtful and personal. It’s a gift after all!

What you can do:

  • Include your brand logo and choose colors that match your palette. Gift certificates will majorly help in building your brand’s name so it is important to keep your fonts and colors consistent.
    For example, take a look at the below gift card template by La farm bakery to get a better understanding.
La farm bakery’s gift card

(Source: La Farm Bakery)

  • Invest in new cards as the seasons change. Gift certificates are essentially meant to capture more holiday sales. A great holiday marketing idea could be to customize your gift cards according to the upcoming occasions and to add a personal touch with a short message. You can also create a marketing slogan and use it to promote your brand name.
    For example, take a look at the below gift certificate designed by Amazon especially for Christmas. 
Amazon’s Christmas themed gift card


Eye-catching gift cards displayed at appropriate places in your shop will entice visitors to know more about them giving you a chance to sell more.

2. Place strategically, and everywhere.

The most obvious gift card marketing strategy is to place them such that they grab sufficient attention from literally everyone while at your business. 

Make sure to:

  • Place your gift certificates at the billing counter, and make sure that they are gifting-ready. Gift certificates are usually an impulsive buy, especially around special occasions.
    So putting up an attractive show of decorated gift cards right on the counter can be a great way to market gift certificates to generate revenue & boost sales.
  • Put up flashing displays everywhere– dressing rooms, waiting areas, hostess wagons, etc.  Make it hard for your clients and customers to ignore it.
  • Promote them on any signage points like window displays, menu boards, etc. Basically, everywhere.
  • Hold a separate counter solely for selling gift certificates if you have lines during the holidays. Make it convenient for your customers.
  • Put the word online. Showcase them on your website, booking page and leverage your social media to promote all the new design launches, exciting deals, and offers.
    You can also hold contests, put up polls, interact with your audience, etc. to spread the word.

 3. Charge up your employees

It is never a harm to spark up a little friendly competition, right?

Try to:

  • Train your employees. Make sure that they have full knowledge of what they are selling (which, in this case, would be your gift certificates).
  • Encourage your employees to hold casual conversations with your clients or customers and to subtly pitch your gift certificates. You can then reward them by offering incentives to whoever sells the most gift certificates.
  • Give away your own gift certificates instead of other less useful incentives like trophies or t-shirts, etc. to your top performers.
  • Use your gift certificates as bonus rewards for your employees in order to keep them motivated. This will allow them to try your products and services and hence they can genuinely recommend you to others. 
    Besides, you might even get valuable feedback in the process, and the money comes back to your business!

4. Encourage “Spend that coin!”

Lure your customers into spending more by incentivizing their purchases.

You can do that by:

  • Encouraging self-gifting. It is no lie that most people do end up buying a little something for themselves at the end of the day. 
    Stats show that more than 78% of consumers will buy gift cards for themselves if incentivized. This indeed could turn out to be one of the really good gift card promotion ideas for you.
    So appreciate that and market your messages in such a way that it encourages your clients to get that treat! 
  • Offering a free gift certificate if the bill crosses a certain amount. Stats show that more than 59% of customers usually end up spending more than their gift card values. So giving away a low-value gift card will not only increase their chances of returning to you but also increase your sales.
    For example, you can give away a 20$ gift certificate for every 100$ that they spend. This will give them a reason to revisit. You have nothing to lose! 
  • Offering a gift card in exchange for any product returns that happen. This will ensure that the money stays with you and the customer would then have to find something else to spend that money on.
  • Displaying attractive add-ons that would go along with your gift certificate. For example, you can set up your salon gift card next to a pretty collection of nail polishes, lashes, or hand creams.
    You can also show all these items packaged together nicely in a cute gift bag that they can buy as well. Doing this will help you cross-sell other small products from your business too.

 5. Polish your offers

Gift certificate promotions with value-adding offers are the best trick to give your customers a purpose to purchase!

What you can do:

  • Offer deals on gift certificates themselves. Since a lot of shoppers would anyway consider buying gift cards around holidays, you can give them a quick excuse by putting up easy deals.
    For example, you can give away a 150$ gift certificate for 135$, a 50$ card for 45$, etc. They will easily end up spending more than the card value the next time they visit.
  • You can also ramp it up a little by:
    • Giving a 15% off on the total expenditure with a purchase of a gift certificate.
    • Giving away a 20$ gift certificate with the purchase of a 200$ one. 
    • Building a set of 3 cards and giving away one for free. 
      This might either bring the same client back and get you a bigger sale, or a totally new client!
  • Provide freebies. Give your clients something to be excited about. Add in a pinch of motivation to make a purchase by promoting a free surprise gift. You can effectively use this opportunity to get away with the inventory that you’ve had trouble selling.

 6. Celebrate special occasions

We know the holiday grind that goes around every season and how it can get extremely busy for most businesses. But does that mean you refrain from celebrating? Absolutely not!

Take a look at the below promotion ideas to turn your very special holiday roll into a success celebration!

  • Gift your clients. For example, a 20$ gift certificate in their mailbox or free nail polish with a 50$ nail salon gift certificate can be a small token of love for always supporting your business. 
    This will not only make them feel appreciated but you will also buy yourself another visit with a sale that will most definitely cross the 20$ mark.
  • Don’t just stack up cards on your counter. Like we’ve mentioned, gift cards are impulsive buys. So make sure that they are ready to be bought and taken to a party in 30 minutes. 
    You can give away a free cardholder and envelope with the purchase of every gift certificate. Better yet, you can also create cute packaging with gift wraps and ribbons for whoever also buys add-ons.

Another way to engage your audience in the celebration would be to hold contests. Everybody likes freebies, especially if they win it!

For instance, you can:

  • Hold various lucky draws at your store. You can create short trivia contests or something surprisingly random like the first 5 people to walk in wearing red on Valentine’s day would get a 25$ gift certificate to your store, etc.
  • Involve your social media audience too by holding online contests like Quizzes, Post-a-Picture, Comment to win, etc. That way you can accentuate your brand’s awareness and drive more traffic to your profile.

 7. Contribute to fundraisers

You might be wondering how gift certificates are better than donating gift baskets to a fundraiser?
They are quite popular in fact. For one, if you just wrap your products in a gift basket, you’d never know where they landed and whether they even need those products. Next, it does not really do anything for your business in return for participation.

What you can do instead:

  • Auction your gift certificates. Gift cards are well received by everyone since the recipients can choose to use them the way they want. 
    For example, if a person bids 125$ to get a 100$ gift card, the charity gains 125$. But the bidder gets his/her 100$ back in the form of a gift card that you had donated, so he can then effectively spend it buying your products. 
    It’s a win from both ends – Your money comes right back at your business, plus you also gain a new client!
  • Raffle your gift certificates. People usually enter a raffle contest when they already know what is being offered and they actually want it. And this is exactly why gift cards have gained popularity on this base too. 

8. Create co-ops and referral programs

We know how important it is to create local business partnerships to gain more ground. Similarly, word-of-mouth endorsements from your clients are equally powerful. And using your gift certificates as the ultimate ploy will just do the deal for you!

What you can do:

  • Reward your clients with gift cards instead of loyalty points or promo codes for writing reviews, sharing purchase experiences, etc. on social media.
  • Send your clients back with referral gift cards that are valid only for first-time visitors. They can share them with their friends and family. You can then reward them by reloading their gift-card balance as and when every referral card is redeemed.
  • Create a gift card co-op. Partner with other local businesses and build complementing gift card packages. You can then sell each other’s gift certificates at your store and encourage shoppers to shop in your neighborhood. 

9. Integrate with your loyalty program

Use gift certificates to reward loyal customers. If you already have a loyalty program in place, try giving away gift cards instead of loyalty points or in addition to discounts. 

Customers are more likely to visit in order to redeem their earned gift card value instead of just looking around to find discounts that are not very appealing. And hence, loyalty schemes can be a great way to put your gift certificate marketing program into action.

What you can do:

  • Reward clients based on the duration that they have stayed with you. 
    For example, you can send annual gift cards to those who have stuck with you for a whole year or more. People usually look forward to enjoying such perks. And, it boosts customer loyalty. 
  • Send them birthday gift cards to make them feel extra special for the day.
  • Offer incentives to customers who continually choose to reload their gift cards. This will encourage more payments to be made through gift certificates.

If you do not have a loyalty program in action, it’s never too late to set one up for your business.

10. Promote e-gift certificates

As online transactions are gaining ground, a huge portion of shoppers will turn towards e-gift cards. Besides, they are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly when compared to conventional plastic cards.

What you can do:

  • Enable consumers to buy your gift certificates online from the comfort of their homes and in the hours when they find it convenient.
    You can easily implement an e-gift card program on your business website or booking portal in just hours.
  • Promote on social media. Most consumers rely on social media for their holiday gifting ideas. Create organic posts to drive traffic and enable instant buying options.

Does your current scheduling software let you do all of the above? If not, Appointy is what you need. It lets you create & sell gift certificates, access ready-to-use templates, apart from providing advanced booking features
Check it out now –>

  • Run targeted ad campaigns on your Facebook specifically for promoting your gift cards. And don’t forget to link your landing page that displays them.
  • Record the information of both the sender and the receiver with every purchase. This will help you build your mailing list which you can use later on for more promotions.

11. Amp up your mailing game

It’s high time that you move on from the strictly promotional email content that would essentially give a nightmare to most clients. Refine your content.

What you can do:

  • Send low-value gift cards. People love presents. Even a 10$ gift certificate in their inbox will create a difference and can be a great marketing move. Moreover, it will be worth the cost if they end up visiting you. 
  • Send thoughtful newsletters throughout the year and employ effective gift card advertising before the holidays. Make sure that your advertisements are not overly promotional and your offers aim to add value to your clients.
  • Inform your clients about any online contests that you’re holding that will give them a chance to win a gift certificate.
  • Send confirmation of the remaining balance. In case the receiver has not spent the complete amount, send them a statement of the remaining balance. This will prompt them to re-visit you.
  • Add additional offers to the existing value. Since you already know whether or not the card has been redeemed, you can send emails like- “Redeem a gift certificate this week and land an additional 15% off on the overall purchase.” to promote payments through gift certificates. 
  • Market your gift certificates as:
    • The perfect gift for…
    • Celebrate your Dad with…
    • An additional 20% off just because it’s your birthday!…

Tip: You can easily export the mailing list with the help of any scheduling software that supports gift certificates and use it for your email marketing campaigns.


It is needless to mention how an implementation of a proper gift certificate system could uplift your business like a charm in so many ways that we’ve talked about- by bringing in new customers, boosting your sales, lifting your brand name, improving customer retention rates, helping you with stock clearance, and whatnot.

We hope that the above gift card marketing ideas will help you sell more, earn more, and grow more!

Do let us know about your experiences and opinions in the comment section below.

Happy gifting!

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

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