The time has come for festivities, snowflakes and stress. It’s also time for the gift certificate selling blitz. A lot of businesses look at gift certificates as a cash cow, but for me they are so much more. More importantly they are an opportunity to recruit new clients, promote new treatments, and solidify client retention.
Yikes! You never got around to developing a holiday gift certificate program? I’m happy to inform you it’s not too late. You will just have to keep it focused and simple. Here are some successful strategies that I have in the past or are currently employing.
Make sure the gift certificate reflects and promotes your business image. My Gift Certificates are simple in design but I enhance them with unusual packaging. I have used Christmas stockings, Chinese takeout boxes, cigar boxes, tea cups, miniature bird cages, holiday ornaments, baskets and gift bags. I think you get the point. ( I don’t use the dollar stores for ingredients but I love them for packaging)
Offer an additional gift with gift certificate promotions. Just as an invite can set the tone for the party, the presentation can do the same. If the packaging is not enough, then add a little something to build the anticipation. It can be a self care tool or a sample of a product you use in your treatments. For example Biotone has a ton of samples available for purchase. (Polar Lotion is my favorite for this purpose) You can easily include one in the Gift Certificate presentation and give one to the purchaser as a bonus.
Gift certificates are a great way to spoil my clients. Most of the purchasers of my Gift Certificates are current clients. Since I don’t give away my massage time as a premium, I provide complementary spa treatment enhancements for their future sessions. It’s a fun way to say thank you and it allows my outcome based clients an opportunity to be pampered and nurtured by me. And it’s fun!
Promote new menu items. In order to get these potential new clients in your door and off your accounting books – offer incentives to use the Gift Certificate during your slow times. Collect contact information on Gift Certificate recipients so that you can inform them of these specials, for example: January enhancement for Gift Certificate redemption is a Detox wrap. Encourage them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat etc. to further inform and promote, which will generate ongoing interest. If you already have a VIP program, make sure you tie your specials together.
Promote your Gift Certificate sales with displays and social media. Something as simple as the presentation of your Gift Certificate along with festively wrapped “presents” will get anyone’s attention. Place displays throughout your entire space including bathrooms, reception, and treatment rooms. Photos of the displays are an effective way to tie the promotion together on your social media sites.
Since the holidays are a great time to promote but also a busy time for you, don’t forget to keep it simple. Have some of your Gift Certificate presentations premade so that you can accommodate last minute purchases and be prepared for out of towners contacting you to purchase Gift Certificates for your current clients, who just so happened to shared your promotional Facebook post on their account (as a hint).
Be well, Do good work, and share your holiday promotion. We all get stronger together