Perspective: Five Gift Card Marketing Ideas for the Holidays

Decreases in consumer spending continue to pose a challenge to merchants, and although gift and spending cards remain popular with consumers, many program managers have watched gift card activations decline over the past year. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your gift card program through the holiday season.

  1. Start marketing your card now and continue your efforts through the holiday season.
  2. Include gift card displays with merchandise often bought as gifts and use out-of-stock tags as a way to promote gift cards: “This item is currently out of stock. Consider purchasing a gift card instead.”
  3. Improve the appeal of your holiday cards by offering occasion-specific cards and carriers.
  4. Communicate how and why your card would appeal to your customers’ friends and family members—the primary recipients of your cards.
  5. Consider using your gift card as a consumer incentive to increase load amounts and drive customers back to your stores. An example offer: Buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 gift card that can be used after the holidays.

For more gift card marketing ideas, see Nine Gift Card Marketing Ideas for Navigating 2009 .