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How to Use Gift Cards to Build Your Customer Base

Few things are as important to a small or growing business than a loyal customer base. In fact, studies have shown that it is far more expensive to gain new customers than to retain a current customer. With this in mind, we highly recommend devoting plenty of your marketing efforts to solidifying your customer base.

Gift cards are an excellent way to build your customer base; whether they are used to spread brand awareness to new customers or to reward current customers, gift cards are a valuable tool for building your brand. Of course, the first step: offer your customers the opportunity to purchase gift cards with convenience and incentives!

Consider these tips for using gift cards as an important marketing tool to build your businesses’ customer base and retain loyal customers.

The Loyal Customer, Brand Ambassador

Having someone on your side is essential to both personal and professional success—it’s a no-brainer! It’s important to let your customer base know that their support is greatly appreciated and their business is a valued contribution to your success. 

Customer appreciation works two-fold: it helps you to retain the customers you’ve worked hard to gain, but it also encourages these customers to spread the word about your business throughout the community. Your regular customers essentially become your very own brand ambassadors.

How does it work? A regular customer gives a gift card to a friend who has never made a purchase from your business, this friend then must thoroughly familiarize herself with your website and products as she chooses how she will spend her gift card. There you have it—a brand new customer, now fully aware of your brand’s voice and products!

One-on-One Marketing

Don’t be afraid to personalize the gift card experience as much as possible. The goal is to make your customer feel seen and appreciated right from the start. How can you do this? Helping customers to personalize e-gift cards with a personal message is one great method. 

You can continue to go above and beyond as you can then begin organic email communication with the card recipient by sending suggested purchases based off of her browsing history and reminding her of the remaining gift card balance. Not only will this inspire the new customer to make another purchase, but it also gives you the opportunity to further demonstrate your charming brand voice to a new customer. 

Social Media Giveaways

One of the quickest and most efficient ways to connect with your customers (and grab the attention of new ones) is to organize gift card giveaways and promotions via your social media channels. Something as simple as organizing a $100 gift card giveaway by asking your existing followers to like, share, and tag three friends, is an extremely effective approach.

Want to strive to reach an even wider audience? Consider partnering with a complimentary business and advertise a giveaway package or a gift card that can be used at either location. This is a great way to draw from a whole new pool of customers, while also networking within your community.

Show Your Appreciation

As we mentioned, loyal customers who feel appreciated work as free PR for your business by telling friends and family of their positive experiences. Therefore, you should use gift cards as a way to reward these customers for their kind words and continued business. Surprise them! Customers love an unexpected $10 e-gift card to show up in their email as a special thanks. 

Card Market can help you organize gift card campaigns that continue to grow your customer base. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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