Here’s a little secret:
One of the easiest way to increase your income and grow your business is with Gift Certificate sales.
Sure, you “kind of” realize that having a Gift Certificate program is a good idea, but what if I told you NOT taking it seriously was costing the average individual massage therapist $5,000 or more a year and 12 new clients?
Most of us fall way short of truly embracing the power of a smoothly running, money making, new client referring gift certificate machine.
Let me explain
Facts About Gift Certificate Programs
- Gift Certificates are like word of mouth referrals that you get paid for. Done right, as many as 27% of recipients end up being new, repeat customers who convert to a repeat client because of the gift certificate experience.
Gift card customers are also more likely to purchase items and services at full price, rather than those on sale, meaning you’re likely to make more profitable sales with gift card customers.
- Gift Certificates are crazy profitable. Less than 50% tend to be redeemed. That’s free money. It’s just the way it is.
Don’t know how to start or optimize your gift certificate program to increase sales while keeping the administrative tasks and tracking easy?
If you’re a massage or bodywork professional, it’s easier than ever to put together a seamless solution to create, sell, promote, track and redeem gift certificates.
It’s called MassageBook, and the powerful gift certificates feature allows you to sell gift certificates online as well as in your office, allows you to promote gift certificates via email to all your existing clients, tracks all outstanding and redeemed certificates, and enables you to accept gift certificates as a form of payment when clients book online, or check out in office.
Now, just because you have a gift certificate program already in place doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the most from it, so let’s take a look at ways to optimize it.
Implementation Strategies for a Gift Certificate Program
- Gift card sales spike predictably before most holiday. Are you doing everything you can to promote them in the precious time window the week(s) beforehand? We’ve seen a simple reminder email that you have gift cards for sale sent to existing clients result in a surprising number of online gift card sales.
- Ensure that gift certificates can be purchased online quickly and easily – it opens a wealth of opportunities for promotion and will reach a much larger audience than in office promotion by itself.
- Gift certificate sales are not just for holidays, there are a gazillion ways to promote them creatively during the rest of the year. Promote them often for a myriad of reasons: “Just because you’re awesome”, “teachers need pampering too”, “Who do you want to say thank you to?”, “Anniversary in April?”. With a little thought, you can plan out an entire year of gift certificate promotions.
- It’s important to treat gift certificate clients the same way you would regular clients. Many people fall into the habit of thinking that just because you have their money already, that somehow their business is worth less. This is not a good strategy for customer retention in your gift certificate program. Gift certificates are a pre-payment for services, not a coupon, and an AMAZING opportunity to convert the first time client into a repeat visitor. Don’t waste it. Maybe even consider offering an incentive to the new client to make another appointment before they leave…
- Get creative with related offers. Offer incentives for people to purchase your gift certificates. As an alternative to discounting gift certificates, offer purchasers a separate gift certificate with the purchase of a designated gift amount, such as a $10 reward for a $100 gift certificate purchase. This incentivizes people to spend more on the gift certificate than they might normally be inclined to, plus it makes the customer feel as though you truly value their business.
- Have a simple and reliable process in place for redemptions and tracking. There’s nothing more embarrassing than not being able to easily and confidently accept a gift certificate for payment during checkout.
Marketing Strategies for a Gift Certificate Program
No one will take advantage of your gift certificate program if they don’t know that it exists! It’s important that you incorporate your gift certificate program into your normal marketing schedule, as it will be an important tool for your business.
- Create a calendar with your most popular holidays and months of the year, and plan your marketing strategy around those dates. Popular holidays include Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day. Create specific campaigns tailored to those holidays so that people are more inclined to purchase.
- Use your social media channels to reach out to your customers to inform them of your gift certificate program.
- Design and print branded signage and place it in high traffic areas in your practice. The more exposure people have to the program, the more likely they are to participate!
- Toot your own horn (it’s ok, really!) and remind people personally that you have a gift certificate program. This includes when they call in to ask for information, when they’re booking appointments or when they are finishing up with a service with you.
- Always track what is successful and what isn’t successful and compare your numbers on a month-by-month, quarter-by-quarter or year-by-year basis to ensure that you’re constantly improving and learning from your prior experiences. If there are problems or issues that arise with employees or customers regarding your program, use those as learning experiences to improve and better your processes in the future.
When looking to implement a new gift certificate program, it’s important that you have software to keep track of sales and redemptions. Whether you sell gift certificates online or sell them in your practice, MassageBook is the perfect solution to promote, sell, and redeem gift certificates.
Go on now. Do it!
Take your gift certificate sales to the next level and reap the rewards of this opportunity staring you in the face!
- Author: Mark Volkmann
- Published: April 12, 2016