Loyalty Programs

The Advantages of Digital Gift Cards for Promotional Use

The use of digital gift cards as a promotional tool has grown with the rise of mobile technology and marketing. Marketers, agencies, and sales teams now use digital gift cards as a way of building brand loyalty. Businesses also use gift cards to incentivise employees with cash, experiential and other types of rewards.

Digital gift cards can help successfully enhance sales while controlling the cost of marketing campaigns. Here are some of ways in which digital gift cards can benefit your customer engagement strategy.

1. Boost sales and promote brand awareness

A single digital gift card serves two customers: the sender and the recipient. Gift cards can massively boost sales by generating new leads, while special add-ons such as buy-one-get-one-free campaigns encourage senders to spend more – both on self-use and for gifts – by communicating a sense of value.

Gift cards are also highly effective because they’re – by nature – cross-promotional tools. Offering a variety of benefits and rewards that are complementary to your service or product heightens your appeal to customers by growing interest and familiarity in your brand, and in your core products and services.

Digital gift cards are also a great way to encourage senders and recipients to sign up for additional marketing channels such as SMS, social media, and email lists. The nature of gift cards boosts sales because, while cards are usually set to fixed amounts, customers are likely to spend over the fixed amount of the card to fulfil their purchase goals.

2. Enhance membership programs and build loyalty

The versatility and convenience of gift cards makes them ideal for membership programs. As a marketer, you can easily build customer loyalty with tangible rewards like gift cards. Digital gift cards are commonly used to raise the perceived value of membership, and they’re often used by companies to reward employees. Research has shown that customers buy more from companies that they’re a member of.

The more you’re able to offer rewards and benefits from a broad range of merchants, the more you can appeal to members and staff from all demographic categories. Edge Loyalty, for example, has more merchant partners and distribution partners than any other consumer reward provider in the market.

3. Mobility and instant digital delivery

Digital gift cards have many advantages over plastic cards. They can be delivered instantly online, allowing last-minute shoppers to purchase quickly. Digital cards are highly attractive to leads and prospects because they’re delivered immediately to the mobile device and can be stored on phones for use at any time and place.

With smartphone-based payments entering the mainstream, complementary tools such as digital gift cards are an attractive way to engage with a brand as they allow customers to redeem offers and benefits instantly.

4. Cost control

Digital gift card programs are not only highly scalable; they can be much cheaper to deploy. As a marketer or company seeking to deliver rewards to employees, you can avoid the costs of physical printing and delivery while undertaking a highly targeted campaign in a shorter time frame. Stock control risks are also minimised.

Digital gift card campaigns can be carried out quickly, in short periods of time, because physical printing and delivery requirements are completely eliminated.

5. Activate location-based engagement

While plastic cards are static, digital cards are active, dynamic apps that marketers can use to engage customers in different ways. One area of great potential is location-based engagement. For example, marketers can set up digital gift cards to automatically send reminders and offers when customers are near a physical store.

6. Accessibility and security

Because digital gift cards are so accessible, they’re versatile tools for any mobile marketing campaign. Digital gift cards can play a role in the entire lead-to-sale process on mobile: first, by bringing in new leads or encouraging customers to spend, and then serving as the tool by which payment is made, either online or in store.

This translates to a great deal of convenience for customers. And a range of digital security options – such as activation controls – means they can be more secure than physical cards, which are easier to lose.

7. Personalisation and variety of choice

Research shows that 70% of consumers believe customisation is important in gift cards. Digital gift cards are easy and cost effective to personalise with designs, messages, photos, messages, and rewards. Digital gift cards offer enormous choice as businesses can provide a catalogue of rewards for staff or customers, whether these are cash, dining, experience, loyalty, or other benefits and rewards.

Businesses can offer customers highly personalised options to customise their gift to another consumer. Similarly, the business itself can make use of these personalisation options to better connect with their clients and/or employees and to build loyalty. For example, you can target specific demographics with suitable messages and designs on the card itself, and also by offering different types of rewards from a range of merchants.

8. Track behaviour and campaigns

Digital gift cards offer enormous potential for building a comprehensive customer database. Use these cards to collect information on purchase behaviour, track conversion rates, and obtain accurate metrics. As a marketer, you can collect data on both the sender and recipient, and use this information to refine and personalise future promotions.

9. Incentivise specific demographics

With so many personalisation options and detailed analytics comes the ability to target specific demographics. As you track customer behaviour, you can refine your marketing campaigns to more effectively incentivise different customer categories. Personalisation in both the reward and design aspects of digital gift cards leads to better sales results and greater customer engagement.

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Matthew Richardson

Matthew Richardson

Regional Project Specialist - Asia at Edge Pri
With almost a decade of experience in the digital space, Matthew brings an abundance of knowledge and insight to the team. Matthew is passionate about helping brands achieve results using the latest and most effective technology. On a personal note, he barracks for Melbourne, but we won't hold that against him.