Our tips for making and selling gift cards

We have all been disappointed by an impersonal gift, bought in a hurry, at the last moment… The remedy to this tragedy: the gift card! The gift card allows you to aim a little more accurately.Simply because it gives a choice to the person who receives the gift. It also allows you to offer intangible goods, such as cultural or tourist activities for example. And that’s where you, as a hotel professional, have your (gift) card to play! At Hôtellerie Digitale we will show you how to design and market gift cards to increase your customer base.

How to design your gift card: target your customers

Identify your target audience

The first step is to define your target. Indeed, it is important to realize that the person who wishes to offer a gift card wants to be relieved of a constraint. They don’t want to waste time and energy in their search for the ideal gift. Exit therefore the constraints related to the reservation, the organization, the financing of a stay. Moreover, don’t let all this mental burden fall on the person who receives the card. The solution?

repérer clientèle cible cartes cadeaux

Offer formatted products, adapted to different targets and especially to the calendar. Examples: a gift card with an offer for a couple to offer for Valentine’s Day, a family offer to offer for the end of year celebrations, etc. Thus, if the card is not so much a personalized gift, it has the merit of being adapted to its target.  


A customer loyalty tool

Your goal is not only to satisfy your customer but also the person who receives the gift card. The idea is to retain the former and win over the latter. Remember the containment periods related to the covid-19 pandemic. We remember the wave of support for merchants through the purchase of gift cards.

Loyal customers did not hesitate to use this solution to help financially the establishments they like while giving themselves the possibility to benefit from their offer afterwards.

This is indeed one of the important aspects of a gift card: the possibility of being used in a deferred way. This allows you to spread out your reservations over time, especially during the off-peak season.

A little bonus information to take into consideration: it is estimated that about 20% of gift cards are not used. This does not penalize your sales, of course. But it can alert you to the suitability of your offer to your customers. If your customer forgets to use your gift card, too bad for him. But if he doesn’t use it because of you (too many unavailabilities, unsuitable offer), you should also question yourself!

Taking care of the visual aspect of your gift cards: an essential step

When we think of the imagination linked to a gift, we often think of a beautiful packaging. That’s why the design and shape you choose for your gift card are very important aspects to take into account. In terms of formats, there are two possibilities.

concevoir cartes cadeaux virtuelles

The first format is of course the virtual gift card. It has the advantage of being easily sent by email, saving the customer a lot of time. In addition, it offers you greater possibilities in terms of design. You can use different specialized sites to create aesthetically pleasing templates. We can mention Canva, Visme or Figma.

concevoir cartes cadeaux physiques

The second format is the physical gift card. Here again, needless to say, the aesthetics must be meticulous. Your customer will not be satisfied with a simple printed sheet. What they want is to be able to offer a beautiful card in person.

This last solution is more expensive since it involves an external provider with higher production and distribution costs. But it has the advantage of offering a more qualitative support that can be sold directly in your establishment. It is up to you to call upon companies specialized in publishing and printing on quality media. In any case, no matter what the format, you must make sure that your gift card includes all the information expected for this medium:

  • The name of the person who offers the card
  • The name of the person receiving the card
  • A brief description of the offer
  • The conditions of use of the card
  • The expiration date of the offer

How to effectively market your gift cards?

Time-based marketing

Once you have defined your target audience and the ideal shape and design of your gift card, it is important to promote and sell it. After all, a gift card is just another product. It just has the characteristic of being purchased by a third party for the recipient of the offer. So to promote this product, the marketing techniques remain quite classical at first sight. You can opt for the promotion of these particular offers on your website, your newsletter or on your social networks. These media are particularly well adapted to create a temporality adapted to the calendar of holidays, birthdays and all other occasions to offer a gift card.

Promote the sale of gift cards through partnerships

The creation of a gift card can also be an opportunity to establish different partnerships with other companies that can participate in the sale and / or promotion of the card.

commercialiser cartes cadeaux via partenariats

It can be physical stores or other hotel establishments, but also through their website or their respective social networks. The idea here is to create a synergy between hotel or tourism professionals by offering, why not, gift cards with common offers.  

Specialized websites can also help you to set up virtual and physical gift vouchers. We can quote two French companies:

  • MyBeezBox: offers a simplified solution for creating gift cards and a dedicated store on its website
  • Secret Box : same principle, without commissions, greentech solution and printing service

You can also look at bigger structures like Weekendesk or Groupon for example. But there, it is more about delegating the sale of your products in the form of gift certificates to third party companies. It is therefore logical in this case that part of the turnover generated by the sale goes into commissions. In another spirit you can finally set up systems for a more general professional audience. Your partner could use your product to thank customers for their loyalty or to offer compensation following a dispute.

Final step: make your gift cards profitable

The gift card is an effective marketing tool. It is based on a win-win system. On the one hand, you allow your customer to offer a gift in a fast and efficient way.

On the other hand, you sell him a product and you touch an additional clientele. It’s up to you to evaluate the impact of your gift card on your customer traffic and on customer loyalty. Because setting up a gift card has a cost. It is therefore important to make it a product that works in order to make it as profitable as possible.

That’s why at Hôtellerie Digitale, we are here to help you set up tools that will allow you to get the most out of your gift card sales. So don’t hesitate to call on our services!


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