Giving the Gift of Gift Cards

Vendini Business Tips, Marketing

In part one of this series, we explored nine different ways that your organization can give back to your community. We also looked at how some Vendini members give back to their communities, from the Mystic Theatre opening as a soup kitchen to feed those displaced by the recent Northern California fires to Beta Nightclub hosting a benefit night to help a local organization that works to end the cycle of relationship violence.

Today, we’ll continue our series on the holiday season by discussing how to best manage gift card sales. In 2016, consumers spent around $9 billion on gift cards for the holidays alone. Gift cards are a great way for your patrons to share the gift of live event experiences with friends and family. They also help your organization expand your audience, increase patron loyalty and create an additional stream of revenue.

But just setting up a gift card display or waiting for a patron to ask about gift cards isn’t enough. You need to be proactive in your marketing efforts to make your patrons aware that you sell gift cards and increase visibility. Below, we’ll discuss how your organization can leverage gift cards to expand your audience, increase patron loyalty and grow your holiday sales.

holiday gift cards

Use your website to promote gift card sales around the clock

Promote gift cards online to reach patrons even when your box office is closed. Design a special seasonal gift card banner for your home page or create a landing page dedicated to gift cards with information on gift cards options. Make sure to include a clear call to action for your patrons, whether it’s to call your box office to purchase a gift card or a link to purchase a gift card online.

Create an easy buyer journey on social media

In addition to spreading high-level awareness that your organization sells gift cards, social media should work with your website, pointing to where patrons can buy gift cards. By including a link to your gift card landing page in your social media posts, you create a seamless buyer journey for easy purchasing.

Oak Ridge Playhouse gift card

Oak Ridge Playhouse promoting their custom gift cards on Instagram.

Have solid promotional content

Make sure your promotional content is engaging and eye-catching. If you plan to promote gift cards over a long span of the holiday season, make sure you have multiple types of content. Instead of blending in with the other ads, make your content stand out with content that is not obviously trying to sell your customer something. For example, you can use an interesting image from your event to attract attention but only mention the gift card link in the caption.

Create and use different images and promotional pieces, and track their effectiveness using your website analytics tool. Compare conversion rates to measure which images and calls to action perform the best, and use this information to refine your strategy.

Design custom branded gift cards for holidays and special occasions

The holidays represent family, spreading cheer, and all the special moments of the season. You should appeal to that emotion, and a good way to do so is to create custom branded gift cards. Design your gift cards with statements such as “Thinking of you” or with holiday puns. Gift cards should reflect the different relationships whether it be a friend, family, or lover. Having a variety of designs will ensure your cards are a good fit for all.

This is also good for your social media content so that you do not just have a plain gift card in your images. Aligning the design on your card with your promotional content will create a strong campaign and can make promoting the purchase for the holidays feel more special and thoughtful.

Boost social media engagement with a giveaway

On your social media channels, you can host a raffle contest—have your followers tag someone that they would like to bring to an event at your organization, comment as to why they love your venue or show or why they want to win. Not only does this generate awareness for the gift cards and your event, but it can also help you gain new followers that can expand your marketing reach.

Spread the word through targeted emails

Email marketing is a quick, easy way to reach your customers and drive holiday sales. Segment your email subscribers to offer your most engaged patrons an exclusive holiday offer or promote gift cards in your next email newsletter. As always, make sure your email content and offers are relevant and targeted to drive value and engagement. Here’s a tip: Use an attention-grabbing subject line and avoid using SPAM trigger words that might prevent a high email open rate.

tom hanks composing email

Sell the experience, not the gift card

Sell the experience at your organization as opposed to the gift card itself. Focus on the magic of what makes your organization and events unique and unforgettable—incorporate this messaging into your promotional efforts. In a sea of holiday noise, make sure your organization’s one-of-a-kind event experiences—and your gift cards—stand out from the rest.

Have you had a successful gift card campaign? Email us at to let us know what works for you. Keep in touch to let us know what you implemented from this blog post and how it works out. Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series, which will will discuss donations.