- Parent Category: Retail Tips
Retail Gift Certificates & Partnerships
Tip #363 - Using Gift Certificates
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
Taking a great idea and twisting, adapting, and re-imagining it to suit your business and your town is a great way to increase sales. In fact, it's one of the best ways to out-market your competition. You've got to try something different to stand out from the herd.
Bill Atkins from redbank limo came up with this innovative twist on giving gift certificates. It's really a gift certificate, affinity partner endorsement, and billboard combination. (Note: Bill's limo business has been up +20%, even +30%. Not bad in an industry that you'd expect to be tough as both businesses and individuals cut travel and, therefore, limo trips to the airport - Bill's bread and butter. I'd hate to be Bill's competition right now!)
Hi Bob & Susan,
As you know, your Gift Certificate strategy has worked really well for acquiring new customers.
Here's a twist on the gift certificate idea, along with a strategic alliance.
We get oil changes for our fleet of cars at a Quick Lube Oil Change which happens to be on a busy, slow-moving street. Thousands of cars pass this business each day. Plus there's a stoplight which means that lots of cars are sitting for several minutes right in front of this spot.
Today when I was bringing in one of our cars for an oil change, I noticed business cards from some of his customers left on the counter for others to see. It sparked an idea and so I talked with the owner, who is a great guy.
Here's what I suggested: I will get a sign like this printed up that he will display on the outside of his Quick Lube:
$6 Gift Cards
This will help redbank limo's name to be seen by thousands of people each day and some of the people who pass by the busy road will stop in his business to get their Gift Card. Now he has an incentive to promote redbank limo (more business for me) and the offer on the sign will bring new prospects through his door (more business for him).
When I suggested this to him, he said "You would do this for me? That's really a great idea."
Nice creativity, Bill!
You know, normally I would be somewhat wary of giving out gift certificates to "the world" (anybody who is driving by) rather than to hot prospects, but you've built in some pieces to this promotion that make it work.
First, someone has to actually be interested enough in using a limo service to stop and pick up their gift certificate. And second, you've got a raving fan in the owner of the Quick Lube who will be talking up your business to his customers. This means you're likely to be giving those gift certificates to true prospects rather than joy riders.
We'll be anxious to hear your results.
So, Tip of the Weekers.... how can you twist this idea for YOUR store?
Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,