Posted on December 31, 2014
Now that the holiday season has passed, it’s a good time to look back and see how well you did with selling gift certificates. The time before Christmas is prime gift-certificate selling time because massage is a gift anyone can appreciate, and is often a great choice for that person that’s tough to buy for.
This article will focus on what makes a great gift certificate and suggest some great ways to promote gift certificate sales.
Gift Certificate Design
There are plenty of options online to find a template for your gift certificate, or you can get creative and design your own. In either case, choose a design that is easy to read, and uses colors and imagery that reflect the calming, relaxing nature of your clinic.
In terms of gift certificate content, you’ll include the basics such as: recipient name, amount, gift certificate number, and a place for your signature. But make sure you don’t forget to include your address, website, and phone number so the recipient knows how to book an appointment and where to find you!
Finally, when it’s time to print, choose a nice large size (somewhere in the range of 3” x 7”), a full color option, and a good quality card stock. Since gift certificates are often folded and put into purses or wallets, choosing a card stock that does not rip easily is ideal – and the quality of your card does in fact reflect on the quality of your business.
Selling More Gift Certificates
There are four times each year where gift certificate sales will naturally increase, so let’s talk about these four occasions and how to maximize your gift certificate sales.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, Christmas is a prime time for gift certificates, and you want to make sure all of your clients know that they can buy a great present from you. So about a month before Christmas, send an email to all of your customers letting them know you have gift certificates for sale. The important part of this email is to stress 3 things (1) buying a gift certificate for massage is super easy (2) everyone loves the gift of massage and (3) give specific examples of people so they can visualize who they are buying for – husband, wife, mother, friend, etc.
The next holiday that’s great for gift certificates is Valentine’s Day. Similar to Christmas, you’ll want to send out an email a couple weeks before the day reminding your clients that they can buy the gift of massage for their loved ones. Again, you want to help them visualize the gift – they are giving their significant other the gift of relaxation, the gift of a temporary escape from stress – something that everyone could use. For clinics with multiple practitioners, this is the perfect time to promote couples massage. And Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to neglect the single folks – a “treat yourself” promotion for single people is a great angle to take.
Mother’s Day/Father’s Day is the third celebration that you can leverage to sell more gift certificates. Just like with Valentine’s Day, you should email your clients to let them know about your gift certificates – focusing your message on how mom and/or dad have done so much for us, and the gift of massage is a great way to show your appreciation of them.
Lastly, birthdays are another common occasion that someone will buy a gift certificate for. With birthdays your approach will be a little bit different. And while a birthday promotion can be great, today we’re talking about gift certificates, so the creative birthday strategy for selling gift certificates is by emailing the birthday person’s family members. This is mostly effective if you have people from the same family that see you and you’ve recorded their date of birth (likely on their intake form).
A short email that says that you noticed their husband/wife/mother/father/etc.’s birthday is coming and that you have gift certificates available is a great way to sell more gift certificates.
While email is a great way to contact people in bulk, remember to mention to each client that’s in for a treatment around the holidays that you have gift certificates available. A great strategy is to post a little sign and copy of a gift certificate near your point of sale – letting people know you have gift certificates available and giving specific reasons to buy one depending on the season (great Christmas gift, Valentine’s Day gift, Mother’s Day gift – and in the off seasons birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc.).
The lesson here is that if people aren’t buying gif certificates from you, the most common reason is because they don’t know you offer them, or they just simply forgot. Timely reminders can really go a long way when it comes to gift certificate sales – and don’t fear that you are being sales-y, most people will appreciate that you thought of them and gave them an option for an easy gift to buy.