Polar-Bear-IceSetting up a Corporate Gift Card program might seem fairly straightforward and, for the most part, it is.  We’ve listed a few things that, without the proper guidance and governance, can go wrong with gift card programs so you know how to avoid them and get it right.

1.       Not Setting Measurable KPIs

So you want to run a corporate gift card program? That’s great!  Just make sure you have a clear objective for doing it.  Otherwise you’re randomly handing out cash cards for no reason or return.
The big questions to ask yourself:  What is the point of this program? Is it to boost sales, build brand awareness, increase referrals or responses, motivate staff or a combination of these?  What do I need to show to management to demonstrate the program outcomes?
Without knowing why you’re doing the program, you can’t measure and report on whether it’s been successful and whether you achieved what you set out to do.

2.       Nobody Knows About it

So you’ve set up a rocking gift card program.  It’s got bells. It’s got whistles.  The whole shabang!  A few weeks later, there’s been no uptake by your target audience.  What’s going wrong, you wonder?
The big questions to ask yourself:  Do they know about the program?  Have I notified the right people through the right channels for them to take any notice of it?
Rule #1: Promote your promotion!  Make sure your audience knows it’s happening.

3.       Nobody Knows How it Works

You’ve promoted your program but you’ve had no uptake or you keep getting harassed with questions about it.
Doh-HomerThe big questions to ask yourself:  Is it easy and clear enough for participants to get involved?  Do they need to register?  If so, where?  Do they need to earn points? If so, how and how many?  Do they need to refer a friend?  If so, is it easy for them to share the information?  How much is the reward?  How and when is the reward issued?  Is there a deadline or finish date?  Is there contact information available for people who may have questions?
When setting up a program, make it fool-proof.  Make it simple and logical to participate.  Ask yourself some simple questions from the point of view of your intended participants and you’re sure to stay on the right track.

4.       Poor Admin & Data Process

You’ve got your marketing in place, everyone knows about the program and how they can get involved, what can possibly go wrong now?
The big questions to ask yourself:  What kind of information does my gift card provider need to successfully deliver my gift cards?  Is my gift card provider able to help with the administration of my program and take some, or even all, of the burden off me and/or my team?
With data ducks neatly in a row, your program need not be a cumbersome affair. Be sure to speak with your intended gift card provider about how they can make life easier for you.

Oops_sign_2194282835.       Lacking Timeliness – No Association Between Behaviour & Reward

Your campaign has come to an end and you’ve placed your gift card order – BUT – they’ve now told you it will take nearly 2 months to get the cards to you!  The longer you leave it between the program end and handing out the reward, the less likely your participants are to associate the reward with their positive behaviours and maintain that behavioural change.
The big question to ask yourself: Have I asked my gift card provider about expected production and distribution times?  Is my provider able to deliver them quickly or on-demand as I need them or do they have huge lead times?
For something like a sales incentive program, the reward should come almost immediately after the target period has ended so that the sales person is motivated to do as well or even better in the next sales period. Otherwise they may not see that their hard work has been recognised and wonder why they bother.

6.       Using the Wrong Gift Card

You’ve sent out your gift cards to all the recipients only you’ve been getting complaints or requests to swap the cards for something else.
The big questions to ask yourself: Am I providing a gift card that is suitable for everyone?  Have I locked them into a chain of stores with a gift voucher or store card that is out of reach for some recipients to spend?
Human beings are a mixed bag of demographics – age, gender, location, hobbies – you can’t possibly please them all!  Open Loop gift cards that can be spent basically anywhere (like an eftpos gift card) offer much broader appeal.
keep-calm-and-don-t-screw-upThere can be a number of traps with some gift card providers that you should be wary of before commencing with a gift card program, from short activation times to lengthy production periods or a gift type that offers no flexibility.  Tick off these 6 avoidable errors and your next promotion should be plain sailing!
 
Images courtesy of www.phoenixfocus.com , www.elgoog.cc , www.macrobusiness.com.au, www.zweetsportblog.com , www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk , 

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