Gift vouchers are an income source that can be easily overlooked and even ignored by smaller hotels, but if they’re regularly incorporated into your marketing plan, they’ll pay off.
We naturally rely more and more on the opinions and recommendations of our peers; in fact, “social proof” is perhaps the most effective marketing strategy a company can employ. By offering gift certificates, you give happy customers or those who have faith in your reputation a means to put their recommendations into practice.
Your brand advocates will also make additional purchases because many voucher buyers are loyal to the hotel they are supporting and frequently buy for many friends or family members. While we’re talking about loyalty, why not think about giving loyal customers a discount code?
Ultimately, the success of your gift voucher sales is determined by the quality of your product and communications. If the quality of your product is strong, people will like it and will be happy to recommend it to friends or family.
Who’s it for?
Avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Start by building your voucher strategies around your customer personas, knowing the needs and wants of your audience will help you to build the right voucher offerings and price points for your target audience. (More on Personas here and here)
According to Google Analytics demographic data, 61% of hotel gift vouchers sold are bought by females (this is based on voucher purchase information analysed from our clients’ data over a 12 month period). However, men spend marginally more on average – an additional 3%. Good to be aware of!
Remember you can create a combination of experience and monetary vouchers depending on the needs and wants of your audience.
Now, onto pairing the right target audience with the right dates! Make a list of the key ‘gifting’ dates throughout the year and highlight them in your marketing plan.
Some considerations to include within your voucher calendar include:
Black Friday/ Cyber
Think about what kind of voucher packages you can offer at a discounted price for Black Friday/Cyber Weekend (for example, ‘Dinner for 2’ / ‘Afternoon Tea for 2’). With a good black Friday voucher offer, you can get a kick start on your Christmas voucher sales.
The ultimate season for vouchers (and the top-selling period) – think romantic dinners for two, a short break away incl. spa, that kind of thing. Whilst we’re on the topic of Christmas, it’s time to start planning your voucher strategy now!
Birthdays / weddings / celebrations
These aren’t ones for the ‘key dates’ section of the calendar, but it’s a reminder that there are constant reasons to gift vouchers throughout the year. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to tap into ongoing occasions!
Mums to be
Expectant mothers are often showered with presents and pampering before their new arrival. Think of vouchers such as: spa day, relaxing overnight break, or afternoon tea.
Mother’s Day/ Father’s Day
One of the busiest times of year for voucher sales, imagine afternoon tea, a mother-daughter overnight, or a golf experience for the dads.
How do you market them?
If you’ve decided on your target demographic and the vouchers types you want to sell throughout the year, the next step is to promote them through your marketing channels and campaign activity:
Here are our top tips for developing a voucher marketing strategy:
Facebook is the perfect platform to sell your vouchers. You will need to invest in eye-catching imagery and engaging content to reel consumers in. Reach out to both prospecting audiences and local residents following you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – take advantage of your current traffic!
Discovery campaigns are also an excellent way of advertising your vouchers. It allows you to deliver highly visual, personalized ad experiences to people who are ready to discover and engage with your brand. Google Discovery Ads appear in Google’s feeds on the YouTube app, the Google app, and the Gmail app.
Bumper ads are 6-second videos that let you reach more customers and can help to increase awareness of your gift voucher campaign. Bumper ads will generate a buzz and your potential customers can either click directly on the ad or visit your hotel website at a later stage.
There are so many direct channels you can use to market your gift vouchers – your email database, newsletter, and hotel blog are powerful marketing resources. They can help to generate high-quality leads.
Last but not least, Make sure you have the basics covered on your vouchers:
- Make sure all of your voucher names and descriptions are clear and concise; we need to keep the procedure as simple as possible
- Ensure you have your voucher Terms & Conditions in place
- Ensure delivery options are clearly stated, Ideally allowing for email and postal options
- Update your website and make sure your Vouchers are prominently displayed on the main menu and home page.
To learn more about the Net Affinity Hotel Gift Voucher platform, contact email@example.com
Focused exclusively on the hotel sector, Net Affinity has collated the brightest, most commercially focused, experienced and passionate team of online marketers, account managers, designers and developers whose combined skill set ensures our clients online success and continued growth. We created this blog because we wanted to share our expertise with you, and offer you the knowledge that over 15 years experience in the hotel industry has given us.