Using Incentives as the Call to Action
Today’s marketing and sales campaigns deliver lackluster response rates of <1% across channels, particularly direct printed mail pieces. This is due to several factors but the most prominent one is the switch to digital communication and the lack of motivation to complete calls to action with no direct incentive. Consumers expect to get marketing messages that reflect their individuality and with incentive offers that add value and urgency needed to prompt completed actions.
Incentives like coupons and other discounts fail to drive the consumer response rates that companies desire since there is no immediate need for consumers to use them and no call to action to warrant a response. Fortunately, there is a strategy that uses incentives as call to action: using gift cards.
Consumer Incentives as Your Call to Action
Incentive gift cards are can range in value, type, and can be an integral part of your company’s marketing campaign. One way to do this is to run a promotion that asks the consumer to add a certain item to their order and as soon as he or she completes the transaction, thy receive a gift card.
These types of incentives can assist an assortment of goals.
- Gift cards can help drive sales and increase traffic, both online and in person, for businesses.
- Gift card incentives can be useful to service providers who cannot offer their own incentives.
- Incentive gift cards can also provide data for companies to analyze consumers and how they spend their incentives.
Traditionally, gift card incentives work well for national retailers but in recent years have shown lots of potential for local or niche businesses. They also work really well for non-merchandising service providers in order to gather leads for future sales efforts.
Why It Works
Even with all the data provided by companies that have successfully ran these types of campaigns, there is still a question of why they work. There are a several reasons why incentive gift cards are highly effective calls to action in marketing and sales campaigns. These reasons include:
- Consumer incentives, especially gift cards, make your company’s customers feel special and taken care of.
- Gift cards that offer experiences outside your industry but also complementary, like a gym offering a gift card to a healthy grocery store or smoothie bar, lengthens the customer journey with your company.
- Consumers want to respond to your efforts in order to get this incentive and that will motivate a much higher number of your audience to take action. Therefore, incentive gift card campaigns generate overall higher response rates and more revenue.
- Incentive cards offer flexibility when designing and administering sales and marketing campaigns. An incentive gift card is immediately gratifying for a consumer since they can usually use it as soon as it is activated.
- Unlike a coupon, there is also usually not a set redeemable date and this cuts out the consumer fear that they will receive an incentive only to forget the offer completely, thereby nullifying it.
- Consumers treat incentive gift cards like cash, making them much more appealing to a wider variety of your consumer base.
Gift card consumer incentives are frequently viewed by consumers as free gift cards instead of simply a value add for a previous purchase or interaction. They are versatile and can be used in campaigns to acquire new customers, to build traffic online or in store, to drive more loyalty among existing customers, and to even bump sales for a particular product or service. Your company can designate any dollar amount and can choose from categories like travel cards, shopping cards, consumer electronics, or even just Visa prepaid gift cards. In short, gift card incentives can be tailored to support your company’s marketing objectives, whatever they may be.
A campaign built around a gift cards allows your company to deliver a strategy that is inventive, data-driven, and easy to track. It offers consumers both motivational rewards and an urgency to use this incentive as soon as possible. Similarly, it will allow your company to gather data and business insights into consumer behavior.