How to Sell (a Lot) More Gift Cards This Holiday Season

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It's no secret that come December, gift card demand will spike. And as midmonth rolls around, sales will surge even more as all those last-minute shoppers prowl for something quick to gift. But contrary to what you might think, gift cards are not just for the Macy's and Best Buys anymore. As a small business, you too can reap the benefits of gift card sales this holiday season.

Here's how to do it.

Order your gift cards now.

To make sure you have plenty of gift cards ready for the selling this holiday season, it's time to get on ordering some. As you research options for gift cards for small businesses, consider both the out-the-gate price and the fine print. Many gift card providers have monthly fees, so if you're just starting up your program, that might not be the way to go. Square's gift cards have simple pricing. They cost between $1 and $2 depending on your order, and you don't pay any monthly subscription or redemption fees. You can also order them in small batches (a set of 20) if you want to test things out before you go whole hog.

Customize your gift cards.

Gift cards can carry the stigma of being impersonal. But if you customize yours with something creative, that won't be the case. Start thinking now of fun and unique ways to design your gift cards. You could include a fun quote or a cool graphic. Take a look at how some small businesses customized their Square gift cards last year. If you take a bit of time to whip up something special for your gift cards, you're likely to sell more of them.

Sing them from the hills.

To sell as many gift cards as possible, you'll need to do some marketing around them. When they arrive at your store, send a marketing email to your customers letting them know you have gift cards on hand for the holiday season. This is easy to do with Square's email marketing software, which will have a ready-to-go template for the holidays. It's also a good idea to take to social media and post a picture of your gift cards to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to announce their arrival.

Display them prominently.

You'll want to show off your gift cards in a very visible place inside your store. A good bet here is the countertop, right where people check out. That way, you can capitalize on all those impulse buys.

Run a contest.

Another great way to promote your gift cards is to host a contest. Announce your contest via in-store signage, a marketing email, and social media. And when people throw their hat in the ring, you can also ask them if they'd like to be added to your mailing list (that way you can send them future marketing messages).

Gift cards are a sure-fire way to spike your holiday sales. With these tips, you'll be well positioned to sell as many as possible.

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