3 New Ways to Use Gift Cards in Your Practice
Gift cards have a lot of power – they’ve proven to help businesses increase average spend and attract new customers. Gift cards are a mainstay in Retail environments – but today even service driven businesses like Med Spas, plastic surgeons and physicians are utilizing gift cards in creative ways to help them advertise new products, increase profit margins and revenues.
In order to run a successful marketing campaign using gift cards, the first thing you will need to do is determine exactly what consumer behavior you are looking to drive. Do you need to draw clients to a specific product line? Do you want to encourage existing clients to purchase additional services? Once you understand what the goal is, you can design a gift card promotion geared toward achieving your objectives.
Here are some common business objectives and sample gift card promotions:
1. Advertise New Product Line:
Let’s say you would like clients to know that your practice has just added Restylane™ Silk to your line of injectables. Gift cards act as miniature bill boards that can help you market a new line of products. Try purchasing a set of custom gift cards pre-loaded with funds that clients can redeem toward a specific product.
Sample Marketing Tactic: Display a sign outside the office and another at the receptionist counter that says: Restylane™ Silk is now available! Try Restylane™ Silk in the month of January and receive $50 toward your treatment!
Best Practices: To get the most out of this promotion, ensure the value of the gift card is enough to gain interest. If the average treatment will cost $800, gift cards with a $10 value will most likely not achieve a high redemption rate. Also, make sure the offer is available for a limited time only and think about any other restrictions you’d like to document on the back of the card – but remember – too many restrictions can affect redemption negatively. You can also use this program to provide incentives for clients to switch their brand of injectables for another that has a higher profit margin!
2. Encourage Repeat Visits
It is far less expensive for a practice to generate revenue from their existing clientele, then to acquire new clientele. You may have a list of patients that come in quarterly for their Botox™ injections. But your clients can obtain Botox through multiple avenues, how can you ensure your clients don’t leave you for another practice? Try rewarding them with a gift card after a predetermined number of visits.
Sample Marketing Tactic: Pull a list of clients that have had repeat visits for the same treatment. Send an email or letter explaining that your practice offers a VIP program and after the 5th consecutive treatment, patients receive a $50 gift card redeemable toward their next treatment. This promotion creates loyalty and drives repeat visits.
Best Practice: Custom cards can be costly depending on the design. Did you know that many gift cards can also serve as loyalty cards? This means that if you should choose to run a full-fledged loyalty program, you do not have to purchase additional cards. When choosing a gift card provider, ask if they also provide loyalty programs and if the cards are “combo” cards. In some cases, you can start out with a gift card program and add on a loyalty program when you are ready!
3. Add New Services
Gift card incentives are a great way to encourage clientele to try a new service. If your clients are already satisfied with how a product works on their face, why not foster the same results on another part of the body? Gift cards can make the decision to try something new a little easier.
Sample Marketing Tactic: Perhaps after a treatment, a client expresses how much better they feel or how much younger they look. A physician or receptionist may reply by saying, “did you know that injectables can also be used to reduce the look of cellulite? In the month of March, patients who try Radiesse™ injections to treat cellulite receive $75 off their first treatment!” Receptionists can reinforce the program by providing clients with a flyer, postcard or brochure advertising the product and program.
Best Practices: The last impression you make with a client is paramount – will your client leave merely satisfied – or – surprised and delighted? The last interaction with a patient typically happens with the receptionist, so as your patient checks out, have your receptionist go over the promotion with the patient. If your patients leave your practice happy, they will most likely return and recommend your practice to others.
Knowledge is powerful. In any promotional endeavor, make sure your staff is properly trained. Appropriate training will allow for good communication with your clients and education of your staff.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Explain who your staff should target for the promotion (example: clients who are currently trying a different filler)
- Provide sample scripts so staff knows what to say and how to say it. Have them role play different customer scenarios.
- Reward your staff for their help in making the campaign a success (example: sponsor a lunch at the end of the promotion, reward the employee that brings in the most clients)
Always close the circle with your clients by ensuring their gift card redemption process is just as smooth as the issuance. If there are restrictions, patients should understand them when the card is issued and not be surprised by them when they come in to redeem. Thank the client for participating and make sure they are aware of future promotional opportunities. Your clients not only want to look better, they want to feel better too. So when launching your first gift card campaign, remember that a core function of your business is to make sure your patients know you value their business and appreciate their loyalty – and that is what truly drives success!
Director of Product Development