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Get Creative in Unique Markets

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Many merchants operate businesses in areas that are not your typical marketplace, such as tourist towns, college towns and military or retirement communities. When you think creatively, gift and StoreCard™ programs and other sales promotions can be very successful in these markets.

TOURIST TOWNS

There are several opportunities when marketing gift cards to tourists. Vacation is a time when families treat themselves and are looking for special outings. Use traditional means of advertising to further promote your offers.

  • Contact your local convention center, welcome center and visitors’ bureau to include a link to your website from their sites and promotional materials. Include a gift card promotion in your messaging.
  • Partner with local attractions to help drive traffic to your store; for example, theme and amusement parks, mini golf or museums. Offer discounted tickets when customers buy a gift card to your location.
  • Provide maps and gift card incentives to concierges at local hotels to keep in their information binder for guests.
  • You may even give hotel employees a gift card to your location so they can experience your brand personally – and recommend it to their guests.
  • Partner with noncompeting restaurants to promote your business and gift cards on their placemats and table tents.
  • Partner with another merchant to cross promote your businesses to visitors. An example may be something like, “Get a free $10 gift card for ABC business when you buy a $20 product from XYZ business.” This not only generates a sale, but it also brings customers who may not have heard of your business. (Businesses ABC & XYZ split the sale) 

Other sales building opportunities

  • Invest in a small satellite location that is near or part of local attractions
  • Advertise in local publications and on billboards that target tourists
  • Highlight promotions on social media and offer your followers/fans an incentive, like a free gift card in an amount of your choice, when they share your posts
  • Offer current customers a similar incentive when they bring in a friend or family member visiting from out of town
  • Participate as a sponsor of special events that are held at the height of the tourist season
  • Distribute promotional fliers in the arrival areas of local airports
  • Ask taxi, limousine, and rental car companies to include your fliers in their customer information packets
  • Get a spot on local radio or TV stations that air in tourist locations around your town
  • Because most tourists seek places they can access the internet, place promotional fliers in places that offer free wireless internet, such as coffee shops and libraries

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TOWNS

Parents typically bring their college bound students to scout the school, help them settle in for the first year, or visit and celebrate graduation.

  • Place fliers at the local hotels with directions to your store to create awareness for your business. As part of this information, tell parents and students about your gift or StoreCard program.
  • Whether you operate a restaurant, retail outlet, spa, salon or entertainment facility, StoreCard is a great product for college students. It is easy for parents to remotely purchase, reload and manage online.
  • StoreCards can also be registered online to help protect them. If their card is lost or stolen, cardholders can cancel their card and Vantiv will send a new one loaded with the remaining balance.
  • Social media is a great way to communicate with students. Keep your posts/tweets/pins light, real or educational. Ask for their participation – reward/recognize them for posting photos of their group of friends enjoying themselves at your location. Remember to promote your student discounts, gift card specials and special events in a fun way, and not as a sales pitch.
  • Work with college sororities, fraternities, sports clubs and other organizations to sell gift cards as part of their fundraising programs. Sell cards for a percentage less than their face value. Members sell for the full face value and keep the difference as your donation.
  • Partner with the college or university to sell gift cards to use as incentives for their professors, staff and vendors.

Other sales building opportunities

  • Provide free wireless internet to invite guests to linger
  • Hire local bands for live entertainment
  • Offer end of semester/finals week specials
  • Offer a percentage off with a student or employee ID card
  • Display flyers about your business on campus bulletin boards
  • Erect a small satellite location on/near campus
  • Advertise or partner with the college or local radio station

MILITARY OR RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES

Like college towns, military and retirement communities are a great opportunity for sales of gift and StoreCards. Family members can remotely purchase, reload and manage a StoreCard for a son, daughter or aging parent, or send a gift for a special celebration.

Other sales building opportunities

  • Install a small satellite location that provides a limited menu, yet convenient location
  • Cater special events for specific locations or communities
  • Offer military and AARP discounts
  • Advertise specials for Veteran’s, Mother’s, Father’s and Grandparents’ Day

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