The holidays are a vital opportunity to recognize and thank employees, customers, and partners with gifts and rewards, but managing holiday gifting programs can be stressful. Making recipient lists, collecting addresses, selecting and purchasing gifts, packing and shipping them, tracking deliveries — it all can put a lot of undue strain on a marketing team that may be already stretched thin at the end of the year.
This year, consider a dramatically faster, easier, and more efficient way to spread holiday cheer and show appreciation — e-gifts. Digital gift cards not only offer plenty of benefits for the business that’s distributing them, they’re also simply what people want. In 2020, Blackhawk Network found that 82% of surveyed employees preferred to receive a gift card from their employers. Consumers have caught on for their own gifting, with respondents reporting that they would buy 10 gift cards on average, twice as many as in 2019, and 75% saying they like gift cards as an option because they can be purchased digitally.
For businesses, the advantages of holiday e-gifts are even more pronounced than they are for consumers shopping for their friends and family. Here are seven reasons you’ll love sending e-gift cards this holiday season — and never go back to physical gifts again.
You no longer have to settle for sending mundane gifts like cookies or trinkets of questionable value. A wide range of thoughtful and exciting e-gift cards are available from leading brands in virtually every category, so you can tailor your gifts to your audience. It’s also possible to buy e-gift cards such as Panera and iTunes for as little as $5, which gives you a lot of flexibility with your budget.
You can make your digital gifts even more meaningful to your recipients by allowing them to choose a gift card for a brand they love or, if they prefer, to donate the value to a charity of their choice. A digital rewards management platform lets you set up a curated selection of gifts and donations for recipients to choose from. That way, everyone from the musician to the athlete can get exactly what they want, building more goodwill associated with your company.
When it comes to holiday gifts, almost everyone at every age is like a kid shaking the packages under the Christmas tree — excited and impatient. With digital gift cards, your recipients won’t have to wait, thanks to instant delivery via email. Marketers and human resources managers also love that digital delivery leaves less room for error or late arrivals compared with snail mail. E-gifts are guaranteed to arrive on time for the holidays, every time.
With the ever-expanding global economy, many businesses must find a way to thank employees, customers, and partners around the world. Sending physical gifts can be expensive and complicated, and shipping takes a long time. While gift cards do typically work only in the country they were purchased, the international options have grown significantly. Virtual Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards, for instance, are redeemable in more than 150 countries. You can also use a digital rewards management platform that automatically curates a selection of available gift cards based on the recipient’s country and currency.
As 17th-century French playwright Pierre Corneille said, “The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” Just because a digital gift card doesn’t get wrapped up with a pretty bow and handwritten card doesn’t mean it can’t be personal and meaningful. You can customize the digital gift emails and landing pages with your own branding and holiday message. Make sure to use a tool that sends gifts directly from your authorized email domain, so it doesn’t get lost in inboxes or mistaken for spam.
If you use marketing automation software such as Marketo or HubSpot, look for a digital rewards management platform that integrates seamlessly. Then you can incorporate digital holiday gifts into your existing workflows easily and efficiently. This also allows you to take advantage of your marketing platform’s customer segmentation, email templates, and campaign processes.
Sending holiday gifts digitally makes them far easier than physical gifts to track, and not just in regard to delivery. Using a digital rewards management platform with robust reporting gives you 100% transparency into your entire holiday gifting campaign. You can see how many gifts were sent, who has redeemed their gift, and if there were any delivery errors due incorrect or outdated email addresses, so you can immediately correct them. Delivery monitoring gives you the peace of mind that your gifts have been delivered and claimed. Thanks to the integration with marketing platforms, it also makes it easy for you to follow up with recipients and potentially generate more brand advocates or upsell opportunities.
It is easy to see why so many businesses find e-gifts more suitable for their needs than physical gifts. And the pandemic has made them even more popular among recipients. As of spring 2021, nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans said they had used a digital gift card in the past year, according to Blackhawk Network research. This holiday season, make everyone a little more jolly by going digital with your holiday gifting program.
Need help managing your holiday e-gifts? Download our Buyer’s Guide e-book to learn about the six things to consider when evaluating a rewards platform and all the important questions to ask.