3 Surprising Ways e-Gift Cards Can Bring In and Keep Clients
By Kathryn Maguire
You know how to treat the customer right and give them a great experience. But to set yourself apart as the best of the best, you need to thank your clients in ways they’ll love and know where to look to bring in great new clients. Thousands of businesses and 3 million customers later, we can tell you with confidence, the secret to attracting and retaining great clients with e-gift cards.
1. Bring clients back with e-Gift cards valid somewhere else
When was the last time you truly thanked your customers? We don’t mean giving them a coupon back to your business, branded swag, or a free promotion. We mean a genuine and sincere “thank you” that tells your clients you value and appreciate them, reinforced with a gift they can use somewhere else? What if we told you doing this actually increases the likelihood of your clients becoming regulars? If it all sounds too expensive, or completely counter-intuitive, it’s not, and here’s why.
When clients receive an e-gift card from you as a thanks, they’ll feel valued, deepening their loyalty to your spa, salon or studio. Over the last several years, we've seen that people who were thanked with a neighborhood gift card (Nift card) valid at a local restaurant or retail store, returned to the Mindbody business that thanked them more than twice as often as customers who didn't use a Nift gift (within four months).
That means if you give a customer a Nift gift card, within the next four months, they will come back twice as often as those who didn't use one. While you could certainly achieve this result by buying and distributing e-gift cards from local merchants yourself, we believe it’s simpler to join Nift—where there is no cost associated with giving clients e-gift cards.
2. Give clients something else to talk about to encourage positive word of mouth
People who feel good about your brand will tell their friends. That's how you gain new customers without spending big bucks on advertising. You can boost referrals by simply saying thanks. Remember, your customers have a choice. They can go elsewhere to get what you offer. What makes you stand out?
Sincere gratitude reinforced with an e-gift card that’s valid at another participating restaurant, pub, boutique, or shop, builds loyalty and helps your business grow by giving your clients more reasons to talk about your business. They could, for example, talk about the great service they received at your spa one day, and talk about the great pizza they ate at a new restaurant they discovered thanks to a gift they received from your spa. That’s double the number of reasons to talk about your business and double the potential referrals.
3. Bring in clients who aren’t looking for you
Only 20% of customers out there are actively looking for new businesses to try. You can reach the other 80% by partnering with other businesses in your neighborhood, holding events together, and cross-promoting each other with flyers and brochures. Our merchants have found that it’s easier to partner with other merchants through Nift to access clients you’d never find via paid search, coupon sites, or social media.
Nearly 3 million people use e-gift cards. They’re another business’ best customers, friends, and family invited by those great customers, and local business fans who’ve downloaded our app.
The majority are women (73%) between 20 and 40 years old (91%). Most exercise at least once a week (75%) and make an effort to look good (70%). Many regularly get a mani-pedi (35%), acupuncture (9%), take vitamins and supplements (36%), pay a premium for hairdressers (11%), and get massages (35%). While they’re not actively looking for new places to do these things, they are interested in trying new places (30%) and point to Nift as a way to find those places 4x more than Yelp.
“The idea that Nift has of leveraging other small businesses in the area, and leveraging their customer base really makes sense. It’s the only option that I’ve seen that allowed us to quickly get known in the local community,” says Marco Beatrice, owner of Aspire Med Spa. Knowing that all Nift customers that get an e-gift card valid at his location live within eight miles of his business, it’s easy to understand why he has a “higher retention rate from Nift customers because they are local, and they’re coming to us from a local business.”
Of the last 10,000+ people we have brought into a Mindbody business, 57% use their next gift to visit a restaurant or cafe. And those who discovered a Mindboody business most often did so using one of our e-gift cards they received from a comedy club or liquor store. Your customers are all about having a good time. You can join forces with a bar and host a beer tasting massage night, give pizza gifts in exchange for pedis, or give e-gift cards that your clients can use to eat, play, and shop in your neighborhood. With Nift, it doesn’t cost you a thing to give those e-Gift cards and the rewards are huge.