All-round optimized voucher sales: How to save your Christmas business!

Tipps & Tricks  Frank Scheibe

Selling vouchers at Christmas is definitely worth it – and especially this year! Because vouchers are not only perfectly suited for every age and interest group, but they are also flexible in terms of the redemption date. But vouchers do not only offer a whole range of advantages to the presentee or the giver himself – also to you as an experience provider! While the proceeds flow directly to you, the redemption is flexible in a secure future. Thus, vouchers are your means of the hour to end the current year with a positive note.

To help you start and optimize your voucher sales for Christmas as quickly as possible, we have summarized what the most important advantages of vouchers are and what you need to consider this year. In addition, you will find 15 helpful optimization tips and some links to further information on the topics of design and conversion. And first of all: with the help of bookingkit your voucher sales for Christmas will be online on your website in no time and without much effort. 

 

Why voucher sales have always been suitable for Christmas

With a 50 to 70 percent share of sales in December, the sale of vouchers for tours, activities and attractions has been a central pillar of the Christmas business, and not just since this year – for the following reasons: 

1. Vouchers are easy to give

Whether your vouchers end up in the hands of the friends, family or coworkers of the people who buy them, one thing’s for sure: there’s hardly a better way to tap into new customer groups.

2. Vouchers are one of the purest forms of referral marketing

Vouchers act as a clear endorsement of your tours, activities and events — one that someone took the time to select and pay for. They go miles beyond word-of-mouth recommendations and positive online reviews when it comes to shedding a positive light on your brand.

3. Vouchers make it easy to fill activities to capacity

It’s normal for some days of the week to be slower than others. Vouchers are a great way to target sluggish days with simple discounts and other promotions to sell more tickets and fill your tours, activities and events to capacity.

4. Christmas vouchers generate instant revenue

Although the average voucher isn’t redeemed until eight months after being purchased, voucher sales generate cash which can be used today to reinvest in your business and start planning for bigger and better things in the new year.

5. Vouchers become ever more popular and work

Not only that vouchers become ever more popular as Christmas gifts, they are surpassing normal reservations in the Christmas business: On many days in December, vouchers account for over 50% of sales, i.e. half of all bookings are voucher purchases.

 

What will be particularly important this year

But we all agree that the Christmas business will be different this year. Vouchers will be the focus of attention – not only for sellers like you, but also for customers. Therefore you should pay special attention to the following five things:

Experience vouchers as a positive outlook

First try to find a positive attitude yourself and remember: your customers want to experience something too. Under the motto “postponed is not cancelled” vouchers are a hopeful foretaste of the new year in which the experiences can take place again. You should not only convey this, but use it as a selling point!

Vouchers secure a colorful experience industry 

From our point of view it is not helpful to describe your difficulties in detail. If customers start to believe that they might not be able to redeem the voucher at all, it is even counterproductive. It would be better to thank you proactively for your support, express your anticipation for the implementation of your offer and perhaps advertise suitable supplementary offers from friendly companies/colleagues – of course mutually! In this way you indirectly demonstrate the importance of support for the adventure industry. 

Vouchers for local patriots

Of course you should not limit yourself to local customers only. But: an important factor also in terms of later redemption is your city or region. You should clearly position yourself as “from here”, wherever that is. Because in doing so, you are addressing the willingness to support companies locally. 

You can find out how to convince regional customers in our conversion guide.

Image change of gift vouchers

Until recently, vouchers were considered here and there as a last-minute embarrassment gift, but their reputation has changed considerably thanks to the professionalization of the sale and redemption of vouchers and the increase in online shopping in general. Now, this year, gifts with specific dates could be perceived as intrusive and careless. Vouchers, on the other hand, will establish themselves as a flexible, forward-thinking option and a new normality. You should argue with this mindset!   

Optics and haptics of vouchers: “For the eye” & “To touch”

If the voucher represents the gift and the redemption may still be a long way off, this year it is particularly important that the effort that went into the gift is also expressed. Attractive visual design, the appropriate thematic classification and high-quality printing can be decisive. Extra tip: send voucher buyers an additional “proxy” for the actual event, something that can be given as a gift, e.g. an apron for a cooking class, a puzzle game for an escape room or a toy bus for a city tour. 

You can find more about design in this blog post.

 

How can you optimize your voucher sales?

As a basis for a successful voucher business we recommend you to follow our rule of thumb Experience – Optics – Comfort – Reach. This means that only those who offer a great experience, prepare it attractively, place simple booking processes behind it, and make their offer accessible through as many sales channels as possible, can exploit its full potential. 

With these 15 tips you are already on a very good path:

  1. Your vouchers need to be where your customers can see them
  2. Put your vouchers in their own section
  3. Vouchers won’t boost revenue if you don’t have great activities
  4. Create special offers specifically for vouchers
  5. Use vouchers for different events and occasions
  6. Sell different types of vouchers and gift certificates
  7. Include information and customer references
  8. What looks good sells good
  9. Online payments give you quick revenue streams and other benefits
  10. Get marketing partners to promote and sell your vouchers
  11. Advertise to regulars
  12. Advertise through external channels
  13. Using vouchers as a marketing tool
  14. Make it easy for customers to redeem their vouchers
  15. Know your business

You can find detailed information about the 15 tips in our own blog post.

 

Take the shortcut! Voucher sales with an online booking system

With a professional booking system like bookingkit you can easily create, sell and manage online vouchers. bookingkit even comes with its own design tool for vouchers, an email campaign manager and a module for selling additional products. So you have all the important functions not only in your hand but also together with appointment bookings in one central place. And if you want, you can sell directly from the same system to an audience of millions via affiliated marketing partners. 

Find out more in a short demo! 

ARRANGE A FREE DEMO NOW

 

Frank Scheibe
Frank is a tours and activities industry expert. He reports on the latest facts, figures and trends in the bookingkit blog and the bookingkit newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his kids and family, playing sports and eating good food.

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