A gift voucher is a coupon for a good or a service that you provide. Gift vouchers are used frequently as promotional tools by businesses looking to increase traffic to their stores or websites. Vouchers also make unique, low-cost gifts for friends or loved ones if they are exchanged for a special treat such as a massage, a home-cooked meal or a night of free babysitting.
Decide what you want to accomplish with your gift voucher. If you own a business and your goal is to find new customers, a voucher for a discount or free item might encourage people to stop in. If you are giving vouchers to friends as gifts, you can save money by providing a service they might want instead of buying them a gift. Consider what the voucher will actually cost you. If you want to increase customer traffic and sales, tie the voucher to a purchase. Offer $10 off a purchase of $50 so customers will buy more merchandise. If you give personal vouchers to friends or family as gifts, be available to provide the service when they redeem the voucher. Do not offer to cook dinner for 15 different families, for example, if you will not have the time to do it when they ask.
Decide how many vouchers you need. If you are giving vouchers to friends or family as gifts or if you own a small business and will be handing out promotional vouchers to customers who stop by, consider designing vouchers on your computer and printing them out at home or at work. If gift vouchers will be part of a direct-mail marketing package, it may be worth the cost of having a professional printing service design and print them. Do not spend more to print the vouchers than you plan to make from increased business or to save on gift purchases.
A business voucher’s design should be simple to read, without fancy artwork or multicolor printing. Include your company’s name, address, phone number, website and logo, and be specific about the voucher’s purpose. For example, make sure the voucher clearly states what you are offering, such as a 20 percent discount on purchases totaling at least $100 or a 30-minute professional consultation. Add an expiration date if needed. Print tracking numbers on business vouchers and keep a corresponding database so you can note which vouchers have been redeemed. This will help target future marketing efforts and prevent one customer from using a voucher multiple times.
Personalized vouchers given as gifts can be handwritten on fancy paper, embellished and slipped in the envelope with a greeting card.
Consider vouchers that are redeemable at your company website and/or that you send to customers by email. Emailed vouchers can include a link to your site and a promotional code that the customer provides at the time of purchase.
Jenny MacKay has been a writer for more than 10 years. She is the author of 23 nonfiction books for young adults, as well as a contributor for newspapers and magazines. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from National University.