Tips for getting the best deals on gift cards for your distributed team
When you have employees and team members all over the world, how can you make sure you’re supporting each of them with great employee retention and recognition programs?
Many companies turn to gift cards as a way to show their appreciation and support. But what’s the best way to get those gifts out the door? And how can you save money doing it?
Today we’re diving into some of the ways companies reward their employees with gift cards and showcasing the ways in which a gift card platform can save you time and money while creating valuable insights into your campaigns.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Runa makes it easy to send gift cards at scale, get a personalized demo to find out if it’s the right fit for you.
How to get access to deals on gift cards
When purchasing gift cards at scale, you won’t always pay the face value on the card. If you’re purchasing gift cards at scale, you can get discounted gift cards while avoiding the activation fees and hassles when you purchase physical gift cards.
There are several ways to realize savings on your gift card purchases. While some methods don’t scale well for corporate use, there are ways to save on the cards you send to your employees.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get a physical or digital gift card deal:
Retail card kiosks with “bonus card” offers
Sometimes, retailers offer deals on popular gift cards as a way to promote their brand and drive their topline. Most often, you’ll see these types of discounts as a “BOGO” deal for a specific brand outlet — sometimes around the holidays and Black Friday sales as part of “give and receive” campaigns. Other times, shopping with your brand loyalty card (Such as Target, Sam's Club at Walmart or other wholesale club, Home Depot, etc.) can yield a bonus gift card or a discounted gift card.
While these are a great way to snag the best buy on your personal gift card giving, it doesn’t really scale beyond very small purchases for family, friends, or a few co-workers. These cards still have activation fees as well. If you want to get the best deals on gift cards for your employees or other recipients, this manual gift card purchase method isn’t the way to go.
Deals on gift cards offered through providers
Some brands, such as the Amazon and Starbucks gift card, offer bulk gift cards for their corporate customers. These aren’t specifically discounted gift cards, but you’ll avoid the activation fees you’d incur by buying them “cash off the rack” at Target.
These options are great for single campaigns or specific use cases (for instance, for standard “thank you” gifts for referrals or business). However, they lack the flexibility of using a platform. You’ll get a reliable product without extra fees, but without benefits like tracking or personalization.
Why is personalization important? It allows you to offer the best gift card for each recipient. Where one employee may way something general such as prepaid cards like a Visa gift card or an American Express card — another may want something specific such as an Apple gift card, Disney gift card, or another popular retailer.
Card reseller sites
Some buyers — usually when looking to purchase a small number of cards — look for gift cards on reseller websites. These online gift cards marketplaces feature cards for sale from other cardholders who have unwanted cards. Typically you pay with a credit card through the platform, which acts as a broker for the deal.
While this can be a great way to get a great deal on a few discounted gift cards, it’s not scalable. You’ll likely be getting physical gift cards in the mail, and relying on the condition and validity of those cards.
What’s more, the discounts on the best gift cards in these secondary egift card markets will vary depending on the brand, balance amount, and other factors. There isn’t a reliable way to ensure good ROI or the best gift from one campaign to the next when relying on aftermarket card services.
Save money on corporate gift cards — while saving time
If you’re supporting a corporate rewards program, customer recognition program, or another employee-focused campaign, using a platform such as Runa is one of the best ways to save cash on corporate egift cards.
Using a platform also allows you to preserve an even more valuable resource: time.
Implementing your campaigns on a platform allows you to quickly select the cards that will work best for your recipients no matter where they are in the world.
This saves time for your employees, as well. Recipients can receive their e gift card through email delivery, text, or even a platform such as Slack. They’ll be able to view and use their gift right away. No need to head to the store!
More benefits of using a gift card platform for distributed teams
When considering how to deliver rewards to your distributed teams, consider the time and money involved in sending gift cards. While everyone enjoys receiving physical gifts, as your company and campaigns grow, you’ll need a scalable solution beyond a physical card send. Using a digital platform allows you to quickly and easily send hundreds or even thousands of gifts to recipients around the globe instantly — with no stamps or mail merges required.
With a platform like Runa, you can deliver an individual experience at scale. Our catalog features hundreds of selections from fine retailers, restaurants, services, and experience companies from across the globe. You’ll be able to move beyond the “old reliable” Amazon gift card to deliver local favorites and personalized experiences for everyone on your team.
Large-scale gifting campaigns don’t happen in a bubble. When sending at scale, you’ll want to connect those campaigns (and the valuable data they produce) to your larger systems like accounting, ERP, and marketing. Runa offers a robust API and integrations with many of the most popular and powerful sales, marketing, and finance apps.
Campaign and satisfaction data
Sending a platform offers you transparency into your budgets and insight into outcomes across your organization.
By using a platform, you’ll have a full record of the key metrics and results of your campaigns. Campaign data can help you visualize data such as:
- Budgets by campaign, location, department, and size.
- Utilization rates for your to reveal your best gift card offers.
- Balance information for cards that were opened and used.
- Preference data for curated catalogs.
- Category information that can guide future campaign planning
With a wealth of data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to surface insights and make data-driven decisions that can improve the quality and ROI of your future campaigns.
If you’re ready to put the power of a platform to work in supporting your distributed teams, we invited you to demo the Runa platform and see how it can help your employee programs achieve more.