Your Current Customers Are Your Best Acquisition Tool

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While it’s tempting to focus all of your marketing efforts on acquiring new customers, research shows that there is far more opportunity in marketing to your existing customers. Check out the infographic below on the value of an existing customer for some stats!

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Treat Moms (and Consumers) to an Extra Helping of Gratitude

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As one of the most lucrative retail and busiest restaurant days of the year, Mother’s Day validates how important (and popular!) it is to show gratitude…and how much moms appreciate being acknowledged.

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Three Ways to Thank Your Brand Advocates (Part 3)

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thank you











Brand advocates are your business’s best friends. They’re regular customers, and in addition to their patronage, they’re also incredibly vocal to others — friends, family and the general public — about how much they love your business. Whether online or in person, you can count on your brand advocates to champion your business and even be a knight in shining armor in the face of negative feedback from critics.

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Five Companies That Use Incentives to Encourage Environmentally Friendly Behavior

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From the perspective of both the marketer and the consumer, I can’t help but love a good incentive promotion.  These little delights encourage customer loyalty, reward referrals and are a great way of saying “thank you” to regular patrons.

Lately, I’ve noticed that some of my favorite brands are using incentives to drive different types of actions.  Specifically, many brands are using incentives to drive Earth-friendly APR5_shutterstock_121767160behavior.  In a world where a brand’s corporate social responsibility is often as important as the quality of its products and services, this is an incentive strategy that’s worth considering.

Here are five leading brands that wisely offer incentives in exchange for environmentally friendly behavior (and promote spending dollars with them at the same time!)

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Five Ways to Use in your Mother’s Day Promo

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Mother’s Day commercials suggest that sending a generic bouquet is sufficient for the mama bear in your life.  But does something you can blindly order online really reflect the gratitude and appreciation you have for your leading lady?APR4_shutterstock_134343251

As a business, how do you attract Mother’s Day shoppers who want to do something a little different?  You extend a little nod and say, “We appreciate what you’re trying to do in order to make your Mother’s Day extra special and would like to reward your efforts in the process!”

Here are five ways can help your business stand out this Mother’s Day!

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Why Everybody Wants Gift Cards

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At, we know how much people love gift cards – it’s why we have a
business. Whether it’s filling empty seats at a restaurant or building brand loyalty for a client, gift cards have become a powerful strategy for businesses. Why gift cards? Simply put: Because people love them. Here are 5 reasons why:

1.  Gift cards give freedom.MAR4_shutterstock_117654439

Because gift cards allow the recipient to use their gift at any time, the recipient can choose to redeem their gift card during a time where they see the most value. For example, recipients may use their gift cards during a sale, during the holidays or on a rainy day.

2.  Recipients get to choose what they like, including trying a new product/service.

Gift cards offer an opportunity for consumers to try new brands, products and services. Recipients may not have been aware of the brand or have wanted to try somewhere new but hadn’t yet taken the opportunity to do so. This is particularly beneficial in the case of restaurants because people love to try new restaurants.

3.  Brands can personalize gift cards with their logo.

Gift cards that offer an opportunity to put your brand and messaging (co-branding) on them provide extra value to your business.  As a business, you can give customers a gift for another non-competing product or service while still keeping your own brand top of mind.  Your customers will be reminded where the great experience they are enjoying came from, thus building loyalty for your brand.

4.  Some gift cards can be purchased for less than face value.

At, for example, we offer special rates for businesses purchasing gift cards in bulk. Businesses can purchase enough cards for large groups of people without reaching too deep into their pockets.  Plus, the recipients will only see the face value of the gift card – they’ll never know you paid less!

5. A gift card is never useless.

If the recipient doesn’t have any personal use for the gift card, chances are they know someone who does. So even if our direct recipient doesn’t have use for the card, they can re-gift it to someone who can make better use of it. Not a bad way to “pay it forward!”

According to, gift cards have been the most requested holiday item on holiday wish lists since 2007. With statistics like that, your brand will benefit from including gift card giving in its marketing strategies.


                  How do you think issuing gift cards can benefit your brand?

Promotional Incentives Prompt Top Performance

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I’ve always been a fan of company incentive programs that use a combination of cash and tangible rewards to measurably improve performance. Maybe it’s just me but, unless a reward involves a huge amount of money, receiving something I can touch and feel has always felt more motivating, especially when the item is something I desire.

Certainly, in some industries and some situations, cash is still king and can be an appropriate and very powerful motivator. However, statistics show that a company can actually increase results and potentially save money by designing a recognition or incentive rewards program that offers both cash and non-cash prizes. As Chairman of the Incentive Federation recently confirmed, “…the average cost of a cash award is roughly triple that of either merchandise or gift cards”. Further, the Aberdeen Group, a well-respected market research firm, suggests that, “Companies that use non-cash rewards and recognition programs report higher revenue increases – 9.6 percent as opposed to 3 percent who don’t”. This explains why recent research conducted by Incentive Magazine revealed that, in just the last year, “64.3% of the respondents purchase dining/restaurant gift cards for their incentive programs”.

To ensure your promotional incentive program is as compelling as possible, it pays to select rewards that are tailored to your team. For instance, if I know an employee dining out, picking up a token gift card from is an easy, low cost way to say “thanks” for a job well done. It may not be a grand gesture, such as a vacation, but for many, recognition of the little details can be incredibly motivating.

There are lots of ways to construct a compelling incentive program but, if strong business performance and more motivated employees are your goal, be sure both cash and non-cash awards are used.

You Don’t Need A Holiday To Celebrate Success

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We recently celebrated Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and this week, 4th of July.  Three good examples of when we take time out of our busy schedules to express our gratitude and reflect on how each has made a significant and noteworthy difference in our lives. 

But Moms, Dads, and those in the military aren’t the only ones deserving of praise and recognition. 

In our personal and professional lives, situations that warrant a “thank you” are plentiful.  Hallmark certainly understands this and they aren’t alone.  These days, more and more companies are putting in place formal recognition and reward programs and in exchange for this investment, are enjoying higher than average employee retention, long-term loyalty, and business success.  Particularly as the market begins to rebound and hiring activity picks up, finding new and innovative ways to formally recognize outstanding performance and the contributions of key employees is becoming more critical than ever before. 

In fact, if you want to attract the best talent and keep your top employees for the long-term, be sure to let them know how much they, as individuals, mean to you. Design a rewards and recognition program that is fair, clear to all involved, and consistent across all participants.  And for added impact, take the time to tailor and align your rewards to each situation, circumstance and, if possible, the personal preferences of those involved.  By using rewards that people actually want or would choose on their own, chances are high that participation in the program and the behaviors you’re trying to motivate and encourage, will follow.

Even better, it’s typically not necessary to spend a lot of money to make your employees feel valued.  Much like the young child who delivers an original drawing to Mom or Dad to say thanks for being such a great parent, how much you spend rarely matters.  Significantly more important is how and when gratitude is expressed.  The more personal and sincere the thought or gesture, the higher its perceived value.

In the end, whether employees, parents, or members of our armed forces, all just want to know you care.  A ribbon around a tree, a flag proudly waving in the air, or a simple pat on the back or meal at a favorite restaurant can deliver the message beautifully and leave a meaningful impression that will be remembered for years to come.

Why Use Gift Card Rewards for Your Business

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For managers seeking to create employee incentive programs, there are countless methods to utilize for implementing successful programs that motivate employees and reward performance efforts. Companies are fast embracing gift card promotions as a preferred method for the following reasons:

1) Lower Costs
Gift cards are an affordable incentive solution that saves time and money. The added benefit is that they do not require a lot of time to manage orders or inventory thus making them an ideal solution for busy company administrators.

2) Value
Gift card solutions deliver high value for relatively low costs. Companies that offer our gift cards find that their employees appreciate fine dining at a large selection of restaurants and will work to achieve goals tied to receiving them. Our $25 gift certificates cost less than $5 making them an affordable choice for companies watching their incentive budgets.

3) Quick Turnaround
Processing orders for our gift cards are quick and easy. We offer electronic certificates that can be sent by email and redeemed online. Our gift cards can be customized to advertise company branding, and the gift certificates make an ideal presentation for performance awards, thank you gifts and special events.

4) Multiple Uses
Our gift program offers flexibility for companies to use as sales incentives, customer rewards and employee recognition. With so many ways to use the card, using Gift Cards in your business is limited only by your imagination.

Contact us today to learn more about adding our incentive and loyalty solutions to your company’s reward program. Your employees and customers will thank you.

Social Networking And Recognition

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Has your company established its presence online?  Do you have Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts in order? Are you using them to their fullest? One of the ways you can harness these social networking accounts to your advantage is by using them for the acknowledgment of your employees’ performance.

Reduce Promotional CostFor instance, if one of your employees has been doing really well, it is your duty to acknowledge his contribution to the company. Giving him a gift card as a business recognition or a similar recognition gift is great. It makes the recipient feel that the company appreciates his efforts and he’s motivated to perform even better.


You can go a step ahead and carry this company recognition on to social networking platforms. It doesn’t hurt your image to acknowledge the performance of your employee publicly. In fact, it will do your employee a whole lot of good and will improve your standing in the eyes of those who you are connected to on those social platforms.


Of the several recognition options available, research has found that gift cards are the most effective. Gift Cards have been the answer to most companies’ business recognition programs needs. Get in touch with us for more information.