3 People Who Would Love Plastic Gift Cards for Presents this Year

We all have people on our Christmas or holiday season list for whom we want to get a good gift—yet who are difficult to shop for. Plastic gift cards can provide a perfect remedy when you’re just not sure what to get for your favorite teenager, college student, or co-worker.


Let’s face it—teenagers are just plain difficult to shop for. And the faster technology moves ahead, the wider the generation gap seems to get. And these days, even twentysomethings who are more than three or four years apart in age, may feel like they’re from different generations!

So it’s understandable if you’re afraid of getting the wrong thing for the teenager in your life. It’s all too easy to get what would have been the right gift five years ago; or, worse, what would be the perfect gift for somebody else.

Department store gift cards can work great for some teens. Your local mall may also sell plastic gift cards, redeemable at any store in the complex. If you know for certain your favorite teenager is into online gaming—World of Warcraft, for example—there are cards available for that, too. And almost every teenager will appreciate a custom gift card redeemable at their favorite music and video store, whether it’s online or offline.

As you can probably see, plastic gift cards aren’t just great for the teenager who will receive your gift—they’ll make you look pretty good as well! And the teen on you list will appreciate the feeling of independence that comes with being able to pick out their own present and swipe their own plastic, as well!

Co-Workers or Employees

If you are a boss or manager who is in the position of being able and willing to spend a bit of money on each employee for the holiday season, or if you’re not anyone’s boss, but would simply like to spread a little cheer in your department, you can’t go wrong with plastic gift cards.

Sure, it’s nice to get everyone some candy or holiday ornaments for the season. But wouldn’t you like to get everyone something they could really put to use, instead? Most people would love to do exactly that.

But the only thing worse than giving a useless gift is giving an awkward gift for Christmas. Certain items that may seem just fine to you, may seem awkward—even offensive—to some others.

Even if there is only one person in your workplace that might either take offense, or else start avoiding you in the hallways, you don’t want to risk giving the wrong thing.

But if you get custom gift cards from Starbucks, Target, Applebee’s, or one of hundreds of other restaurants or retail outlets, you’ll get something everybody can love. And it can’t hurt how people see you at your workplace, either!

College Students

You might think that the reasons for buying plastic gift cards for college students mirror those of buying for teenagers. But there is one important difference: most college students are terminally short on cash!

This actually makes them very easy to shop for:  a custom gift card redeemable at Wal-Mart or Target will usually work just find. You can also by gift cards with the MasterCard or American Express name on them, redeemable anywhere that takes credit cards, and load virtually any denomination of cash onto them.

But what if your favorite college student has all of his or her needs provided for, and doesn’t need the extra money? If you know such a creature, you might want to consider plastic gift cards either to a restaurant, or to that one store you just know they’d love—but that they have never felt like they’ve had a reason to check out.

How to Make Custom Gift Cards Bring in the Bucks in the Post-Holiday-Lull

I advise almost every client I speak with to promote custom gift cards for the holiday season, even if they don’t for the rest of the year. That’s because I strongly feel that these plastic gift cards can step up a store’s bottom before as well as after the Christmas shopping season.

“What is this guy, crazy? Does he tell his clients to just put half their holiday revenue in a safe somewhere, then take it out after New Year’s Day?”

No, I don’t (although that’s not a bad idea). And I’ll forgive you for thinking I’m crazy. But I’ve learned through years of experience how custom gift cards can keep bringing in customers–and dollars–during the slow post-holiday season.

Read on, and you’ll discover how you can use plastic card printing and even gift card holders to ramp your revenues during the slowest season of the year.

How to Prepare for the Holidays with Custom Gift Cards

The first step–actually deciding on and ordering plastic gift cards–is often more difficult than most business owners think. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re having a hard time with it!

There is actually a lot of decision-making on your part, before these ever go to print, if you truly want your gift cards to be customized for your business. Questions include:

What do you want them to say? Should they have your store, restaurant, or other business logo on them? (My answer to this is always an emphatic Yes!–if you can find a quality plastic card printing company who will make it look right).

Do I need to resize or re-work my logo to fit on these printable plastic cards? (The answer is often yes–but it’s a lot easier than you think!).

Do I want to pay for a 100% unique design, or can I use a template? (As long as your logo shows up bright and clear, you’ll be fine with a “standard” design–most of the time!)

Most importantly, though, you’ve just got to get them ordered! At the very least, you’ve got to get them by Black Friday. Personally, I would recommend you have them in the store by Halloween–if not before! It’s just the way things are done these days.

How Plastic Gift Cards Can Bring You Big $$$ After the Holidays

Most business owners know that their plastic gift cards might bring in a trickle of business after New Year’s Day. But they also know that, all too often, customers wait for months to use their plastic presents–and some never even get around to using them at all!

I’ve stolen a few tricks from direct marketing gurus like Dan Kennedy and Gary Halbert–tricks that translate very well from the direct mail envelope to your shop floor.

Probably the best “trick” is to put some time pressure on your gift recipients by way of a deadline. Not only does this help get customers in your door during the slowest season of the year, it also helps bring in customers that might otherwise never come in!

What Kind of Deadlines You Should (and Shouldn’t) Set for Your Customers

This doesn’t mean that you should make your custom gift cards only valid for a couple of months. That’s a good way to be seen as stingy, or cheap, or even a little scammy.

No, what you need to do with your custom gift cards–as well as your gift card holders–is to print a quick message on them. The, you’re going to offer them even more value than you already have (don’t worry–this will actually increase your sales!).

Just a quick message like, “Bring this in before Valentine’s day and get 10% off,” “Bring this card holder in when you make your purchase and exchange it for a free gift!,” or “Why not spend your card at our post-post holiday sale, January 5-10!” is a great way to get customers in during the slowest months of the year, via your custom gift cards.



5 Questions to Ask Yourself before You Order Your Presentation Folders

1. How Much “Stuff” Will My Presentation Folders Need to Hold?

This will help you decide what kind of dimentions and possibly what kind of material. Also at this point, you may want to thin about multiple folders if you have not. Also, if you have thought you have needed multiple folders and it seemed like a hassle, talk to our team and see if we can get your needs met with a custom pocket folder of some type.

2. What Kinds of Marketing Collateral or Other “Stuff” Will My Presentation Folders Need to Hold

When it comes down to it, the “what” is just as important as “how much”. Will your folders need to hold business cards? CDs or DVDs? Gift cards? Photographs or other non-standard sized materials?

Believe it or not, it’s actually pretty easy and inexpensive to create custom pocket folders that highlight these items. Generally, cutting slits on the inside in which to insert your card, CD, or other item will be all you need. This doesn’t just make your presentation look nicer–it also goes a long way towards ensuring that your special items don’t fall out!

3. Do My Pockets need to be Printed?

Custom pocket folder printing can go a long way towards making your brand make an impression. The right quality printing will make it look impressive to have your logo or other branding message printed in rich, crisp colors on the inside of your presentation folders.

It doesn’t just have to be your logo. You may want an image of your product or, (even better in most cases), happy people using your product, taking advantage of your service, or enjoying the experience you are selling.

There are times when you might not need to concern yourself as much with what the inside of your presentation folders look like. If you’re making a presentation to company employees and sending them away with relevant information; making a presentation to new students and giving them paperwork to fill out; or some other similar occasion when the point is to inform and educate more than it is to sell.

But if you’re trying to sell someone on your product, service, school–anything–it’s almost always a good idea to print something on the inside of your folders. Something that can brand your company or product and/or help you make the sale.

4. How Many Presentation Folders Will I Need Over Time?

If you need a set number of presentation folders for a single presentation, then this answer is pretty clear-cut.

But if you’re going to be marketing your materials to as many people as possible, or giving the same presentation multiple times or at regular intervals for the forseeable future.

Ordering presentation folders in bulk can make for BIG discounts. You can easily have basic presentation folders printed for half a dollar each if you order 5,000 them. If you need even more than that, you can get as many as 50,000 for about a quarter apiece!

Compare those prices to the three dollars per item you’ll pay for just 250 (still not a bad price), and you’ll see why it’s best to order in bulk when you can.

5. What Do I Need from My Presentation Folder Printing Company in Addition to the Printing?

Your project may be pretty cut-and-dry: you already have you design and images plotted out, and you know what kind of paper stock and what kind of finish you want on your presentation folders.

Not everyone does, though–and not everyone wants to hire a graphic design company to help them figure it out. You may want a presentation folder printing company that has its own graphic designers to help you out. Or, you may simply want to find one that provides templates for your presentation folders, so that you can do it yourself.

A good printer can advise you to the size, paper stock, finish, and even number of pockets to use with your folders. They’ll even go the extra mile and make your folders in custom shapes, if that’s what you need!