Using scratch cards for your marketing plan

Blogging, social media, PPC, SEO – if you’re the owner of an SME, chances are you’ve heard it all when it comes to mainstream marketing mediums – listicles, tips, how-tos.

Whether they’ve failed to trigger the tidal wave of sales they promised, or you’re simply looking for a marketing tool that slots in neatly beside them, scratch cards could just be the best sales tool you’re yet to consider. Here’s the low-down on what scratch cards can achieve for your business, and how they can form part of your wider marketing plan.

The Humble Scratch Card (and how it can become your most compelling sales tool)

 Scratch card marketing – this singular, simple medium of the marketing realm is capable of incredible things. Things such as:

  • Re-engaging old customers
  • Attracting new customers
  • Increasing sales
  • Generating leads
  • Building loyalty
  • Generating footfall
  • Boosting your brand

Before we dig into the good stuff, we need to lay some legal groundwork. Here we go…

  • Be distinct – distinguish between gifts and prizes – when a large number of participants win, they are gifts, not prizes.
  • Don’t be tempted to overegg the chance of winning – at best, you could be in hot water with the Advertising Standards Agency, and at worst, you may be charged with fraud
  • Don’t create a competition where it costs the winner to claim their prize – all phone calls, letters and so on should be free of charge
  • If the award features numerous prizes, don’t promote the award as a singular lump sum


That’s the small print over and done with. Now? Time to dive into five fast-fire steps for a scratch card that fits seamlessly into your current marketing campaign. Let’s get started.


Your Marketing – Five Fresh Ideas for Scratch Cards

Upsell at the Point of Sale – Giving away your scratch card at the POS is a logistically straightforward way of using this method of marketing. Ideas for prizes/awards might include a discount, bonus product or exclusive offer on a cross sale or upgrade. This method is also super flexible – and can be used at the till, on the doorstep, in direct mail or when out flyering.

Celebrate a special event – It’s the event of the season, a grand launch of a fresh new line or rebrand – celebrate it in style, with scratch cards. You can create a real buzz around the event, just take a look at Browns, the London Boutique that launched their spanking new brand with the clever use of scratch cards.


Integrate scratch cards into your digital world – Simply include a scannable QR code which can swiftly move your winner from scratch card, to online. Other ideas include directing your winners to an online landing page, where details are entered, taking their name and email (perfect for marketing further down the road).

Shift super slow selling stock – Soup of the day, anyone? This trick is commonly used in even the most prestigious of restaurants to shift through stock that will shortly go stale. If you’ve got a surplus of products that you need to move, turn a liability, into an asset – and promote them as an attractive prize to win.

Generate footfall – Got a bricks and mortar store? Perhaps you’re soon to be attending an exhibition and the challenge of directing delegates to your stand looms large. Scratch cards can prove to be an exceptional driver of footfall, simply hand them out amongst the crowds and send them to your store with the allure of an irresistible deal, prize or discount.

You could also strengthen this tactic by shouting about the promotion on social media, emailing your contacts or sending hard copy letters along with the scratch cards.

Boost loyalty – Make a scratch card campaign a permanent fixture – one that your customers become used to. With each and every sale you make, hand out a scratch card, and once so many are collected which spell out a word or that add up to a set figure, reward loyalty with a prize. To ensure your customers keep coming back, you may want to consider offering budget-friendly instant wins and product discounts that lead up to the eventual prize.

The final word – A big, HUGE word of warning

It always makes sense to choose a reputable printing supplier, no matter the business need, be it for a brochure or scratch card. Yet when you’re investing in this form of marketing, it could cost you a packet if you don’t commit more time to this task than you usually would.

Case and point made by one rather expensive printing error for Ryanair, which meant that three free cars were given away on a singular flight. Rather than interspersing a limited number of winning tickets, the printers had created many more winners than there should have been. Moral of the story? Choose your printers wisely, and for ultimate peace of mind, you may want to consider Errors & Omission insurance.

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