Holiday Promotions

7 Marketing Tips & Trends for Franchises and Chains

by yiftee on January 26, 2017


We wanted to share what we’ve learned from working with thousands of restaurants, retailers, spas, and other businesses. Our hope is that this guide will help you advance your business and save you from some potentially painful lessons.

Lesson 1: Customers Rule — But Market Leaders Make Sure Their Voice is Heard, Too

With the advent of social media, customers are very much “in charge” now. They have the power to instantly communicate the good, the bad, and the ugly. Which is why marketing strategy must involve two-way communication.

Ideas to consider for your business:

  • Respond to criticism with an instant apology — ideally, one that suggests a next step. For example, “Sorry to hear that! We want to help Please email us at _____.” Remember: some of the most loyal customers are the ones whose frown you manage to turn upside-down.
  • Converse with customers – on social media, in store, even on traditional media. Here’s a great idea: thanking guests via social media with an invitation to return. Remember: Conversation is not the same as self-promotion. So ask, don’t tell.
  • Make the customer experience fun. Think games, samples, in-store events and contests. Remember: To maximize the impact, many successful brands encourage consumers to share using a hashtag or an @mention. Don’t limit yourself to being reactive, when you could be proactive.

Lesson 2: Market Leaders Connect — By Going Where Their Customers Are

You can’t have a dialog with your customers if you’re not connected to them. Leading multi-location merchants establish communication channels, such as an email list and/or SMS opt-in club.

Some business owners are reluctant to text, since that seems too “personal” or “invasive.” There are two reasons to get over that sentiment right away:

  • SMS may be your best option. According to mobile research firm MobileSquared, 90% of people read a text message within the first three minutes. Moreover, with all the noise on social media — and even in our inboxes — text is one of the surest ways to catch their attention.
  • If you believe your messages are annoying or invasive, that means you’re not doing it right. Email and SMS clubs should provide valuable information that customers care about: sales, deals, new collections or menus, location openings, and special events.

Lesson 3: They Personalize — Hello, Behavior-Based Email Marketing!

Building an email and/or SMS list is a great start — but the next step for 2017 is to grow this list into a customer database. Consumers are overwhelmed with information, and research shows that they easily become paralyzed by too much choice.

The more you know about what is relevant to a specific individual or demographic, the more effective your marketing will be. It need not be complex – knowing that a group of customers responded to a certain offer in the past arms you with valuable information. You can design and promote future offers to drive business.

A simple way to start on this trend is called “behavior-based email marketing,” where you invite your customers to subscribe to email lists by interest topics, therefore self-selecting into what they want to receive.

If you want to get more advanced, you can send emails and promotions based on other behaviors, such as “Offers Redeemed,” “Contact Forms Submitted,” “Emails Opened,” or even “Website Activity. For example, you can send targeted content to people who viewed certain pages on your site, or even launch a target-re-engagement campaign for inactive users.

Finally, connect. Use the insights you have about your customers to start a conversation.

Get the rest of our marketing tips and a checklist of actions your business should take for 2017?

download yiftee white paper

yiftee7 Marketing Tips & Trends for Franchises and Chains

eGift Cards Go Rogue, Bring in New Customers

by yiftee on December 20, 2016

eGift Cards Go Rogue, Bring in New Customers

Retailers & Restaurants Capture Customer Behavior With Mobile Promotions and eGifts

MENLO PARK, Calif. – December 20, 2016 – Yiftee, an eGifting company has experienced explosive growth as it has diversified its offerings Yiftee, a leading provider of data-driven mobile promotions and gifting solutions for retail and restaurants, which started out as and created new ways for clients to build their businesses. Additionally, a new analytics package that enables clients to view results in real time and across multiple variables has attracted increasingly larger companies over the past quarter.

Included on the roster of companies that have signed on with Yiftee over the last 6 months are 195-location Great Harvest Bread Co., 82-location GoodCents Subs, 44-location Restaurants Unlimited (RUI), 14-location Steak-Out, and 11-location Boloco among many others.

Fueling Holiday & Birthday Celebrations

To celebrate the holidays, Steak-Out, a full-meal delivery concept specializing in charbroiled steaks, chicken and burgers, sent 24,000 of its customers an offer for $2 off any order of $25 or more. Customers were asked to text “Steaks” to a specified number on their mobile phones for the “$2 gift” to appear on their phone. Guests receive intermittent reminders until the offer is redeemed. Upon redemption a button on the screen is tapped which automatically tracks the purchase and disables the $2 gift so it cannot be reused. “Not only will the promotion drive incremental business, it engages customers to interact with the brand by having them text in for their gift. Plus it allows us to build our SMS list for future promotions,” states Kelly Posey, Steak-Out’s Marketing Manager.

Building on their customer engagement, Steak-Out also introduced a Birthday Club through Yiftee’s platform where customers who sign up receive a special eGift on their birthday. Only a few months into the program, sign-ups have already far exceeded Steak-Out’s expectations.

“In addition to building our database and allowing us to learn more about our customers, the Birthday Club has allowed us to acknowledge and delight them on their special day,” states Posey. “The Yiftee mobile marketing platform is allowing us to better understand and market to our customer base.”

Plays Well With Others

Yiftee’s integration with loyalty programs, such as Perkville, the #1 customer loyalty program in the health and fitness space with over 2,000 member clubs, enables them to offer instant rewards that save health clubs money while enhancing the selection of member perks. The integration enables members to cash in their Perkville points for Yiftee eGifts, which can be used at their own clubs or at any of Yiftee’s 56,000 active businesses, including restaurants, spas, boutiques, entertainment, health and fitness establishments, and more. By partnering with Yiftee, Perkville clients can reward their customers with digital eGifts, which are always with members on their mobile phones. Yiftee’s unique eGift system includes “mobile reminders,” which provide Perkville customers with an additional opportunity to reinforce their brand to members. According to Sunil Saha, Perkville’s Founder & CEO “This integration benefits not only Perkville members, but also the fitness clubs themselves who save time and money on inventory management and postage fees. Everyone wins.”

Engaging In-Venue Promotions with Mobile Gaming

in venueLearfield Sports at Stanford University called on Yiftee to develop a way to engage fans with in-stadium technology during home games, drive traffic to sponsor retail locations and measure
sales gains. Pizza My Heart, a 23-location regional pizza chain, created a measurable social engagement campaign using Yiftee gamification. Fans were prompted to play the Pizza My Heart Kickoff Challenge on the stadium scoreboard. Fans who texted the correct kickoff result received a $4 or
$20 Pizza My Heart eGift Card delivered by Yiftee via SMS text message. Redemption was an impressive 22% for the $4 eGift and 64% for the $20 eGift. Average check for those redeeming was
significantly above the eGift value, providing Pizza My Heart with incremental sales.

Building Loyalty & Driving Traffic During Slow Periods

Regional chains Boloco, out of Boston, specializing in ridiculously delicious burritos, and Rockin’ Baja, out of San Diego, specializing in Puerto Nuevo style food, wanted to expand their reach online to tap their millennial customer, and offer a BOGO (Buy-One- Get-One) promotion to boost eGift sales and drive incremental traffic during January, a slow month for restaurants. “Yiftee’s BOGO rewards the gift giver which creates additional loyalty. Plus, Yiftee’s promotions enable us to track guest purchases so that we can market to them in the future, notes Boloco CEO,John Pepper.

Pizza My Heart’s in-venue Kick-Off Challenge, in its third year running, has expanded to new stadiums and sporting events. The promotion generates brand awareness, captures new customers, and reinforces that brand’s position as a fun, local favorite.

Measuring Success in Real Time

Restaurants Unlimited (RUI) with 20 unique brands including Palomino and Henry’s Tavern, recently partnered with Yiftee because of the trackability of its promotions. RUI Director of Marketing, Laura McMillan stated, “Before working with Yiftee, measuring a promotion’s success was challenging. Yiftee enables us to monitor results in real time through a simple online dashboard. This will allow us to yiftee piccontinually develop increasingly effective offers.”

“Yiftee is changing the mobile marketing landscape for businesses of all sizes,” says CEO Donna Novitsky. “Customers continue to find new ways to use our platform to build their business. In many cases our customers have helped us to evolve our product to meet their needs. As a result, we are able to offer our clients many business solutions beyond eGift Cards.”


About Yiftee

Yiftee is a Data-Driven Mobile Promotions & Gifting company serving multi-location restaurants, retailers and other partners. Yiftee helps its clients increase revenue by acquiring new customers and driving frequency. In addition to selling custom-branded eGift cards for clients’ websites and Facebook pages, merchants can use Yiftee for BOGO, SMS, email and Twitter campaigns, and Birthday Club promotions, as well as incorporate Yiftee into their Loyalty rewards and customer recovery programs. Yiftee delivers greater value and better results than physical gift cards or coupons with promotions that typically bring 20% – 85% of promotion recipients in store. Yiftee requires no technology or POS integration, protects clients from fraudulent transactions, and can be up and running in no time. To learn why more than 56,000 businesses use Yiftee, please visit Twitter: @Yiftee, Facebook: or contact 650-564-4438 or

yifteeeGift Cards Go Rogue, Bring in New Customers

Yiftee Powers 100s of Mobile Promotions Through the Holidays & All Year Long

by yiftee on December 8, 2016

MENLO PARK, Calif., Yiftee, a leading provider of data-driven mobile promotions and gifting solutions, announced today that more than 50 restaurant and retailer brands representing over 300 locations are using its platform to power eGift, interactive SMS Texting and Mobile Rewards promotions this holiday season. With Yiftee’s unique digital solutions merchants can create seamless promotions that entice shoppers and drive incremental spending.

Kicking off the holiday season, this year’s Cyber Monday made history with a spending increase of 12.1% over last year to $3.45 Billion, according to Chain Store Age. As more people take to their phones and the web to do their shopping, it should come as no surprise that digital sales will continue to grow, with Adobe Digital Insights projecting online holiday shopping to drive $91.6 billion in sales. Bolstering this trend further are the impressive online deals that restaurants and other retailers are offering this time of year. Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) deals for eGift Cards (the most requested holiday gift 10 years running) are plentiful during the holidays and provide excellent value for the buyer.

Yiftee’s platform enables restaurants and retailers to continue to build sales, engage customers and surprise and delight them with its unique digital solutions all year long. Included in Yiftee’s repertoire of digital offerings are interactive email, social, print, TV, radio and billboard SMS promotions, sports and entertainment event marketing, and other promotions. Yiftee clients leverage these programs for customer acquisition, loyalty rewards, brand awareness, grand openings, new product announcements, guest recovery, holidays, limited time offers, birthday or email clubs and more.

“Yiftee’s mobile promotions and gifting solutions enable our clients to boost their sales while thrilling their customers year-round,” says Donna Novitsky, Yiftee’s CEO. She continues, “All of this is mobile, all of it is tracked, and all have customized mobile reminders which reinforce the merchants’ brands. Yiftee’s tracking ability is key because our analytics enable clients to review results and continually finesse their promotions.”

Yiftee restaurants and retailers offering holiday eGift Card promotions are below. For a full list of eGifts powered by Yiftee, please visit here.

Baker Brothers Delis – Get a $5 Dining Card with every $25 Gift Card Purchase

Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato Co – Send a $30 eGift get a $10

Bulldog Ale House – Send a $50 eGift get a $25 gift

Charlie Hooper’s Bar and Grille – Receive a FREE$5 Bonus Card with every  $25 in Gift Cards purchased

The Well – Receive a FREE $5 Bonus Card with every  $25 in Gift Cards purchased

Lews – Receive a FREE $5 Bonus Card with every  $25 in Gift Cards purchased

Chicago Oyster House – Buy a $10 Gift Card get a $10 Bonus

Coastal Taco Bar – Buy a $25 eGift Card, Get a $5 Gift for yourself

Elephant Bar – Receive a $10 Dining Card with every $50 Gift Card Purchase

Fireside Pies – Receive a $10 Dining Card with every $50 eGift Card purchase

Genghis Grill – With every $25 eGift Card purchase get a $16.67 dining card

Goodcents Subs – Get a free $5 bonus card with every eGift Card purchase

Isabella’s – With every $25 eGift purchase receive a glass of wine

Jujubeet Juice Bar – Buy a $20 eGift Card and get 10% off on your next visit

La Carreta – buy a $100 eGift Card, get a $20 gift for yourself

Matador Cantina – Free $25 eGift Card with $100 eGift Card purchase

Miss Shirley’s Café – buy a $100 eGift Card and get a $20 eBonus Card

New Moon Restaurant – buy a $50 eGift Card and get $10 worth of appetizers

Paciugo Gelato Caffe – Buy a $20 eGift Card, get a free $5 eGift Card (TX only)

Pepper Smash – Receive a $10 Dining Card with every $50 eGift Card purchase

Richard Rawlings Garage – Receive a $5 Dining Card with every eGift Card purchase

Rockin’ Baja Lobster – Buy a $100  eGift Card, get a $20 eGift Card

Ruby Tequila’s – Buy a $25 eGift Card and get a $16.17 dining card

Sunshine Bowling Center – Buy a $25 eGift Card and get a Free Milk Shake, Buy a $25 eGift Card and get a free milkshake

Sunny Days Ice Cream – Buy a $25 eGift Card and get $5 for yourself

Tangles VIP Tanning Salon – Purchase an eGift Card of $75 dollars or more and receive a $25 eGift

Trax Restaurant & Café – Buy an eGift of $100 or more and get 10% off on your next visit

Clinkerdagger – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Cutters Crabhouse – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Fondi – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Henry’s Tavern – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Horatio’s – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Kincaid’s – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Maggie Bluffs – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Manzana – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Newport Seafood Grill – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Palisade – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Palimino – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Port City Grill – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Portland Seafood Company – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Prime Rib & Chocolate Cake – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Ryan’s Grill – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Scotts Bar & Grill – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Simon Seaforts – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Skates on the Bay – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Stanfords – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

Stanley & Seaforts – Purchase $100 worth of eGift Cards and receive a $20 eBonus Card

yifteeYiftee Powers 100s of Mobile Promotions Through the Holidays & All Year Long

Boost Your Holiday Sales

by yiftee on October 13, 2016

The holidays are coming quickly.  With a little extra effort and some savvy promotion, you can boost Holiday eGift sales exponentially, which will also drive incremental traffic in 2017.  Here are some things that you can do to enjoy a big bump in holiday gift card sales:

1. Promote your gift cards.  If you have an email list, send out a blast, or two, to let your guests know that you offer eGift Cards, a perfect gift, convenient to buy and to redeem.  Promote gift cards on your social media pages as well.  Make sure that you have your Facebook gift card button activated to make it super simple for customers to purchase.

2. Merchandise yoboost holiday egift salesur gift cards in-restaurant with table tents, check stuffers and posters.  Make sure your hostesses and servers tell guests about your eGift Cards and how convenient they are for easy holiday giving.

3. Offer a BOGO (buy one get one).  Many restaurants and  retailers offer a little something to the gift giver when they purchase a gift card (i.e., Get a $5 gift for yourself when you purchase a $25 gift card).  Yiftee makes offering such BOGOs  easy.  If you don’t want to offer a dollar gift, you can offer a Free Appetizer or Free Dessert.  You are limited only by your creativity.

4. Have a Cyber Monday Sale.  Many consumers dread going out into the crowded malls during the holiday season.  You can offer a special one-day only BOGO sale via e-mail blast, social media and in-restaurant flyer.

5. Appeal to the procrastinator.  The beauty of eGift Cards is that they can be purchased and given at the very last minute with almost no effort from the purchaser.  Send out an email blast on Christmas Eve reminding your guests that your emails make the perfect last minute gift.  And, of course, if you are offering a BOGO, the response will be even greater.

Log in to your Merchant Dashboard and click the “Buy One, Get One tab” to learn more!

If we can help you put together a promotion, or if you have questions, please contact or 650-564-4438


yifteeBoost Your Holiday Sales