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Gift Card Girlfriend’s Complete Guide to e-Gift Cards

Mobile gift cards are on the rise. Find out how to make sending a mobile gift card easy and personal.

Although my toes are firmly planted in the summer sand, my fingers are focused on pitching personalized gift cards to every holiday gift guide I can find. Statistics say that gift cards have been the most requested item on holiday wish lists since 2007, so it stands to reason they will be hot again this year. According to these same surveys, the number of digital gift cards sent is expected to increase with the highest number of digital gift cards purchased within a few days of Christmas. While virtual gift cards are rising in popularity, few people I know have actually given or received an e-gift card. I’ve done both. So I wanted to take a minute to share my tips on how to make an e-gift card personal, and be sure it gets delivered to the recipient.

How to Make e-Gift Cards Personal

Gift Card Girlfriend Tips for Making e-Gift Cards Personal
Let’s start with the delivery of an e-gift card.

  • Deliver on time. There’s no blaming the post-office for a card that doesn’t arrive in the mail. E-gift cards are practically instantaneous. So deliver before or on the special day, but not after. If you send an e-gift card late, it screams, “I totally forgot until now, and then I panicked and sent you this from my phone.”
  • Add a Photo or Video. There are some terrific e-gift card services available these days. Home Depot is a favorite of mine. They allow you to upload personal photos or videos and deliver them with suggested gifts. Amazon has a similar set-up. If the e-gift card you choose has an option to upload a personal photo, then take advantage of it.
  • Add a Personal Message. I’m looking for more than “Happy Birthday” here. Think of the reason you’re not delivering something in person and meet the “miles apart”  issue head-on. Some suggested one-liners are:
    • “Wish I could deliver this in person.”
    • “Miles apart, but always in my heart.”
    • “Gift now, hugs to follow.”
    • “Consider this gift a placeholder for the love I send you daily.”

    At GiftCards.com, we have e-gift cards that let you add a personal message.

  • Send Where It Will be Found. e-Gift cards are great because they can be sent to a variety of technologies including e-mail, cell phone, smartphone, social media, and so forth. Always send an e-gift card to the destination most convenient for the recipient. If your friend is on Facebook all the time, then a Facebook gift card is perfect. But if he’s more apt to check his smartphone than a fan page, stick with cellular. And be sure he has a smartphone before sending an e-gift card via a gift card app. Otherwise, you risk sending a gift card that is never received (or noticed).

If you follow those e-gift card tips, then the e-gift card recipient is more likely to feel like you sent a personal, purposeful gift. Now let’s talk about making sure the e-gift card gets delivered.

How to Ensure e-Gift Cards Get Delivered

Gift Card Girlfriend's Tip on Making sure e-Gift Card gets delivered
The number one rule, we already talked about above: Make sure you send the gift card to the electronic destination the recipient is most likely to check. If you nail that down, then all you need to do is three more things:

  • Send to the Correct Address. People often have more than one e-mail address. Sending an e-gift card to a seldom checked address could turn your just-in-time birthday wishes into a belated present. If you’re not sure which address to use, send a test e-mail to see if the recipient responds.
  • Send Up a Flare. It’s a good idea to put the recipient on high-alert to expect an incoming message. You won’t ruin the surprise simply by saying, “Don’t forget to check your e-mail tomorrow!” If nothing is received, the intended recipient is more likely to bring it to your attention later.
  • Follow Up. If you don’t hear from the recipient within a day or two, check to see if he received the e-gift card. It’s awkward, of course. But better to ask and find out than to have your unfulfilled surprise sitting in cyberspace indefinitely.

Following these e-gift card tips, you’re likely to have a successful virtual gift delivery. If there’s a problem, check for a delivery receipt in your inbox, phone, or app as well, just to be sure the transaction went through. If still no luck, call customer service to resolve the situation. Never put the burden of troubleshooting the gift delivery on the recipient. An e-gift card is supposed to be a present, not a problem.

If you’ve had good or bad experiences with e-gift cards, I’d like to hear about them!

Happy Gift Carding!

~Gift Card Girlfriend

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