Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Online Gift Card Sales Through PowerCard

3 Ways to INCREASE your
gift card sales in 2012

1. Add eGift Cards to your holiday sales
  • eGift Cards are sold online and emailed to customers with 9-digit numbers
  • handkey 9-digit number into PowerCard software to redeem the value
  • value sold online is direct-deposited in to your bank account
2. Sell your gift cards through your website
  • we process the transaction and reimburse your sales dollars each month
  • you receive an email after each sale notifying you of the sale
  • you mail the gift cards from your location
3. Sell standard and eGift cards on Facebook
  • gift card sales app is installed on to your Facebook page:
  • turn Visitors and LIKES in to gift card sales by installing the new app

Wow, that is easy! How much does it cost?
Only a $50.00 set-up and 6.5% of sales (+ 3.5% for credit card processing fees).

How do I get started?
Just reply to this email (support@powercard.com) or call Lisa at (877) 229-7299 x 1.

Don't process your gift cards with PowerCard?
No problem, we can import your existing gift cards in to our system and you keep on rolling.

Thanks for your support!
877-229-7299 x1


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Article - Operators, customers say loyalty programs grow business

Operators, customers say loyalty programs grow business

Restaurateurs are feeding consumers' appetites for perceived value by serving up more frequent diner programs at their various establishments, National Restaurant Association research finds.
According to the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, approximately 30 percent of restaurant operators are offering frequent-diner programs to their customers in order to increase patronage and loyalty.
The research found that 57 percent of all adults said they'd be more likely to patronize restaurants offering customer-loyalty and reward programs.

"Offering frequent diner programs is one way to satisfy customers' desire for increased value, especially during tougher economic times when consumers want to dine out, but may need a little more incentive to do so," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's Knowledge & Research Group. "Rewarding loyalty is not only a great way for operators to thank their guests, but also continue to build that customer base going forward."

Among operators who provide those programs, 56 percent in family dining, 45 percent in casual dining, 69 percent in fine dining, 67 percent in quick-service and 52 percent in fast casual, said their respective offerings are more popular now than they were two years ago.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wish Your Customers a Happy Birthday and Anniversary!

We have established programs to help you efficiently market to customers using customer birthday and anniversary dates already stored in your database.

Birthday and/or Anniversary E-mails
We can automatically send "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" emails to your customers using a custom created email template for your business. All you need to do is provide us the offer you would like to send to your customers on their special day. Examples are "free dessert" or "5% off next purchase". The cost is $25.00 a month per program for unlimited emails.

Direct Mail Postcards
This is our most effective program. We can mail custom designed Birthday and/or Anniversary postcards to your customers - one in three customers who receive a postcard will visit your location. Please contact us for pricing and details.

How Many Customers Can I Market To?
Glad you asked! We recently updated the Birthday/Anniversary report in your Dashboard. The new report provides a detailed breakdown of the amount emails and addresses you have collected. We only include customers that have opted to receive communications.

To log-in to your Dashboard, visit the following link:

We can also help you with any other direct mail campaign you would like to send. Please call 877-229-7299 or email

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Are You Making the Most of Your Customer Feedback?

Did you know that customers are sent a "Thank You" for visiting email after they use their rewards card at your location. This is an automatic feature that goes to valid customer emails and that have opted to receive email communications. This email can be edited by you at anytime (great opportunity to utilize a bounce back offer!).

At the bottom of each email is a survey link. This allows customers to provide feedback about their visit to your location. This feedback is invaluable as it can be a tool to be informed of a negative experience or even bask in the glory of a positive review!

With this customer feedback you can:
-Post comments to your Facebook and/or Twitter pages.
-Get a performance breakdown of your employees.
-Contact customers based on their responses.
-View a chart of feedback and customer satisfaction.

To access this information, sign in to your DASHBOARD:

Click on the "Customer Satisfaction Rating" link at the top of the page.

Please contact our office with any questions.

877-256-6883 (After Hours)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Removing Frequent Customers from Fraud Reports

To remove frequent customers from showing up on the Fraud Reports, sign into your Dashboard: www.powercard.com/biz

Once logged in, choose the "Search Customer Database" option under the Customer Database section. Search for your customer. Once the customer information has been located, click on the "edit" link. Scroll down to the bottom and check the box next to "Frequent Customer". This will permanently remove the customer from the reports. To add the customer back to the report list, simply uncheck the box.

For more information and detailed descriptions of each fraud report, visit on the following link: http://powercardsoftware.blogspot.com/2011/04/fraud-reports.html

Please contact our support team with any questions.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meet the Staff - Amber Wilson

Name: Amber Wilson

Hire Date:

Title: Accounting/Administration

What Does Accounting/Administration Do?:

To me all the fun stuff…preparing invoices and statements, processing payments, and reconciliations.  Lisa has passed the monthly newsletter torch to me so don’t forget to submit your upcoming events on http://www.powercard.com/biz.

Work Experience:

Over 10 year’s administrative experience in the banking, grocery and real estate industries.  Most recently was an office manager for a small company here in Wilmington.  Before that spent 2 ½ years at SuperValu as an advertising coordinator handling the Foodland group.

Proudest Moment:
I have never been a runner but this March I completed my first 15K!

What Is Your Favorite Meal?
Hmmm…Does dessert count?  I have a sweet tooth and love Key Lime Pie.  It’s my favorite!!!

Which Muppet do You Most Identify With?
I guess it would be Count Dracula. I do work in accounting!

Contact Amber Wilson at:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meet the Staff - Lisa Bernstein

We decided that it's time to introduce our talented staff! Up first is Lisa. Look for more staff members soon!

Name: Lisa Bernstein

Hire Date: 10/2005

Title: Client Manager

What Does a Client Manager Do:
Best part of my job is working with our customers. I love the relationships that have been built over the years. I am always in awe at the talent and ambition of the small business owner.

Besides the customer management piece, I do a lot of the marketing for PowerCard including writing most of our blog (let me know if you have any suggestions for a post):


Work Experience:
I've waited on a lot of tables in my days, so I have a solid understanding (and respect) for how a restaurant works!
I have also been in the Marketing/Sales field for over 13 years now and have worked
at Ingersoll-Rand (Tactical Marketing), RightMinds Advertising Agency as well as SCOTTY Telecommunications.

Proudest Moment:
Giving birth to my son Logan in September 2010. I'm grateful everyday for that little guy.

What is Your Favorite Meal?
My husband is an amazing cook, he even went to culinary school. If I had to pick a favorite of his dishes, it would be his Vietnamese Pho Bo Soup.

Which Muppet do you most identify with?
Is this question because our company President's name is Kermit?

I would say Fozzy Bear. I love corny jokes. Here's one for you:
Q:Why are fish afraid of computers?
A: Because of the Inter"net."

Wocka, Wocka!

Contact Lisa Bernstein at:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PowerCard Now Offers SMS Text Messaging!

Stay in touch with your customers through SMS Text Messaging. 
  •         Receive your own local phone number for text messaging.
  •         Send special offers and events right to your customer's mobile phone.
  •         Invite customers to join your new Text Message program.
  •         View reports on who responded to the text message and how much they spent!
  •         No activation fee and only $0.05 per text message (min $5 per month).
Plus, your customers can text "Join" to your local number and they'll automatically be enrolled in your program!

Contact PowerCard at (877) 229-7299 or support@powercard.com to get started today.

Friday, March 16, 2012

PowerCard Wins 2011 Constant Contact All Star Award

PowerCard has received the 2011 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than half a million small organizations worldwide. Each year, a select group of Constant Contact customers are honored with the All Star Award for their exemplary marketing results. PowerCard’s results ranked among the top 10% of Constant Contact’s customer base.

PowerCard is honored to receive this award and would like to thank all of our customers for your support!

877-256-6883 (After Hours)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Article - Loyalty Payoffs

Loyalty Payoffs

A new loyalty program at Copperleaf Restaurant at Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle launched yesterday.
“We want to show that we value the relationship with our customers, by giving back,” says culinary director Roy Breiman. “We want to show a genuine concern for the people who come here.”
And the program helps the restaurant, he adds, because it encourages customers to come back and accrue points or redeem rewards. It also introduces diners to new items on the restaurant’s menu, such as opting for a dessert when they usually wouldn’t.

Guests can sign up for Copperleaf Rewards online and they are immediately eligible for awards including a $20 gift certificate; and a complementary appetizer when purchasing two entrées any Sunday or Monday.
Members also receive rewards such as a complementary dessert on their birthday and a $20 gift certificate on the anniversary of them joining Copperleaf Rewards.

In addition, they accrue points each time they eat at the restaurant, based on how much they spend. They can redeem them for anything from a custom blended wine tasting for two people (150 points), to a seven-course tasting menu for two people with select northwest wine pairings and custom made herb boxes with organic garden seeds (7,500 points).

“A lot of our benchmarks for points are based around what we’re known for—high quality food and wine,” Breiman says.
The Greene Turtle chain of 31 casual dining/sports bars based in Maryland, with locations
 in three states and Washington, D.C., has had success for many years with its Mug Club loyalty program.
Customers pay an upfront fee of $35 to $45 (depending on the market) to buy a logoed mug that they keep at the restaurant. Any time they order a 16-ounce pint of beer, their 18-ounce mug is filled, so they get a discount—“and that’s any beer, any time,” says Chris Janush, spokesman for the brand.

Members are also invited to exclusive events or offers such as free appetizers during happy hour “so they do have a sense of ownership and VIP membership when they come in,” he says.
“What it does for us is it creates a relationship with customers. What we really try to develop in every location we open is the neighborhood feel. There’s that feeling when you come in that employees will remember who you are.”

And having these members is great marketing, Janush adds. “They are really brand ambassadors for us.”
Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville, New York, has three levels to its loyalty program: silver, gold and platinum.

Alongside the typical offer of a free entrée on members’ birthdays, it makes more extravagant offers.
Every month there’s a drawing for four to six free birthday parties for members to bring at least 10 of their friends.

“We want more people than less because when you get a group of people together they start drinking,” says chef and owner Marcus Guilliano. “There’s more synergy with 10 or more people.”
These parties have a $21 and more per person alcohol average,” he says. “And we all know how profitable alcohol is. I take a slow night and bring in 10 to 20 people.”

Guilliano’s also found that he can upsell to these members, but that he should do it once they’re in the restaurant, not before. “We’ve found that people respond better to that once they’re in the room, having a party, and in the mood.”

Aroma Thyme Bistro also runs a couple of Top 50 parties.

“We throw a party for our top spenders in a year. We put out the food; they buy the drinks,” Guilliano says. “We do upscale food and it’s not unlikely that guests will buy expensive wine. We can make $1,500 to $2,000 of sales in one night from alcohol.”

And he ensures he keeps his members coming back.

“If someone doesn’t dine with us for six months we send a card to our top 500 spenders with an offer to entice them back in,” he says. “We spent $466 just before Thanksgiving to send a no strings attached offer of $10 off for the next month and the result was just over $1,700 back.”

Loyalty programs can be very valuable if they’re part of an integrated marketing strategy,” says Denise Lee Yohn, a brand consultant who specializes in restaurant companies.

“If you are trying to reward your best customers, a loyalty program can be very effective.”
But she cautions against two things:
  • Don’t be in too much or too little contact with your members. Around twice a month is ideal, Lee Yohn says. “You don’t want to inundate them with communication, but make sure you remain on your customers’ radar screens.
  • Don’t provide communication that’s not relevant to your loyalty program members. “Don’t just beat your own chest and talk about the great things that you do. People don’t always want to be hearing you talk about yourself.” Much better, she says, is to give members offers.
Loyalty programs are also a great opportunity, Lee Yohn says, to gather data on your customers.
“You can then use that information to send out personalized offers,” she adds.

“You might as well use that to address [your customers] personally or to develop a targeted offer.”

It also means you can tailor your offerings specifically to a guest. “If you capture their birthdate, send them a birthday greeting and give them something free, but at least acknowledge that it’s a special date. You could also send out offers for their wedding anniversary, their kids’ birthdays, and other events.”

The Greene Turtle doesn’t gather information beyond birthdays from its Mug Club members “but going forward we do want to learn more about them,” Janush says.

“We have talked about a loyalty program that’s card based or code based on a phone to learn more about our customers. We would hope that can help us come up with better decisions and programs to grow revenue and keep us as a very attractive franchise opportunity.”
By Amanda Baltazar


Special thanks to Christopher Youngers at Cafe Trio for sending us this article!

Article - Commentary: Loyalty marketing drives sales and brand affinity

Commentary: Loyalty marketing drives sales and brand affinity

By Alan Chung, CEO of Perka

In January, Starbucks shared some statistics to prove once and for all that loyalty marketing drives sales and brand affinity.
In its most recent earnings announcement, the company president reported that the My Starbucks Rewards program grew by more than 400,000 members in December 2011 alone – now totaling almost 4 million members. Just as impressive, 1 in 4 customers are using rewards cards instead of cash at the till, which create many other advantages. And in terms of sales impact, Starbucks' president said that the loyalty program is contributing to the topline in a significant way.
So, what does this mean for smaller QSRs? If your business is like most, you don't have the millions of dollars and other resources to do what Starbucks has done. But that doesn't mean loyalty marketing isn't a fit for your business. Perhaps you've tried punch cards in the past, but were unable to track the benefits of the program. Well, the landscape has changed in the past five years and here are three themes that will bring you up to speed on loyalty marketing today:

Not all Customers are Created Equal
Loyal customers can drive more than half of your sales. According to the Center for Retail Management at Northwestern University, about 12-15 percent of a business's most loyal customers contribute 55-70 percent of the company's total sales. These customers not only give their patronage to your business – they are also a source of growth. In a recent study by Granbury Restaurant Solutions about customer loyalty programs in restaurants, 82 percent of loyalty program members referred at least one person, and 42 percent referred four or more. Your most loyal, VIP customers are a powerful asset!
Just imagine what your business could be like if you were able to turn some of your regular customers into loyal VIPs. For example, at Perka, our loyalty revenue calculator was designed to help assess the spending habits of your current customer base and estimate, in advance, the impact that a loyalty program could have on your bottom line. The result could mean thousands dollars in additional annual sales.

Loyalty Programs are a More A Sustainable Alternative to Daily Deals
In recent years, you may have felt a lot of pressure to join the daily deals bandwagon. Some small businesses have found success with them, but in truth, that group is the minority. Although deal campaigns may bring in a handful of new customers, these programs don't promote long-term patronage and can be financially detrimental to small businesses as steep discounts gouge your bottom line. According to Beyond Customer, it costs nearly seven times more to recruit a new customer than it does to keep a current one. And since we know loyal customers refer friends, investing in your VIPs is the most sustainable way for small QSRs to increase your customer base.
Loyalty programs have also proven financial gains for companies who use them. The book, The Twelve Laws of Loyalty, cites a Bain Consulting study, which found the average company loses 20-40 percent of its customers every year. By decreasing customer attrition by just 5 percent, your business can improve its bottom line profits by 25-85 percent. Similarly, increasing customer loyalty by 1 percent is equivalent to reducing costs by 10 percent.

Forget Paper Cards, Loyalty is Mobile

If you've tried paper punch card programs in the past and found them cumbersome and difficult to track, you're not alone. Many small QSRs have avoided or stopped running loyalty programs because of that reason. But according to Deloitte Consulting, companies that track their customer loyalty are up to 60 percent more profitable. And in the past five years or so, technology has drastically improved tracking convenience.
Enter the mobile phone. Experian Simmons reported that more than 33 million U.S. consumers use mobile phones for shopping and many loyalty programs are recognizing the need to go mobile.
What business owners love is that mobile-based loyalty programs remove the anonymity of punch cards. You can know your best customers by name and build a relationship with them. Provide targeted offers based on their spending habits and best of all, mobile applications track the results of your program for you – you'll easily be able to see how the spending habits of your customers change and to what extent your loyalty program is growing.
Major companies like Starbucks are realizing the benefits of loyalty marketing and many QSRs are missing out on some degree of financial gains. Loyalty works: regardless of your industry, regardless of your size. And technology has made it easier than ever to get started. Your customers and bottom line will thank you.


Special thanks to Christopher Youngers at Cafe Trio for sending us this article!