A few weeks ago, we reviewed some of the things you can do with gift offers, especially within your own magazine, and it can be very easy to lose sight of what you are trying to achieve.

Offering a gift subscription is not the same as creating a house offer, although many people do fall foul of this. When creating a house offer, be it an off-the-page advertisement, blow in or bind in card, you are trying to sell the magazine to the person reading your promotion; when creating a gift offer, you are selling the idea of giving someone a gift-the offers are not the same.

Copy for a gift promotion should be about the product and why your gift will give pleasure to the recipient, so avoid words like "you" and use "they" instead. A little flattery never hurts either, so copy such as "…they’ll thank you for your generous gift all year long" could certainly be in order. And gift acknowledgement cards sent to recipients are much prized by gift givers, so be sure you mention that you send them to recipients in the donor’s name. It you have price savings for multiple gifts, be sure to mention that in your gift ad, as well as how to enter multiple orders by phone.

The gift offer should not be over-designed (actually, nothing should ever be over-designed, but you know what I mean). The important things on a blow in card are the "from" and "to" address boxes, an offer that is clear, concise, easy to understand and an uncluttered form. You do not need covers galore, in most cases you don’t need a cover at all-which is just as well, because there is not much room on a card measuring 4.25 x 6 inches.

Because of the information you have to include on the form, avoid using too much reversed-out copy. Stock for blow in and bind cards can soak up ink like crazy and with fonts tending to be smaller size, you can end with a fuzzy mess on your hands. If you are running an advert in your magazine, just about the reverse is true. You can drop out copy because fonts are generally larger and the paper stock usually better.

Bind in cards can be stacked so that you can have at least two cards and even three gift cards if you wish. Design the bind in so the bottom of your card gets trimmed off. That means there is one less perforation you have to worry about. Your run-of-the-page advertisement, blow in and bind in cards do not all have to have the same design, they can all be different.

Recognize the difference between gift ads and house ads, otherwise you may lose out on a lot of orders and at a time of giving, who wants to do that?

Native Advertising: Delivering for Partners While Retaining Your Brand Voice
Check out this related session at The Folio: Show, November 1-2 in NYC!

Editors have become a key part of the native-advertising conversation, as many successful media brands generate custom content for their…