scratchcard printing
4 awesome scratch card marketing ideas for your next campaign

4 awesome scratch card marketing ideas for your next campaign

Four inspiring scratch card marketing ideas

Curious about using scratch cards to promote your business, but not sure whether it will work for your industry? Get inspired about putting it into action with these diverse scratch card marketing ideas.

1. A new start-up

What if you’re brand new and you don’t have a decent customer database? Scratch cards are a great way to build one! Use existing contacts and market research to create a target mailing list, and/or distribute printed scratch cards in high footfall zones.

Create a campaign offering discounts or other time-limited incentives that your prospects can’t ignore, then get them to input a code and contact details in a landing page in exchange for their juicy prize.

You can also use referral tactics to build your community. Incentivise leads to share scratch cards with friends, with both participants winning bigger discounts, competition entries or freebies based on how many new contacts they introduce. This is an optimal way of combining print and digital campaigns to the greatest effect.

2. Tie-in to major events

There’s a famous example of McDonalds getting this tactic horribly wrong and losing big, but we can all learn from their experience and be inspired to do it right! The McDonalds story goes like this:

The McDonalds marketing team ran a scratch card marketing campaign alongside the 1984 Olympics. The idea was to reward customers with free food every time the U.S.A team won gold. Great idea, right? The trouble was, they didn’t do their research. They dished out scratch cards with every item bought, not per customer, so the number of opportunities to win were huge. And they didn’t take into account the USSR boycott of the Olympics that year, meaning they vastly underestimated the USA team’s medal potential. Several outlets ran out of food with all the scratchcard freebies they gave away. Major profit sabotage. Ouch.

The lesson is here around planning, numbers and research. Set the parameters of your campaign so there are enough small wins to keep your customers interested, but not so many wins to overwhelm your business. And bear in mind what factors you can and can’t control!

Having learnt from McDonalds, major sports events such as the World Cup or Olympics are a great way to tap into the zeitgeist and get your customers full of enthusiasm for your brand. If you’re a retailer, offer small wins associated with the wins of a particular country. If you’re a service, offer a discount or access to a webinar or free checklist linked with the theme of the event. With a bit of creativity, you can make these big events work for you. (Public service announcement: Remember to abide by the events copyright policy – Big brands such as the Olympic Games and FIFA are very sensitive to the use of their branding and even a tenuous association in your design could lead to a lawsuit if you are not an official sponsor – you’ve been warned).

3. Upsell to existing customers

Scratch cards are a great way to diversify your offer and up sell to your clients and customers. Offer exclusive incentives to people who buy from you, give them the opportunity to take advantage of a high-ticket product by playing your scratch card game.

So, if you run a private accountancy firm and have clients who use your tax return services, offer them a discounted trial period on your management accounting services.

If you run a clothing boutique, offer a discount on your personal shopping service.

If you run a private dental practice, offer a discount on cosmetic dentistry.

Whatever your industry, scratch cards are a great way of drawing people into your sales funnel.

4. Enhance the customer experience

If you are struggling for scratch card marketing ideas to boost your business or services, why not try to enhance the experience and spend of your existing customers?

Imagine you run an exclusive gym. At the reception desk where people are signing or swiping in, you have several stacks of scratch cards. They’re all winning cards for three or four products or services you offer. And here’s the killer detail: you know what they’ll win, so you can match the prize to the customer.

Let’s run through some examples:

A regular comes in. They are signed up for the standard package but they haven’t taken advantage of your fitness classes yet. You hand them a scratch card. They win the card offering them free classes for a week – giving them the chance to enhance their membership at the end of it.
A family comes in for a morning swimming session. They win free drinks at the café. You know it’ll be nearly lunchtime by the time they’re finished in the pool, so chances are they’ll stay to eat.
A couple come in for their badminton practice. They win 15% off all purchases in the shop, valid for the next 30 days.
A young professional comes in. They win a free day pass for a friend, including 10% off lunch at the café.

You get the picture.

As well as the thrill of winning, you match the prize to the customer, ensuring maximum delight with your brand and their experience.

Whatever your business, industry or marketing purpose, there are scratch card marketing ideas to boost your sales, brand or leads in a fun, authentic way that resonates with your customer.

How to use scratch card marketing to rocket your revenue

How to use scratch card marketing to rocket your revenue

Use Scratch card marketing to reach your business goals

When it comes to print promotion many businesses turn to leaflets, but have you ever thought of using scratch card marketing to engage with your customers?

You may think that scratch cards an unusual form of marketing, but there is so much more to them than first meets the eye. They’re a powerful tool for increasing sales, generating leads, building loyalty and boosting your brand. Using them in store or as part of a direct mail campaign could help you reach new potential customers.

They could be your number one way to rocket your revenue.

Why choose scratch card marketing?

In an overcrowded marketplace it’s hard to grab and hold people’s attention, your customers are bombarded with marketing messages from the moment they wake up, digitally and in print. Scrolling through emails and news feeds we scan hundreds of messages, but brand recall is often low.

Scratch cards, demand interaction from your target. Their tactile qualities create a connection with your audience, whilst their demand for interaction increases the chance of being remembered. Your prospect needs to stop what they’re doing to focus on your scratch card. And because they need to take action, it’s a more active engagement than simply reading. Those precious few seconds of suspense and checking to see what/if they’ve won creates all-important brand recognition, as well as influencing what they do next.

Scratch cards reinforce your business’s personality and identity. The format is fun, engaging and generous – all qualities which are likely to inspire loyalty. And the visuals you use will help reinforce your brand messages in a fresh format too.

scratch card marketing
scratch card marketing

A winning campaign: how to use scratch card marketing

Think about what you want your campaign to achieve. Defining your goals can help you choose the format of your campaign and the type of competition your create, for example, do you want to increase your leads, boost sales, build your brand? Scratch card marketing can help achieve a wide range of objectives. Let’s look at some examples:

Upselling: include a free scratch card at the point of purchase. The card could offer discounts on the customer’s next purchase or offer other bonuses on bigger purchases. This technique is effective whether you choose to do it in store, via direct mail or flyering.

Special events: whether it’s a grand opening, launch of a new product line, rebrand or a VIP event, scratch cards are a great way to set a celebratory tone and set the scene for a big reveal. Build momentum before your event and hype around your campaign. The iconic London boutique Browns did just this, using scratch cards to launch their new identity.

Driving footfall: how do you grab delegates’ attention at a trade show, conference or exhibition? Give them a freebie and a game to play! Everyone loves scratch cards – use them to attract people to your stand, promote your offer and strike up conversation by getting people to play. If you’re using scratch cards to promote your brand at an exhibition or trade show, consider how you can keep campaign momentum going before and after the event. Consider sending your scratch cards with a direct mail letter before the event or promoting them across your social media.

Sell slow moving ranges: just as chefs use ‘dish of the day’ to shift surplus ingredients, you can package up slow-to-move stock into an attractive scratch card marketing campaign. Offer discounts, bonuses, freebies or other incentives to get sales moving again.

Reward loyalty: a longer-running campaign is a great way to keep customers coming back for more. Set a time-frame for your campaign and offer scratch cards with each sale. If customers collect a certain number of winning symbols, or have the scratch cards to spell out a winning word (such as F-R-E-E-D-O-M for a lifestyle-focussed campaign), they’ll win the prize. You can keep interest flowing with lower-level instant wins and discounts along the way.

Tie-in to digital campaigns: with any of these scratch card marketing ideas there’s always the option to tie-in to your digital offering, capturing data and boosting your list for future campaigns. Simply ask your target to enter a code into a landing page that captures their name and email and you’ve increased your online community as well as making a great offer.

We hope this has inspired you to think about your next scratch card marketing campaign! If you want help designing or planning your campaign tactics, we’d love to hear from you!

How scratch card promotions can excite and engage your customers

How scratch card promotions can excite and engage your customers

Tap into the power of scratch card promotions

There’s something irresistible about a scratch card and it’s all down to our psychology. In this post we share what makes scratch card promotions so compelling and offer tips for incorporating them into your marketing, whatever the nature of your campaign.

Our emotions are triggered

Scratch card promotions pull on our emotions. Once you’ve got one in your hands it’s hard to resist the curiosity, the need to scratch and find out what’s under the panel. So you’re drawn into play, and get a kick out of the suspense while waiting to read what you’ve won. The whole experience of playing a scratch card is a positive one – especially if you win.

Everyone hates FOMO (fear of missing out)… even though our brains tell us it’s unlikely we’ll be the big winner, there’s always that ‘what if…’ which means we just have to scratch!

It’s interactive

Print media beats digital for interactivity because of its tangible nature, it has a more personal connection. However, printed scratch card promotions go one step further, they require more than being held and read, they need interaction. They need to be scratched.

Those vital seconds of scratching, blended with the suspense and fun of not knowing what you’ll win, make scratch and win promotions a sticky piece of your marketing collateral. Scratch cards are perfect for well-targeted direct mail campaigns, deepening the interaction your leads have with the brand and offer you are sharing.

Everyone likes to win

If you run an ‘every card wins’ campaign your target will receive something every time they play. Feeling as though they’ve won, even if it’s a small discount or freebie, provides positive reinforcement to your brand.

Everyone likes something for nothing, so associating this goodwill with your brand is a win for you as well as them. You can boost this positive effect by offering your targets the opportunity to share scratch card promotions cards with friends – gaining further leads in the process.


Playfulness is a winner when it comes to getting people on board with your brand and message. The gaming element of scratch card promotions appeals to our playful natures. As Mary Poppins says, ‘a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.’

Aligning your campaign message and prizes to the fun of a scratch card format maximises the positive associations your targets will make with your brand when they play – so keep it visual, light-touch and playful.

It’s instant

Scratching off a card is something you can do straight away. We are psychologically hardwired to like instant gratification – we are less likely to commit to an action after a period of inactivity. The immediacy of scratch cards makes them perfect for point of sale campaigns: customers can scratch their card while you process their order or their goods.

Their win will either entice them to buy more, collect a freebie or return for another sale, depending on what you’ve offered, but the marketing work is done and you’ve been able to strike while the iron’s hot.


Guerilla marketing campaigns rely on the element of surprise, and scratch cards can be a great tactic for dishing up the unexpected. Whether it’s offering a scratch card as people enter a store, a street campaign or in a direct mailing, scratch cards are unusual enough for people to be surprised. And surprise is sticky: you’ve got their attention.

So whatever style of campaign you’re planning, scratch card promotions can help you tap into these positive psychological associations and make a bigger impact. Whether you’re looking to boost sales, build your audience or create better brand awareness, there’s a way of making scratch and win promotions work for you.