scratchcard printing
4 ways custom printed scratch cards can attract new business

4 ways custom printed scratch cards can attract new business

Have you missed these ways to promote your brand with custom printed scratch cards?

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘scratch cards’?

Chances are it’s a lottery type card, or maybe one of those cards that used to tumble out of weekend newspapers.

Choosing custom printed scratch cards can provide new leads and add a little fun to your normal business marketing. Scratch cards are a really powerful marketing asset. With sophisticated design and printing techniques, they can be an effective tool whatever your campaign goals.

Here’s how a bespoke, branded design can help your business use scratch cards in unusual ways and attract your customers attention:

A customer insight tool

Offering scratch cards at a point of sale is a great way to get customers to remember your brand once they’ve left your business. But more than this, use custom printed scratch cards to gain valuable insight into customer’s desires and buying habits – incentivise your customer but at the same time get valuable contact information.

Try giving a discount code for their next online purchase. Send scratch card holders to a specific website landing page or give them a discount code they can enter at the checkout to claim their discount.

custom printed scratch cards designed and printed for Sexy Fish restaurant

A custom scratch card design that includes unique alphanumeric codes under the scratch panel means you can track the activity of each recipient: their scratch card works as a single-use voucher when they input their code, and you’ll be able to track what they purchase.

Alternatively, you could use normal scratch cards, but ask for personal and location details when the customer claims their discount.

However you work it, you’ll gain more sales, but more importantly, you’ll gather important information about who and where your customers are, along with what they like to buy.

Add some pizzazz to awards and events

There are so many ways custom printed scratch cards can liven your event. Why not send custom scratch cards as invitations – the recipient could scratch off the latex panels to reveal the time, date and venue?

Custom scratch cards are a simple way to ensure your invite both captures attention and signals that your launch, celebration or award ceremony is going to be fun.

Scratch cards can be created in the standard A7 invitation size, or any size or die-cut shape that suits your occasion: a champagne bottle for a celebration, or a Christmas tree for your annual festive bash, for example.

Full colour printing on both the front and reverse means you can give your guests all the information they need in style, making it feel more like an invitation than a competition.

Or instead of the usual ‘freebies in a bag’ at corporate events, guests can reveal their goodies via scratch card and collect them. Opting for gold overprint on your scratch panel adds that extra touch of glamour, or go for full colour to bring the scratch cards to life.

You can raise the excitement by including a small number of high value cards in the mix, with winners receiving premium goodies. Custom printing means you’re in control of the prize structure, so you’ll know exactly how many of each gift will be claimed.

Rewarding positive behaviour

Custom printed scratch cards can liven up recognition and reward schemes at school, college or work, adding the excitement of the reveal to the pleasure of winning a prize. Your scratch cards can be printed in any colour, reflecting corporate or institutional logos and colours. For end of year awards or special prizes you can create A4 designs, outshining the usual boring certificates most students or employees receive.

You can also use scratch cards to incentivise customer behaviour, offering customers a discount on their next purchase, or a free bottle of wine next time they purchase two main meals, for example. Vouchers and money-off rewards will likely end up in bags and wallets on the way to being redeemed, so a 100mm x 50mm sized card will work well, as they’re small enough to be carried around without getting damaged.

Building campaign momentum

If you’re running a campaign over a number of weeks, scratch cards can help keep the energy high. They’re playful, they add an ‘in it to win it’ factor to keep people incentivised and they can be tailored to whatever you need.

Custom designs mean you can work with any number of scratch panels – so whether you’re running a month-long promotion with new offers each week (four panels), a weekly competition with daily reveals (seven panels), a 12 days of Christmas extravaganza or a countdown to your next launch, you can create the scratch card you need.

Whatever your campaign, custom scratch cards have both the flexibility and the disruption factor to get your customers engaged. If you’d like to explore how custom design can bring to life your campaign ideas, we’d love to help!

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.

6 popular scratch card promotions from big high street names

6 popular scratch card promotions from big high street names

When we talk about scratch card promotions with customers they can often get stuck on campaign ideas. To help inspire your scratch card marketing we’ve brought together a range of popular campaigns from big high street names.

In order to demonstrate how versatile scratch card marketing can be we selected brands from very different industries, all using scratch cards to achieve variety of objectives.

Dove use scratch card promotions to start a conversation.

Dove wanted women to understand body washes aren’t all created equal and show that other body washes scratch your skin and strip away essential nutrients. The challenge put forth was to bring a problem women didn’t realise existed to life and position Dove Body Wash as the best solution to that problem.

With the help of marketers Oglivy and Mather, Dove created a Scratch Card that women inadvertently scratched skin right off and only then did they realise the message behind the scratch card.

The goal of this campaign was word of mouth, so cards were sent  to 500 of the most influential lifestyle bloggers in Canada with the intention of them sharing the news with their friends and followers.

Dove Scratch Card Promotions
Dove Body Wash’s Share of Conversation increased to 93% (13% pts over objective), they reached 1.8 million impressions with the help of the BlissDom bloggers, and received over 200 tweets from women saying why they wanted to switch to Dove Body Wash.

Lidl use scratch card promotions to increase sales and brand identity.

Global discount supermarket chain, Lidl operates over 10,000 stores across Europe. The brand are also ‘official supermarket of the England team’ and partners of the FA skills programme.

Capitalising on the football season the chain of stores created a scratch card competition, increasing spending and generate hype.

Playing on the famous BBC show Match of the Day the store created a scratch card competition Scratch of the Day.

When customers spent £20 or more in store they received a Scratch Card, with the chance to win an in-store reward or even a family holiday to Barcelona.

The cards would reveal a unique code that could entered into the website to for the ‘chance to win one of our fantastic footy prizes’.

Lidl Scratch Card Promotions

Capital FM use scratch card promotions to engage new listeners.

UK’s Music Station Capital FM wanted to carry out a national marketing campaign to attract listeners. They created a competition targeting large companies and encouraging engagement.

Each region targeted in the UK required frequency specific artwork, with a split of prize options for the chosen winning cards. The cards were then handed out to companies who could tune in and discover if they had a winning card which would offer a selection of rewards for their workmates.

Capital FM Scratch Card Promotions

Ryanair use scratch card promotions for philanthropic work.

Irish low-cost airline Ryanair Irish use scratch cards to improve their corporate social responsibility as well as offer entertainment for passengers.

The company sell scratch cards for just €2 and passengers have the chance to win cash, luxury cars, or even scoop a whopping €1 million. Proceeds from the sale of the scratch cards go to support the numerous children’s charities the airline partner with.

Although in the past Ryanair scratch cards games have come under criticism there is no disputing the good they have achieved by donating thousands to charities and children in need.

Ryan Air Scratch Card Promotions

Nasty Gal use scratch card promotions in store opening.

Nasty Gal is an American retailer that specialises in fashion for young women were launching their 2nd bricks and mortar store and were looking to attract customers to the opening.

To do this they created a scratch off promotion to match their in store, artwork, signage and bags.

The young, trendy and sexy campaign, created extra excitement around the brand and was in keeping with the Nasty Gals image. The scratch off promotion was a hit and their store opening was a huge success.

Nasty Gal Scratch Card Promotions

Pizza Hut use scratch card promotions to increase returning customer.

American restaurant franchise Pizza Hut wanted to increase home delivery sales and stand out from competitors. To do this they decided to create a scratch card marketing campaign.

They created a scratch and match competition. where customers had to find three of the same symbols out of nine panels. The cards were attached to delivery boxes, winners received money off coupons to drive future delivery sales.

Pizza Hut Scratch Card Promotions

Browns use creative scratch card promotion for brand relaunch

Browns use creative scratch card promotion for brand relaunch

Browns Scratch card promotion sample
Brown scratch card promotion - brand relaunch window display

How Browns used a scratch card marketing campaign for their big brand relaunch

This Monday London’s most iconic boutique Browns revealed its new branding with the world’s largest physical scratch card promotion.

To launch their new look the Browns South Molton Street store was transformed into a giant Scratch Card. Members of the public were invited to scratch the windows to reveal winning prizes such as season’s must-have Balenciaga shopping bag.

The show stopping window scratch cards are part of a wider scratch card promotion that involves influencers, VIP customers and media receiving a gift-box including a traditional sized scratch card, with the new logo revealed through scratching off the old logo which is overlaid on top.

This card specification appears to be a fullwidth latex print with a single colour overprint and full colour print onto the artboard, it falls in our bespoke range.

scratch card promotion - Browns swing tag logo redesign
scratch card promotion - Browns shopping bag logo redesign
scratch card promotion - Browns gift box logo redesign

The Rebrand

The new logo has been launched across its logo, packaging, store design and website. Browns collaborated with former Vogue creative director Robin Derrick to recreate their image.

He said: ‘Browns has a tradition of modernity and the new branding needed to reflect that past while emphasising the future. The bluntly cut serif logo is traditional but disruptive. We wanted to offset this with an elegant and modern feel to the printed material.’

Previously on Proactive Marketing we have spoken about the importance of a successful rebrand. Not just thinking about pretty design but also new services. Browns have simultaneously changed all online and offline elements as well as taking the brand in a more contemporary direction.

If you are interested in using scratch card promotion for an up an coming marketing campaign or relaunch please get in touch with one of our friendly team to discuss the best campaign design for your business. Alternatively download our quick start guide to printing scratch cards.