Marketing with Coupons

If your vision of coupon clippers conjures up senior citizens sitting at the kitchen table and leafing through newspaper inserts in search of bargains, it's time for a reality check. Over ¾'s of shoppers continue to use paper coupons but 4 out of 10 shoppers like online coupons. And this includes half of 18 to discount24 year olds. According to industry operator, Valassis, online coupons comprise only 1% of total coupons used but it represents the fastest growing segment of the industry. And overall coupon redemption has increased significantly in the past year. This is a shift from the trend of declining coupon redemption since 1992 and many experts attribute the increase to the recession.

The new economic reality means now could be the right time to use a coupon campaign as one of your marketing tools. Consumers have been long accustomed to using coupons for specific categories such breakfast cereal, baking ingredients, and bathroom tissue. This year, for the first time, entertainment became one of the top three industries to have coupons redeemed.

What are the typical features of a coupon campaign? Valassis reports the following:

  • Average face value: $1.29
  • Coupon expiration time: 2.5 months

For other details on how to launch a successful campaign check out Ahmet Kirtok's advice. He recommends posting online coupons at coupon and online classified sites. Read the rest of his advice on coupon campaigns and brainstorm creative ways to use this marketing tool to increase sales and win new customers.

[Sources: "Youngsters Get Hip to Coupon Clipping, BizReport, April 2009; "Categories for coupon use, BizReport, June 2009; Valassis release, 2009; Ahmet KIRTOK, 2009]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.