Over the past few years, online coupons have made their mark, and they are quickly becoming as popular as those offered in the Sunday newspaper FSI. According to a recent article by Editor & Publisher, Coupons.Com’s annual data revealed that digital coupons outpaced the growth of their newspaper counterparts by more than 10 to 1. In fact, more than a fifth of all American consumers now use online coupons.
Last year, Information Resources, Inc., and Platform-A released a study showing that 51 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds said they were very likely to use online coupons, and about 40 percent of consumers in other age groups said they were very likely to use online coupons. An additional approach to increasing coupon redemption and attracting new customers is to send coupons via e-mail, or add a link to your website’s printable coupons in your e-newsletter. This delivery channel allows recipients to forward the e-mail to their friends, thus increasing the potential distribution infinitely.
At Envoy, Inc., we’ve had our own successes with electronic coupons delivered via websites and e-newsletters. Our client Hiland Dairy began offering online coupons in 2006. Hiland Dairy enjoys online coupon redemption of 10 to 15 percent, compared to an average Internet redemption rate in 2008 of 5.7 percent. Furthermore, we have successfully stimulated product trial through e-newsletter coupons. In addition, Roberts Dairy began using online coupons in 2009 and now averages redemption rates as high as 12 percent in just six months.
What this demonstrates is that in order to reach the most consumers, manufacturers and retailers must reach beyond FSIs. Today’s tech-savvy consumers are finding much of their news on the Internet, so it makes sense that they will look to the Internet for their coupons. More than 70 percent of Americans use the Internet. If you’re not maximizing this channel, then you’re missing a large portion of your target audience.
Nevertheless, enough consumers in older generations don’t rely so heavily on the Internet that FSIs are far from obsolete. In fact, the NCH Marketing Services annual consumer survey reports that FSIs accounted for 87.5 percent of all consumer packaged goods (CPG) coupons distributed in the United States.
For some manufacturers and retailers, the marketing challenge is this: What’s the best way to reach my consumers? Clearly the answer today is that multiple channels are needed to target consumers of different ages, effectively improve coupon redemption rates and attract customers.
E&P Staff, “Fast Clip: Digital Coupon Growth Far Outpacing Newspaper Coupons, Online Company Says,” Editor & Publisher, Feb. 16, 2010
Lukovitz, Karlene, “Young Are Most Receptive to Online Coupons,” Marketing Daily, April 1, 2009
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