Coupons Converge Online

  |  October 6, 2005   |  Comments

Coupon clippers want to drop the dead-tree habit for targeted coupons delivered via e-mail and online.

Advertisers flock to the Web, coupon clippers look to the channel to replace their paper habit. E-mail marketing and data analytics solutions firm Prospectiv updated its Consumer Preference Index (CPI) and found targeted coupons can keep lists fresh.

The survey finds 95.5 percent of respondents clip or print coupons, while 62.2 percent clip as often as once a week. Just over half (51.3 percent) the respondents redeem most of the coupons they save, making this an effective tool to reach consumers with a brand message.

"Leveraging online coupons can be one of the most effective methods for making that important connection that helps marketers…attract the right customers and keep them coming back," said Jere Doyle, president and CEO of Prospectiv.

Currently, 58.4 percent of respondents find coupons in newspapers and magazines; 5.7 percent hunt for coupons online; and 4.4 percent receive them via email. The preference for receiving coupons electronically is compelling. Nearly 22 percent of respondents want to receive coupons via email, and 9.7 percent want to find money-saving printables online.

Current Primary Coupon Source (%)
Newspapers/magazines 58.4
Circulars/inserts 26.9
Online Web sites 5.7
E-mail offers/newsletters 4.4
Direct mail 4.2
Online banner ads 0.4
Source: Prospectiv, October 2005

Online coupons can translate to offline activity. "There's a compelling number of respondents who said they are taking the coupons and bringing them to a store," said Doyle.

The numbers for paper are still healthy. Direct mail is named by 27.7 percent of respondents as a preferred method to receive coupons. Newspapers and magazines are favored by 27.4 percent of respondents. Circulars and inserts are the mode of preference of only 12.4 percent of those surveyed, though 26.9 percent clip coupons from that resource.

The key to coupons is targeting. The combined 32 percent of those who prefer to receive coupons on the Internet and via email jumps to 55 percent, provided the coupons are specifically tailored to the interests of the consumer.

"You have to target properly, and you have to give consumers valuable offers so it's worth their while to open and click on the email," said Doyle.

Preferred Coupon Source (%)
Newspapers/magazines 27.4
Direct mail 27.7
E-mail offers/newsletters 21.8
Circulars/inserts 12.4
Online Web sites 9.7
Online banner ads 1.0
Source: Prospectiv, October 2005

Fifty-five percent of respondents say they're very likely to increase online coupon usage. Online coupons may translate to offline purchases, 66 percent like to print a certificate and bring it to the store. Twenty-four percent like the option, and use the coupon for either online or in-store purchases, depending on what's appropriate. Still, a 10.1 percent group says they're more likely to redeem coupons for online purchases.

Prospectiv maintains its Consumer Preference Index by polling millions of active, self-profiled consumers registered at Prospectiv's vertically-targed online properties. These include Eversave.com; TheKnowledgeStop.com; and Healthy-Individual.com.

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Enid Burns

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