No matter how old you are or how much money you make, everyone loves a bargain. And, coupons are great way to save money. With online shopping gaining in popularity, one might think that traditional print coupons are falling out of fashion. But, that is just not the case. Coupons found in newspapers are just as popular as ever. The biggest surprise about coupon usage these days, however, is that Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are very much into “traditional” couponing. So while the younger generation is very active online, they still seem to have the time to grab a pair of scissors and a newspaper, and hunt for those deals.
Let’s start at the very beginning of coupon usage. According to Wikepedia, in 1887 Coca-cola was the first company to use coupons as a way to grow business. One of the partners, Asa Candler, came up with the novel idea of having the company’s sales reps distribute coupons for the product by hand, by mail and by magazine advertising placement. Alas, coupon clipping was born! But it wasn’t until over twenty years later that coupons became widely used again. That was when in 1909, C.W. Post used a 1 cent coupon to entice consumers into trying Grape Nuts breakfast cereal. Fast forward to the 1970s when coupon clipping became widely popular. An entrepreneur named George F. Valassis came up with the idea to create free-standing coupon inserts to be included in local newspapers. He actively sold coupon spots to companies looking to market their products. Today, newspapers still remain the #1 way consumers get coupons. According to a new website called couponsinthenews.com, an annual research survey conducted by RedPlum to more than 23,000 shoppers reports that, “76% of coupon-seekers utilize newspapers as their primary source for coupons and deals; 59% find coupons in e-mails and coupon alerts, and 33% use Internet searches to find coupons.” The research also found that Millennials are just as likely to turn to newspapers for coupons as everyone else. “Across all age groups, including the younger crowd, 51% said the newspaper is their main source of coupons. 33% of Millennials also look for coupons in the mail, 21% seek out coupons in store circulars, and 20% get them from coupon books.” In a separate recent survey, 54% of Millennials said they use coupons from local papers or mailers when looking for the lowest price on household food purchases. And 74% said coupon and advertising inserts were one of the main reasons why they buy the paper.
If you want to increase sales for your products via coupons, go where your audience is…the local newspaper. Ignore it and you will be losing a huge opportunity to reach customers of all age groups.