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Consumers Clipping Coupons: Cause for Business Owners to Take Notice

You may remember growing up waiting for the Sunday paper that delivered full-color funnies to your door. While you were pouring over the Peanuts and Family Circus, mom was rifling through the mounds of coupon inserts to plan her household shopping for the week.

Over the years, times changed and coupon usage leveled off somewhere around 1999. But due to our recent recession, NCH Marketing Services reported that coupon redemption grew 27% in 2009 and achieved the second highest year-over-year growth ever recorded. Surprisingly, it’s the more affluent households getting out their scissors to save a few bucks.

September is National Coupon Month so it may be time to consider coupons in your marketing strategy. The good news is that coupons take little time to put into action. As you are planning, here are the distribution methods seeing redemption growth, according to Inmar.

Direct mail saw a 69% growth in 2009. While newspaper inserts are still the primary method of distribution and redemption, the tried-and-true direct mail is also popular. Coupons bundled together and mailed with other companies’ offers also saw growth. Direct mail can be one of the most economical ways to reach potential customers.

Businesses using the Internet to deliver coupons to consumers saw a 263% growth in redemptions in 2009. This was the only delivery method out-ranking direct mail. Marketers are using other electronic delivery methods outside of printable coupons on the Internet to reach customers including delivering offers to valued customers’ smart phones and sending texts to those that have opted to receive information from selected companies.

If your business could stand a boost in sales, delivering an enticing offer through a coupon may just be the small discount that makes the big difference to your fourth quarter.