The C Word – Let’s Talk About Coupons

Let’s talk about coupons.

When is the last time you gave serious thought to the subject of these little money-saving pieces of paper? To me, there is something strangely nostalgic about coupons, as the one marketing tactic my mother and her mother may have seen in the weekly circular, clipped with scissors and filed away in their purses. And here I am, two generations later, sorting through the mail and stuffing a couple of few-dollars-off-organic-baby-food pieces of paper into my own purse for my next Target run. Will I remember them when I’m checking out? Maybe. Hopefully.

What about you? Do you use coupons? Do you make a trip to the store or buy a different brand than you normally would because of them? Do you have a preference for digital versions, have coupon apps on your smart phone, and/or follow coupon bloggers? Today, coupons are served up in so many new formats that our mothers’ mothers didn’t have. And yet, the little paper versions still are everywhere.

A couple years ago, I led a study focused on moms’ Internet use and found that getting coupons and deals, of all the activities moms went online for, was the most important type of content moms sought out in digital spaces with nearly all (96%) moms indicating they had some or a lot of interest in getting deals and coupons from the brands they followed online. Getting sale information and coupons via social media was particularly impactful on younger moms, compared with moms 35 and older.

I recently saw a couple of mothers exchange tweets with each other about never purchasing anything online without checking RetailMeNot.com first. And we all know retailers who mail so many coupons so frequently that stepping foot in their store without one in hand feels like you’re already overpaying.

If you could tell your favorite retailers how you’d prefer they structure and share their coupons, what would you say? 

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