As Digital Coupons Continue to Provide Big Savings Small Businesses Expand

In only one day Wonder Bar, a food, drink and jazz restaurant, offer had spread to 75,000 Cleveland-area consumers who received a $35 deal for $15 through email or shared through Facebook and Twitter.  At the end of the day 486 clicked into the offer using Chicago-based, Groupon.

The goal of digital coupons is not for an immediate sales spike, but instead promoting themselves “… is seen as an opportunity to expand an establishment’s reach and draw new business” in “Connecting with Deals: Outfits Discover New Ways to Market Their Businesses as More Coupon Sites Come Online,” writes Kathy Ames Carr.

Coupons.com subscribers alone downloaded and printed over $1 billion in digital coupons via Coupons.com in the last 12 months, at 100% growth represented in $529 million in coupon savings, according to marketing charts.

Digital Coupons Top Newspaper Printed Ten to One” quotes that NCH Marketing Services found online coupons to be the fastest growing delivery tool thus far in 2010, and coupon redeem rates were higher than other types of coupons.  Steven Boal, CEO of Coupons.com, sees more patronage for digital coupons, especially within social media and mobile advertising campaigns.

If a business or organization is in a targeted market, and a return on investment through online coupon sites may not be the best deal according to some businesses, since niche audience can easily be missed.

When Izzy Schachner, owner of Cleveland Corporate Caterers, used HeyButler.com, an online coupon site, for a monthly subscription deal, he lost money.

“But my business is very different from other retailers.  We are very targeted,” he said.  Mr. Schachner said he probably wasn’t reaching his niche audience and lost money writes Carr.

Most online coupon sites are free to promote; website and merchant negotiate a goal on number of units to click into a deal before the deal is valid, then offer revenue is divided.

Google Insight searching “printable coupon” was 67 percent higher from a year ago, and consumers like exclusive deals and follow a brand on Twitter or Facebook, according to Razorfish, marketing research agency.

Further Reading

“Connecting With Deals: Outfits Discovery New Ways to Market Their Business as More Coupon Sites Come Online.” Kathy Ames Carr, Crain’s Cleveland Business, August 9-15, 2010.

Digital Coupons Top Newspaper Printed Ten to One”. Jack Loechner, Media Post, August 2, 2010.

FSI Activity Grows 10%”. Marketing Charts, July 27, 2010.