Coupons: A Marketing Strategy that Works

March 5, 2010
Coupon use is up 27%. Marketers are using coupons more frequently to generate business in a tough economy.

Are you looking for a marketing strategy that works in the current economy? Try the tried and true coupon.

Coupon use is up 27% according to the nation's leading coupon processor, Inmar. Last year was the first year in the last 17 during which coupon redemption increased. Part of the increase may result from marketers' increased use of coupons as a promotional vehicle to drive sales during the downturn.

Market more during a downturn, not less.

According to Inmar's Matthew Tilley, “Brands saw coupons as a key to maintaining brand strength. If they reduced their promotional presence, they stood to lose sales to lower priced competitors and store brands – so they doubled down hoping to create brand loyalty once the economic dust settles.”

In short, market more during a downturn, not less. When customers are harder to find, increase efforts to market to new and existing customers. Coupons are an effective tactic, because people are looking for value and savings, and marketers are looking for results.

Digital Coupon Use Increasing
Not surprisingly, given their lower costs, digital coupons usage is up dramatically. Coupons, Inc reports an increase of 170% in the printed value of coupons.

What does the digital coupon redeemer look like? Here are a couple of characteristics:

  • Higher income ($97,000 household income, which is 23% higher than average)
  • Better educated (34% have a college degree, compared to 27% of the general population)

When was the last time you advertised, mailed, or emailed a coupon? The download shown below, courtesy of the Service Roundtable, presents a simple template you can use to design your own coupon.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, and a longtime member of the editorial advisory board.
He can be reached at [email protected].
Read his blog at

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.