Just an Online Minute... Cents Off
Online search may the hot topic of the day, with Ask Jeeves throwing its hat in the ring and Overture closing on the FAST deal, but there's another, albeit less intriguing, field of online advertising that deserves some attention - online coupons. According to eMarketer Senior Analyst David Hallerman, who wrote an article on the subject this week, "online coupons allow marketers to maximize and analyze their efforts to the fullest."
Hallerman compares the benefits of online coupons to those of their offline counterparts, and it looks like online cents-off coupons "push that classic marketing mechanism at least two steps further than traditional paper coupons," he says.
According to the article, the first benefit is targetability. Hallerman uses the example of Coolsavings.com, arguably the leader of the online coupon field, which requires customers to register before getting coupons from the website. The registration allows marketers to target their offers much better than the Sunday paper or "the side of a cereal box," he says. Moreover, when marketers circulate coupons via email they can also personalize the coupon, which is a definite plus.
Naturally, the second benefit is that marketers can track the use of their coupons more closely than with the paper-based code that only tells the company where and when the coupon was published.
If that's not enough of an incentive for marketers to give online coupons a second look, consider two more stats: A survey last summer by MO-based ad agency Valentine Radford found that 49% of US consumers will redeem online coupons either offline or online; and according to DoubleClick's third annual "Consumer Email Study, 49% of those who purchased products online used a coupon or promotion code.