Email Couponing Beats Other Promotions

The Experian Marketing Services’ 2013 4th Quarter email trends and analysis study found a 50% year-over-year increase in the number of email campaigns offering coupons. For consumers, “couponing” has become a tradition, says the report, with many reading the Sunday paper with scissors nearby to cut coupons with the best deals and offers. There are even wallets sold just to hold coupons, boxes to organize them, coupon-only direct mail fliers and coupon clubs.

Email campaigns with coupons outperformed other promotional mailings on open, click, and transaction rates, and had 48% higher revenue per email ($0.10 for coupon mailings compared to $0.07 for other promotional mailings) in the 4th Q, 2013.

Emails offer coupons that can be redeemed online only, in-store only, or both online and in-store. 80% of the coupons reviewed in the study were able to be redeemed in-store, while 70% were able to be redeemed online. Emails with coupons out-performed other promotional mailings

Lift For Promotional Coupon Mailings:


% Lift Increase (versus other promotional mailings)

Revenue per email


Transaction rates


Unique click rates


Unique open rates


Source: Experian Marketing Services, March 2014

As the percent of emails opened on mobile devices continues to rise, the added flexibility of redeeming coupons from these devices is a great way to encourage in-store visits in real-time, says the report, as opposed to first having to print out the coupon and then go to a store. In fact, this year, 21% of the in-store coupons emailed encouraged customers to show the coupon in-store on their mobile device.

3 ways to redeem emailed coupons:

  • In-store: Print this email and bring it to our store
  • Online: Enter the promo code shown above during checkout online
  • Mobile: Bring your smartphone to our store and show this email to an associate

Whether for online or in-store redemption, all coupon redemption types had higher unique click rates than other promotional mailings, which averaged about 1.6%

All Coupon Types Had Higher Click Rates Than Other Promotional Mailings


Unique click rates

In-store or online


Online only


In-store only


Source: Experian Marketing Services, March 2014

To see the role coupons play in driving these higher click rates, The report analyzed the total clicks received on the coupon links within each mailing (coupon clicks/total clicks per mailing). 58% of the clicks for mailings with in-store only coupons came from the coupon link.

Coupons Are Clearly Major Contributors To Click Rates


Percent of total clicks on coupon links

In-store or online


Online only


In-store only


Source: Experian Marketing Services, March 2014

The report suggests that marketers should test the offer value of their coupons in order to preserve as much margin as you can. While deep discount coupons offering 50% off or more play a large role in late holiday mailings, coupons offering lesser amounts are also be very effective throughout the rest of the year.

Dollar-Off Coupons

  • Most popular: $10 off
  • Best unique click rates (Compared to 1.5% unique click rate for other promotional mailings)
  • $10 off Click rate: 2.80%, 86% higher
  • Best transaction rates (Compared to 0.06% transaction rate for other promotional mailings) $5 off; Trans. rate: 0.12%, 2X higher

Percent-Off Coupons

  • Most popular: 20% off
  • Best unique click rates (Compared to 1.5% unique click rate for other promotional mailings) 20% off Click rate: 2.50%, 66% higher
  • Best transaction rates (Compared to 0.06% transaction rate for other promotional mailings) 15% off; Trans. rate: 0.13%, 2X higher

Source: Experian Marketing Services, March 2014

The report concludes by noting that coupons are a valuable option for email campaigns. Key points are summarized as:

Email volume rose by 11.2% in Q4 2013 compared to Q4 2012.

  • Unique open rates were 16.4% in Q4 2013, just slightly ahead of the 16.3% seen in 2012
  • Unique click rates were 2.1% in Q4 2013, declining from 2.5% seen in Q4 2012
  • Revenue per email was $0.10 in Q4 2013 compared to $0.09 in Q3 2013, but down from the $0.14 last year. However, average order values stayed the same year-over-year

Looking at coupons in emails:

  • This past holiday season, there was a 50% year-over-year increase in the number of campaigns with coupons
  • Emails with coupons have higher open, click, and transactions rates, and have revenue per email that is 48% higher than other promotional emails
  • Coupons provide a means of offering cross-channel promotions, and allow customers to choose the venue for their transactions, including in-store, online, and mobile, thus customizing the consumer experience

To access the complete report in a PDF file, please visit Experian here.


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1 comment about "Email Couponing Beats Other Promotions ".
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  1. Elizabeth Ball from It's In The Stars, March 20, 2014 at 12:55 a.m.

    People like online coupons because using paper ones makes many feel "poor" -