Over the last 40 years, it was not uncommon to see moms (and increasingly dads) huddled around kitchen tables, scissors in hand, clipping out all those little squares of savings known as coupons. From penny savers to local newspapers, budget-minded families made coupons a part of every shopping trip. It seems that Millennials learned a lot from their parents as they are now keeping couponing alive, but in a much more tech-savvy way.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports about the Millennial couponing craze that has kept savings alive in a time where coupons seemed to be going out of style.
Why are Millennials so savings hungry? Maybe it has something to do with all of the student loan debt encouraging Millennials to look for deals, but a report from Valassis says that 9 out of 10 Millennials use coupons.
Rather than reaching for the scissors and newspaper, Millennials turn to the Internet to find all the best deals. Websites like RetailMeNot, Groupon and cash-back programs like Ebates allow Millennials to save big.
Many of these sites offer deals where you refer a friend in exchange for credit or goods. This is fueling already socially engaged Millennials to share these tips with their friends by encouraging them to take advantage of couponing sites. In fact, mobile coupon usage is expected to hit over 120 million users in 2016, according to Statistica.
Underscoring the huge surge of coupon usage, sites like Retailmenot.com have grown tremendously. According to Compete, Retailmenot.com is one of the top 100 most trafficked websites and has experienced double digit growth in traffic and unique visitors in just the last year.
But just because Millennials look for deals online doesn’t mean they’ve gone completely digital. According to a survey by Forrester Research, Millennials are more likely to use a paper coupon they receive in the mail than one they find on an app or website. Forrester explains why, saying, “Even in today’s digital world, consumers still use paper coupons at a surprisingly high rate, likely because most digital options do not provide a seamless customer experience. Somehow, in the upside-down world of couponing, digital is actually more difficult than paper.”
So, how can brands get in on the Millennial couponing craze?
1. Offer Coupons for What They Need: According to Experian, 80% of shoppers are looking for coupons for the products they are already buying. We know that Millennial moms have lots of products that they need to buy for their households. Everything from food to beauty items to appliances to furniture. Supply her with the coupons she needs and she will honor you with her business.
2. Use Email to Distribute Coupons: Why email? Because it’s effective. Many companies have cooled on email marketing, but it is still one of the most effective ways to reach and influence shoppers. Brands should build lists of shoppers interested in receiving their coupons and then distribute these coupons via email. According to Experian, open rates on these types of emails are at 14%, and 34% of openers click through and have transaction completion rates of 27%. Overall, brands experience an impressive 48% increase in revenue per email!
3. Utilize Coupon Influencers to Share Your Offers. A cottage industry of bloggers and other influencers who focus just on passing along special deals and coupons to their audience has emerged over the last few years. These influencers have major followings and they drive results. Coupon influencer Heather Hernandez of FreebiesforMom.com has over a half a million followers on social media not to mention the hundreds of thousands of people who visit her website each month.
It is clear that shoppers are seeking deals. Making coupons available for your products and savvy dissemination of these coupons will help ring up sales.
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Editor's note: This article originally appeared on June 24, 2016, in Engage:Moms.