Say Goodbye to Paper Coupons

Aug 31, 2021

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Coupons are a tried and true way to get customers through your door, but are paper coupons becoming a thing of the past?

Research shows that 44% of all direct mail ends up in the trash, and over 37 billion pieces of unwanted mail end up in landfills each year, unopened. Businesses of all kinds are jumping onto the digital coupon train. Grocery stores, boutiques, restaurants, auto shops, and more are beginning to see the benefits of offering customers a more convenient, eco-friendly way to take advantage of discounts. For the first time, the redemption of digital coupons in the US surpassed the redemption of paper coupons in Q2 2020. It’s clear that consumers love it, and so do businesses. 

Digital coupons can be distributed with just a click of a button, so getting your brand in front of consumers is simple. There are multiple different digital channels to try, and utilizing more than one is a great way to implement the omnichannel marketing approach. Email, apps, text messaging, digital ads, and websites can each have their own benefit.

Here are five examples of businesses utilizing digital coupons over sales inserts:


1. Website

HyVee – If a business already has a lot of site traffic, housing digital coupons there can work well. “Saving is even easier with digital coupons. Swipe your Fuel Saver + Perks® card at checkout to redeem. Hurry! Limited coupon quantities available.”

hy-vee.com digital coupons example

2. Email

PacSun – Emails have an average open rate of 18% and can work well to reach people who have signed up to hear about updates and promotions from your brand. Here is an email from PacSun advertising a special event and sale.

Pacsun fall stock up event 20% off any 3+ items

3. Digital Ads

Aldi – Utilizing ads on social media and online is a great way to target specific audiences. Here’s a Facebook ad used by Aldi to showcase their weekly discounts and deals.

Aldi social media post with promotions

4. Text Message

Wallace’s Garden Party – The average open rate of a text message is 99%, and 97% of texts are read within 15 minutes of delivery. Texting ensures visibility, so sending coupons this way is a guaranteed way to drive results. Wallace’s Garden Party utilizes texting to send coupons, tips, and updates to their own first-party database of users. 15% of their revenue came from their text program in 2020.


5. App

Lowe’s – Apps can be expensive to design and implement, and for them to work, users need to download the app and actually use it. Research shows that 25% of apps downloaded are only accessed once after download. Ensuring that the app is user-friendly and offers something beneficial (like coupons) is a great place to start to ensure success.

“We’ve always got great deals. Check the weekly ad for your selected Lowe’s store right on your phone. View the flyer page by page or by department, it’s that easy.”

Lowe's home improvement app store preview snapshot

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