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Growth in digital coupons continues into 2011

After lagging in the new millennium, the use of traditional and digital coupons is blossoming again in the last two years.

Digital coupon growth is outpacing traditionals, according to Patrick Crisp, senior director of communications for digital coupon distributor Coupons.com – the Gap raising more than $11 million in a single day recently by partnering digital coupon site Groupon.

Target and King Soopers are among retailers at the vanguard of the resurgence of digital coupons, the latter, for example, offering “Easy King Soopers Coupons” such as:

  • $0.50 off Pepperidge Farm® Bakery Products
  • $.75 off 2 Yoplait Gogurt, Trix and Splitz
  • $1.50 off Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew / Starbucks

Consumers are flocking to digital coupons, which are easy to use while providing brand and cash-register value for issuers.

Coupons.com Inc.’s Digital Coupons Trends Report says digital coupon savings rose 41% from 2009 to 2010, compared with 7% among newspaper-generated coupons. A Knowledge Networks study, released at the April 2010 ACP Conference and provided to Direct Marketing News by Crisp, showed that 53% of those who redeemed digital coupons had not purchased a product in the prior twelve month versus 32% who redeemed traditional print coupons – while delivering superior demographics.

Brands increasingly will turn to 0203_TacoBell social media for growth, he said – particularly in Facebook and Twitter – fostering growth in “the ability to have a conversation with a consumer via a digital medium.”

This conversation can have public-relations value over and above the financial rewards. Taco Bell, for example, launched a digital coupon campaign on Facebook in February, hoping to help overcome a recent PR disaster surrounding a class-action lawsuit challenging the level of beef included in the meat used in Taco Bell products.. Tens of thousands of Facebook members have “liked” the Taco Bell fan page, receiving a coupon for a free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco.

“Anywhere there is a digital connection we believe there is going to be a conversation with digital coupons from brand marketers to consumers,” said Crisp.