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How to Harness the Coupon Craze in a Digital Space

How to Harness the Coupon Craze in a Digital Space iMedia Editors

By Josh Perlstein

For generations, coupons have helped families save money on the products they need. Millennials are continuing the coupon tradition — just in a more tech-savvy way.

Bloomberg reports that almost 9 out of 10 Millennials are coupon users. But instead of clipping and filing coupons like their parents and grandparents, Millennials turn to websites like RetailMeNot, apps like SavingStar, or cash-back programs. In fact, more than 120 million people used mobile coupons in 2016.

Millennial moms are particularly savvy when it comes to digital savings: upwards of 40 percent of young moms conduct 50 percent or more of their shopping online, according to a BabyCenter and Interactive Advertising Bureau poll. And even when they’re planning to shop in a store, 81 percent use their smartphones to research products.

Marketing executives need to take note of these trends. Each demographic uses myriad media platforms for differing reasons. Creating an omnichannel marketing plan helps you target your desired demographics effectively.

Baby Products Bank on Targeting Moms

To better reach digitally savvy Millennial moms seeking deals, baby product brands need to create digital strategies on both mobile and desktop. Pampers, for one, has a successful CRM program that rewards consumers with coupons and discounts.

Diapers are expensive, so this has been a big hit with moms. Customers can sign up for Pampers’ email program (or simply visit its website) to receive parenting articles, product information, coupons, and discounts. The educational content, along with the coupons, helps build relationships and drive sales for Pampers.

Consumers want product information and educational content provided in a variety of ways as they build relationships with specific brands. Surveys show that 44 percent of shoppers find cash-back programs the incentive most likely to encourage purchase. When you give customers what they want, they’re more open to receiving other things from you, too.

How to Cater Digital Deals

Marketing executives should create effective and seamless digital plans — via mobile and desktop — to cater to their brands’ targeted demographics. These three methods will help you cater your digital deals:


Americans spend about six hours a day (or more than 30 hours a week) using their email. People check email daily while doing all kinds of activities, such as watching TV or while on vacation. Seventy percent say they open emails from brands and companies because they’re looking for coupons, and email drives 82 percent of digital retail customer retention.

Travel brands such as Jetsetter target exclusive travel discounts on the basis of location preferences and past travel. This provides customers with valuable information, which keeps them loyal to the travel site.

Mobile Apps

Apps such as Ibotta, SavingStar, Snipp, and Checkout 51 offer rebates to deal-seeking consumers in a more Millennial-friendly way. Some of these apps let shoppers combine offers, set notifications, join loyalty programs, and receive rebates. 

Millennials are particularly drawn to these apps. More than 40 percent of Millennials report using mobile apps to grocery shop, and another 40 percent use apps to search for coupons.

Social Media

Distributing coupons via promoted social media posts works well on mobile and desktop. These microtargeted coupons often perform better than most paid social media ads.

Customers spend about two hours a week searching for deals online. Social media and digital campaigns can produce the best results for marketing executives. They are easy to track and determine reach and profitability, resulting in less marketing spend but more focus.

Shareability is another reason social media should be used to target deals. About 40 percent of customers report having shared email offers with friends, and nearly 30 percent will share deals via social media.

Consumers have always been price-conscious, and coupons are nothing new. What is new is how brands provide coupons and offers to customers. Brands are striving to attract Millennials and their buying power. To do that, they need to reach Millennials where they are, which is on both desktop and mobile.

Josh Perlstein has more than 20 years of experience in the digital marketing space and is the CEO of Response Media. Response Media is a digital and direct CRM agency that combines customer acquisition and lead generation with intelligent and relevant email marketing. Its proven approach integrates data-driven strategy, performance-based media, marketing automation, and behavioral email marketing to deliver tangible results for its clients in customer growth, loyalty, and ROI. Josh has amassed diverse experience in digital media and relationship marketing for some of the world’s largest advertisers and most successful brands, pioneering best-of-class consumer acquisition, brand partnerships, and relationship marketing platforms for the likes of Procter & Gamble, Pampers, Enfamil, Anheuser-Busch, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, IBM, Disney, and Capital One.

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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Commenter: Sarah Israel

2017, June 02

Coupons and promo codes are especially powerful when paired with the right ad unit. Facebook Offers, for example, serves unique codes to targeted audiences and even sends notifications to those who have saved the offer but haven’t yet acted on it. When you add in a good offer and engaging creative, it’s great for re-engaging users and new customer acquisition.