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With all of the talk about social media and Marketing 2.0, it's easy to overlook less exciting marketing tools. Like coupons.
But make no mistake about it: coupons are in vogue as consumers look for every opportunity to save money. That means business is good for players in the online coupon industry.
Coupons.com is reporting that $57m worth of coupons were printed on its site in March. That amounts to a 192% year-over-year increase. According to Coupons.com CEO Steven R. Boal, "We see no slowdown in sight".
The bad economy has been good news for coupon purveyors like Coupons.com. According to comScore, coupon websites are the second most popular category online. Only job websites attract more visitors. All told, coupon websites attracted 28m unique visitors in February, a 41% year-over-year increase.
Coupons.com accounted for 6.6m of those unique visitors, putting it in an enviable position. Boal claims that Coupons.com has seen its business grow ~25% each month since the recession began. Coupons for basic necessities such as cereal and baby products are most popular with Coupons.com users.
Obviously coupons may not be as exciting as Twitter, Facebook and the like but couponing is a proven model that drives sales and that's why all sorts of businesses, including the major consumer goods firms everyone wants to do business with online, have employed it for decades. Unlike most marketing and sales techniques, coupons are actually sought out by consumers, meaning coupons do what many marketing and sales techniques cannot: cut through the clutter.
Interestingly, Coupons.com recently set up shop on Twitter. The result: less than 1,000 followers so far. With business booming and consumers seeking it out, Coupons.com probably falls into the category of 'doesn't need Twitter'.
All a reminder that basic business models and marketing tools may not be sexy, but they're not any less valuable because of it.
Photo credit: Leonard Low via Flickr.