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Coupons, from Printable Coupons to Free Samples

What are Coupons?

Coupons are a marketing tool, a very efficient and a powerful one. A coupon is a document or a ticket that is given to customers by several means. This document or ticket can be exchanged for a rebate, a discount or to acquire a certain offer depending on the entity that issues this coupon.

These coupons are always issued by the retailers who are selling the goods or by the manufacturer himself. If the manufacture issued the coupon, it usually comes in the form of packaged goods for the customers as for the retailer, he utilizes coupons as a part of different sales promotions to attract customers. These Coupons can be distributed in malls, newspaper, over the web and in magazines. It can also be distributed directly by the retailer or through mobile devices.

What is the Origin of Coupons?

The soft drink Company, Coca-Cola was founded in Atlanta in 1887 and it had Asa Candler as a partner. Asa Candler succeeded in transforming the drink of Coca-Cola from an unknown tonic to a very profitable multi million business through innovative techniques for advertising and promotions. One of the most innovative techniques was to have the sales representatives and the employees of Coca-Cola distribute coupons for Coca-Cola. These coupons were also mailed to customers and were published in different magazines.
According to numbers, from 1894 and 1913, at least one in every nine Americans was given a free Coca Cola which makes a total of 8.5 million drinks for free. In 1895, Asa Candler was proud to state to the shareholders that the company’s drink succeeded in being served in every single state in the country.
In 1909, the widespread use of coupons started as the C.W Post came out with an idea in order to promote the sales of products such as breakfast cereals. According to studies, in 2011, $4.6 billion dollars were saved by customers in the United States by using coupons when they are purchasing packaged goods.

Determining the Price Sensitivity

Apart from being used as a pure promotional tool or advertising tool, it can be used in order to research and know the price sensitivity for different groups of customers. This is done through sending coupons that have different values to different customers. The customers who will spend the effort to collect these coupons and use them will be the customers who are more sensitive to the price than others. So the posted price will stay the same or increased while maintaining the price through coupons for the other sensitive groups of customers who will not buy the product if it costs a certain amount.

What are the different types of Coupons?

Like any other promotional tool, this tool comes in various forms depending on the targeted audience and the capability of the manufacturer. This includes printable coupons, internet coupons, mobile coupons and free samples coupons among other types of coupons.

– Free Samples:

This one resembles the coupons we mentioned above, the Coca-Cola coupons. They are Coupons that are distributed through different methods. The owners of these coupons can claim a free product or a free sample of a certain product. If this promotional coupon is issued by the manufacturer, then the customer can exchange it anywhere but if it is issued by a certain retailer, then he will have to exchange it at that specific retailer.

– Printable Coupons:

These printed coupons can be clipped or cut from newspapers or magazines. This is without as doubt one of the most commonly used ways to acquire coupons. Of course, retailers or manufactures use a certain bar code or a serial number to prevent any kind of fraud.

– Internet Coupons:

The internet coupons can also be referred to as promotional codes, portable codes, reward codes and shopping codes. These coupons are basically a code or a number that customers will use when they are making a purchase online. During the purchase process, they will be asked if they have a promotional code, if they enter the correct one, they will claim the discount or the offer that is attached to this promotional code. Some of them offer a discount percentage others offer free shipping while others offer free products with the main product.

– Mobile Coupons:

This kind of coupons is a promotion that is sent to customers through their mobile devices. It can be used in online retailers or land based retailer, it depends on the offer and the entity that issued the coupon.

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