Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Coupon Classes Bring Added Value to Classifieds

Increase the demand for coupons in the classified section by getting in on the couponing bandwagon! As the economy stutters to recover, consumers are looking to save any way they can. Host a couponing class to teach them, and to increase the value of the coupons in your newspaper.

The current economic downturn that began in 2008 has brought together citizens from every walk of life in their attempts to become the savviest saver. Using tactics that began during the Great Depression, communities have recently watched as the 1940s have been revived with intense use of coupons. Couponing—now referred to as a verb—has become a national phenomenon, with the most exceptional cases even being featured on TLC's™ Extreme Couponing television show. With hard work, patience and a lot of planning, people are whittling down their weekly grocery bills from $400 to $4. Not only are these families saving thousands of dollars each year, but they’re also bringing more value to the coupons featured in the newspaper. This helps classifieds increase the merit of offering coupons in a coveted spot; and it gives them the opportunity to find new ways to monetize couponing.

One new way classifieds can bring in additional revenue due to the sudden popularity of couponing is by offering couponing classes. Several newspapers around the country are already hosting such events, but usually held through the marketing department or another outside source. While allowing an outside source to sponsor the event (perhaps allowing exclusivity for coupons used during the class) is a clever revenue generator for classified departments, handing the task off to marketing is not. It may not hurt to contact your marketing department and offer a to host with a joint effort, but don’t let them take all the credit, or the money!

Hosting a couponing class can help the consumer, the advertiser and the newspaper. During these tough times when families are clamoring for coupons to save money on anything they can, couponing classes can teach them methods to cut their grocery bill by 40 to 80 percent, depending on their dedication.

While allowing an outside source to sponsor the event (perhaps allowing exclusivity for coupons used during the class) is a clever revenue generator for classified departments, handing the task off to marketing is not.

For the advertisers, it’s a solution give their store an edge above the competition. As reported in The Register-Guard out of Eugene, Ore., Stephanie Gibson, General Manager of Lochmead Farms and Dari Mart (the retail sector of the business) in Junction City, Ore., said she’s beginning to step up her game when it comes to offering coupons in the newspaper. “We’re trying to get more people to come into stores — there are new people that have never been in our stores before,” she says, and a coupon in the local newspaper provides a perfect incentive. Gibson continues, “you’ve got to spoil your customers when you can.” What better way to spoil them than to offer discounts through coupons?

Newspapers are clearly an ideal source of coupons, no matter if they’re mobile, online or in print. Offering a couponing class directly from the classified department allows you to monetize different aspects of the class. Charge $10 to attend, or offer sponsorships to advertisers. You can bring in new revenue, and teach the community to use the products you put in the paper, inspiring increased readership and more value for the advertiser (meaning you can charge a little more than you used to; increase in demand and decrease in supply equal higher earnings for your paper).