Online coupons can be redeemed locally
Local businesses are getting in on the online coupon trend.
More than 49 million people used online coupons in 2010, according to Simmons Research. While national sites such as Groupon and Living Social are widely known for their daily coupons, they focus on cities and rarely offer a deal Mesa County residents can use at a local business.
But there are places to find a local deal. FindItLocalNow.com, run by Rick Nisley of Grand Junction, allows Grand Valley businesses to post coupons on the site if they pay a premium for an expanded listing in the site’s business directory. KKCO began offering Double Your Dollars, a program that offers weekly online coupons for 50 percent off, three or four years ago.
The Daily Sentinel Deals program launched its first online coupon on April 22. The coupons, which appear online each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, offer at least 50 percent off the price of an item, service or bill when customers pay the reduced price of the item, service or bill through DailySentinelDeals.upickem.net. The money is then split between the Sentinel and the business supplying the coupon.
The newspaper decided to offer the deals to expand existing advertising services, according to Lori Henricksen, The Daily Sentinel’s display and online advertising manager.
“It goes hand in hand with the digital plans newspapers have,” she said. “The print product is our core, but (subscribers) also expect us to grow our digital products and apps.”
KKCO General Sales Manager Stacey Smith-Bybee said the most popular offerings are usually those that can be used at local restaurants.
Naggy McGee’s, 359 Colorado Ave., has utilized KKCO and the Sentinel’s coupon programs and experienced success with both, according to Manager Jason James. James said regulars and new customers have used the coupons.
“It certainly is nice the people who wouldn’t necessarily try us out have the incentive to come in,” James said.
Greg Tatman, owner of Kwik Lock, placed a coupon — it was for $5 off the first service call — on directory site MerchantCircle.com a couple years ago to connect with more people.
He said online coupons have generated more response than door hangers, mailers or coupons in the phone book.
“It’s just so versatile and easy to use,” he said of Internet coupons. “I’ve only gotten one or two coupons out of the phone book, but I’ve gotten three to five online coupons this year alone.”
Grand Junction State Farm Agent Ken Richards said he placed an online coupon on his website and on MerchantCircle.com to reach Internet-savvy customers. Richards offers two free movie tickets to anyone who calls or stops into the office for a quote.
“We’re pretty darn competitive, so more often than not we end up having them join the State Farm family” after using the coupon, he said.
Not every offer works. Richards said he originally tried to offer Visa gift cards, but they didn’t generate as much interest as the movie tickets.