August 01, 2008 // Franchising.com // (LARGO, FL) -- Every month, 45 million households across North America open their mailboxes to find the familiar blue envelope from Valpak. Consumers have used those savings for 40 years to help them find valuable savings at both local and national businesses such as restaurants, dentists, dry cleaners, auto repair shops, hair and nail salons, car washes, maid services, and more -- a total of more than 20 billion offers each year.
Consumers are finding Valpak coupons an even greater source to turn to during these tighter economic times. Valpak reports an 8 percent increase over last year in the number of consumers using Valpak coupons, according to a recent research study by Directions in Research, a San Diego, CA-based independent market research firm which was commissioned to conduct telephone interviews for the study.
And businesses are relying on those consumers to bring paying customers through their doors.
"People know us as a place for savings," said Melissa Fisher, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Valpak, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America. "When the economy's good, people use Valpak because they want to spend. When the economy's tight, they use Valpak because they want to save," said Fisher.
And while you may think those coupons are just for tightwads, Penton Insight reports 86 percent of people "have used coupons and/or discount codes while shopping." That number is expected to rise as the current economic downturn prompts consumers to cut costs.
"Consumers are finding that using coupons is a great way to maintain their lifestyles," said Deanna Willsey, Director of Communications at Valpak.
"Consumers are looking for savings on everyday products services as well as larger-ticket items," said Willsey. "At Valpak, we have a proprietary method to target households by a variety of factors from demographics, to geography to specific spending patterns. It's all to help connect advertisers with consumers with the propensity to buy."
At the same time, business owners are capitalizing on that trend and using coupons to attract consumers into their businesses. Advertisers find that coupon offers entice consumers to come to them instead of other businesses or to come in more often. It is a way to tell the local neighborhood that they're there, and willing to start or continue a relationship with customers.
When John Naudain bought Sanders' Corner Restaurant in Maryland in spring 2008, he was interested in bringing in more business. His business is on a beautiful setting, with a large deck that overlooks a state reservoir. But he knew he needed to adjust the marketing strategy set out by the previous owner, and increase his advertising to get customers in year-round.
"To save your business, you have to generate new business and the way to do that is with advertising," said Naudain. By using Valpak's Direct Marketing Services, and offering a monthly coupon for 15 percent off the total check, Naudain was able to increase his sales and bring in $24,000 in July through the coupon he offered.
Naudain also upgraded the menu and in June he reported it was the best month in the restaurant's history and the results have been off the charts.
"What's great about Valpak is that I know those customers are coming in because of it. I can track all of it, including the return on investment, which at this point is huge," said Naudain. "We're a family restaurant, and families are hesitant to take a big group out to dinner. The 15 percent off gives families an extra incentive, and makes them feel better about dining out," said Naudain.
Headquartered in Largo, Florida, Valpak is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America. Valpak delivers savings to nearly 46 million households each month throughout the United States and Canada. In 2008, Valpak will distribute some 20 billion offers inserted in more than 521 million envelopes. In addition, Valpak.com®, an online site for local savings, has about 20 million offer views each month. Cox Target Mediais a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers, owned by Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest media conglomerates in the United States