Coupons: digital or print?

In Jeff Jarvis’s blog, BuzzMachine, he talks about newspaper coupons being next in line to come to an end. He said that some papers only stay in print solely to distribute coupons and circulars. But the influx of coupons and bargains being delivered digitally could put an end to free-standing inserts in print newspapers.

He outlines the benefits for advisers to use digital coupons and circulars even though their main problem is portability:

“The value of that redemption is greater for the advertiser because (a) it may cost them nothing — no need to use media as a middleman if I receive deals directly and (b) the advertiser will know a lot more about me; that data itself is terribly valuable and (c) this allows the advertiser to target with far greater relevance, which (d) is better for us customers.”

He said that in many cases, people are buying the print edition more for the coupons than the news. Once this happens, manufacturers will need to find new alternatives. Also, he says that once the advertising postal rates rise, advertisers will be further motivated to turn to the digital world.

His discussion makes me wonder if more papers will start to transfer their coupons and FSI to their Web sites. I know the Miami Herald has coupons, deals, inserts and print ads on their site, and I think it’s just a matter of time until others follow suit.

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