Coupon Clippers are pretty self-explanatory—these people decided to pay for the newspaper at least in part because they value the coupons they can cut out to save money in stores. They are less likely to closely follow the news content.
Before subscribing, most of the Coupon Clippers used the paper’s coupons by buying individual copies, or borrowing print copies from friends or family. They are highly likely to be triggered to subscribe by a discount or promotion, in addition to their strong desire for coupons. Naturally, this group overwhelmingly prefers print.
Demographically, the Coupon Clippers are more likely than others to be women, identify as Republicans or independents, have less education, lower incomes, and live in suburban areas.
When asked why they subscribed, Coupon Clippers provide answers such as “I subscribe to get coupons and ads…not the news” or “coupons, but then I actually started reading it.”
Coupon Clippers include 12 percent of total respondents.
“[I] need to get Sunday coupons for grocery shopping somehow,” says one of the Coupon Clippers.
Publisher strategies for Coupon Clippers
This is one of the more distinctive groups of subscribers, given its deep and near-exclusive interest in coupons and ads. In some cases, the open-ended comments made clear their interest in coupons, and advertising outstrips their interest in news and the rest of the newspaper offerings.
However, Coupon Clippers are a relatively small group of survey respondents—about 1 in 10 subscribers—and it would be a mistake to think most print subscribers just want the coupons and are less interested in news.
To engage this group, publishers could use promotional tactics that convey the newspaper’s coupons as a primary value of their subscription.
Like for Print Fans, interacting with the physical paper—in this case, using the coupons inserted in the newspaper—is an experience and ritual that is challenging to replicate online. But, digital coupons, even though they are far less prevalent, should be tried and tested.
Some publishers have been successful in partnering with a vendor to hold coupon workshops in their communities. The workshops are free to attend, and while there, attendees are taught how to use coupons. At the end of the workshop, the vendor sells newspaper subscriptions to the attendees, with the coupons being the primary value. They take a commission from the sales.
Another way publishers are highlighting the value of the paper’s coupons is by marketing specific editions that have a lot of coupons. They will promote these online, through emails, and on the covers of retail copies for the newsstand.
Up close: Who are the Coupon Clippers?
Coupon Clippers overwhelmingly prefer print to digital (89 percent vs. 6 percent, with 4 percent having no preference).
Before subscribing, they interacted with the paper by accessing the coupons, buying individual copies of the paper, and using print copies from friends/family. They did all these things more often than other subscribers.
As for how they use their paper now, Coupon Clippers most often say they use the coupons and save print copies for later. They are less likely than other subscribers to visit the paper’s website.
Coupon Clippers enjoy a range of benefits from their subscription, the most popular being, again, the coupons. They are also more likely than other subscribers to care about access to giveaways or other benefits available only to subscribers.
Yet, Coupon Clippers are less likely than other subscribers to say they feel good about supporting the organization or that they enjoy getting news only available to paying subscribers.