Why You Should Be Sending Direct Mail Coupons

Whether you’re keeping shoppers happy with your brand or stealing them away from the competition, coupons can play a big role in the success of your direct mail campaigns. But you may be worried that coupons could cheapen your business in the eyes of prospects and that offering discounts on too many items might erode your profits.

In reality, though, almost everyone uses coupons, and a smart coupon marketing strategy can still be profitable while driving new business through your doors. Let’s explore some more facts about who uses coupons and the business case for why you should include them in your direct mail.

Who Uses Coupons?

While you might think that only working class and poor people use coupons, the bottom line is that almost everyone uses them. In fact, studies show that 96% of Americans use coupons at least occasionally.1 Consumers love a great deal, and you can offer coupons and discounts on just about any product or service. Below are just a few groups who are often overlooked as being coupon users. But the statistics tell a different story.

Wealthy People

It might seem surprising, but wealthy people love saving money with coupons. In fact, households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more are twice as likely to use coupons than households earning less than $35,000 a year.2

Wealthy customers may be able to afford your most expensive products and services, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a good deal. The majority of them are cautious about spending money and rarely make frivolous, unnecessary purchases. Rather than viewing your business as cheap, they’ll appreciate your coupons and the opportunity to save money.

College-Educated People

Higher education is often associated with wealth, so you might assume that poorer people who didn’t go to college are more likely to use coupons than college-educated folks. However, studies show that those with a college education are 78% more likely to take advantage of coupons than those with high school diplomas or less.3 So if your mailing list is full of people who went to college or graduate school, don’t be afraid to send them some awesome direct mail coupons.

Every Generation

You may think that only older people from the Silent Generation (1925-1945) and Baby Boomers (1946-1964) use coupons. While a whopping 96% of Baby Boomers and 91% of Generation X’ers (1965-1979) used coupons in 2016, Millennials (1980-1994) love saving money too.4

More than 90% of Millennials used coupons to plan their shopping lists in 2017, and many Millennials surveyed said they used more coupons in 2017 than they did in 2016.5 So whether your prospects are young adults or grandparents, sending them appealing coupons with your direct mail is always a smart choice.

Studies also show that coupons are especially popular among all generations of restaurant-goers. For example, 44% of Millennials prefer to receive restaurant information and offers by mail, as opposed to 40% by mobile. And 55% of Gen X’ers said they prefer receiving mail coupons, while only 27% prefer TV advertising. Plus, 61% of Baby Boomers prefer receiving mail coupons, while only 27% prefer newspaper advertising. On the whole, 55% of consumers prefer receiving restaurant information by mail compared to every other marketing channel.8

Why You Need to Include Coupons with Your Direct Mail Pieces

We know that everyone likes coupons, but why should you include them in your direct mail?

For starters, coupons give you the ability to track response rates by counting the number of redemptions. You can also use coupons as a way to tie sales back to your direct mail campaign, giving you the ability to calculate a more accurate ROI. Here are a few more business reasons to send your prospects direct mail coupons.

Coupons Encourage New and Repeat Business

Studies show that coupons are directly responsible for keeping customers loyal to your brand.3 While consumers may love you today, a valuable coupon from your competitor could steal them away tomorrow. One of the best – and easiest – ways to keep customers in your store is by offering coupons that are more valuable than anyone else’s.

Coupons Influence Where Prospects Shop

89% of people say price is a top factor that influences their purchasing decisions.4 Including appealing coupons with your direct mail also helps attract shoppers looking for a bargain. In fact, 84% of consumers say coupons directly impact their store selection.6 And they might even travel outside their neighborhood or town to redeem a really valuable coupon.

Plus, 57% of shoppers make purchases at businesses they haven’t been to before because they were able to use a coupon.7 When you boil it down, an effective coupon strategy can easily be the difference between people shopping at your business or choosing your competitor.

Coupons Impact What People Purchase

Along with bringing new prospects into your business, coupons can play a role in influencing what they purchase. As a matter of fact, 86% of customers claim that coupons often prompt them to try new products and services.6 And when they come in to take advantage of your coupon, they might even buy a full-priced item along with the discounted one.


It’s important not to make assumptions about your prospects, especially when it comes to discounts and coupons. Regardless of their age, education level, or economic status, everyone loves getting a great deal. Coupons help you attract new customers and keep existing ones, making them a key part of any successful direct mail campaign. If you’d like to start incorporating coupon marketing into your direct mail strategy, check out our guide on how to create compelling coupons that will get your audience to act.


  1. Coupon Statistics: 23 Jaw-Dropping Facts and Trends
  2. Well-Off, Educated, and Tech Savvy: The New Couponer
  3. Who Uses Coupons?
  4. Coupon Statistics: The Ultimate Collection
  5. Millennials Use Coupons More Than Their Parents
  6. Coupon Industry Trends
  7. What Science Says About Discounts, Promotions, and Free Offers
  8. Tempting the Dynamic Restaurant Customer eBook