Coupons are still proving to be an extremely popular marketing tactic due to their ability to motivate purchase across different channels via various types of communications, what’s not always so clear is how to create a coupon campaign which helps boost sales.

This article will cover how popular coupons are across Europe and how you can carry out the perfect coupon promotion for maximum engagement.


The share of shoppers who usually check circulars and clip grocery coupons in Europe, by country:


Coupons can work hard for your brand, here’s what you need to know to see if they work for your brand and promotion.


Which coupon mechanics work best?

  • Any form of free product coupon, irrespective of where it’s being offered
  • Coupons inside neck collars are extremely visible and effective
  • In pack coupons
  • Promotional shelf wobblers
  • Instant redemption coupons that are designed to be scanned by the checkout clerk on the original purchase


Why are coupons such a popular mechanic?

  • Coupons are relatively low cost to deploy, requiring print and design costs only to be either incorporated into your packaging or attached/included within other material, such as newspapers, magazines, leaflets, receipts etc
  • Men are more likely than women to research a purchase, a new survey found[1], and this often translates into coupon usage. Nearly a quarter of men (23.8 percent) used coupons frequently and nearly half (44.7 percent) use them occasionally.
  • Coupons are understood and accessible to all audience types, from young children to mature adults.
  • This mechanism makes it easy to manage your budget by producing only the number of discount vouchers to fit your budget. Alternatively, coupon promotions can easily be covered by a risk management company who will insure you against over-redemption.


What you should keep an eye on if opting for a coupon promotion

  • It’s important that coupon numbers are proportionate to product numbers – if consumers cannot get hold of your product it will lead to negative brand reputation. If your product is new or specialist, and not available in large volumes, consider a more targeted distribution method such as a letterbox drop in key geographical areas.
  • If coupons are provided in an electronic format, high value coupons should not be issued in paper as these create opportunities for frauds to copy and print in multiples to then redeem.
  • If offering a free or half price product be aware that the cost of the product may differ, dependant, on which retailer the consumer claims through. To avoid excess liability, include a finite value of the coupon within the T&Cs on the coupon itself.
  • Don’t forget to include the expiry date – you don’t want to be redeeming coupons years after the offer was publicised
  • And always remember to test, measure an evaluate your campaign.



Case studies


Danone Activia 

In an attempt to engage an age 50+ audience, a 50% off coupon was attached to the front cover of the Dutch ‘Plus’ magazine. The coupon could be used by consumers against the purchase of any Danone Activia product in Jumbo stores nationwide.

The campaign enabled Danone Activia to top into the 50+ audiences, creating valuable sales uplift within the region.

Mando provided promotional consultation from the start of the design stages, mechanism development, and a fixed fee service to allow Danone Activia to secure their promotional budget.

Danone Danacol

Danone Danacol wanted to collect brand vital information about their target audience and acknowledged that they would need to offer a reward to incentivise customers to provide the information.

When customers purchased either 4 or 8 packs a Danacol, they could fill out an attached questionnaire. Once the questionnaire was completed and received by Danone, the customer would be sent a free product coupon as a thank you for their time.

The health yogurt brand was weary of the spiralling costs associated with offering free yogurt packs for each questionnaire. Mando provided promotional consultation, statistical analysis to predict response rates, and a fixed fee service to cover the face value of all coupon redemptions to eliminate all potential risk.