RedPlum Survey Reveals Millennials Still Clip Newspaper Coupons

Marketers and media planners continually are challenged to engage and activate consumers across demographics. While digitally charged Millennials regularly receive promotions from tablets, PCs and smart phones, 51% turn most often to the newspaper for coupons and deals.

These and other insights about marketing to the 18-to-34 age group were revealed in the Sixth Annual RedPlum Purse String Survey. The study of 5,100 U.S. adults, including 1,173 Millennials, was conducted by RedPlum, the consumer-facing coupon brand of Valassis, a media delivery company.

Other sources of printed promotions sought most often by Millennials included standard mail (33%), in-store shelves and floor stands (25%); retail circulars (21%); and coupon books (20%).


Millennials’ unexpected demand for printed promotions “was the most surprising finding of this survey,” said Lisa Reynolds, VP of Consumer Engagement for Valassis, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “To successfully engage Millennials, marketers must be agile and leverage a strong media integration strategy which reaches this group across the multiple sources of channels they use ― which we have found includes a surprising degree of print ― to make their purchase decisions.”

Leading The Online Savings Trend

The RedPlum survey also found Millennials to be the largest users of digital deals. “They are leading the way, using more mobile coupons as well as smartphones to access savings and these trends will continue,” Reynolds said.

Over the past year, 27% of the 18-to-34 age segment used mobile coupons, the survey noted, compared to 17% of all groups.

Millennials used smartphones to a greater degree than the general population, for these behaviors: 

  • Accessing a coupon in an email (45% versus 24%);
  • Accessing a coupon code (41% versus 24%);
  • Comparing deals (36% versus 20%); and
  • Downloading a coupon to a loyalty card (32% versus 20%).

“Make no mistake: While Millennials embrace tried-and-true methods for savings, they also are savvy digital savers leading the trend online,” Reynolds reported. “Marketers need to understand how these consumers ― and all others ― link with each other, with brands, with influencers, with media platforms and their devices to engage and activate them wherever they plan, shop, buy and share.” 

Most (90%) of Millennials shared deals ― more than any other demographic group ― and preferred to share via these channels:

  • Word of mouth (71% versus 56%);
  • Text (30% versus 19%).
  • Social (43% versus 29%), including Facebook (33% versus 23%); and

“Millennials have the potential to be significant brand advocates because they are more likely to share their opinions with their peers, both offline and online,” stated Reynolds.

To effectively engage and activate 18-to-34-year-olds, Reynolds said, marketers must take note that the Millennial path to purchase varies greatly across channels. “Given this group’s desire to seek out savings from a variety of sources and multitude of influencers, retailers and CPGs must utilize an omnichannel approach that includes digital as well as print and in-store initiatives to reach this consumer and stay both visible and relevant.”

The most popular category for deals across all age groups was grocery, according to the survey, with 85% of Millennials seeking grocery coupons and deals, compared to 78% of the overall findings.

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