Goes Coupon Crazy

Share this content:, an online health superstore, will launch a coupon-based promotion on June 26 to spur usage and draw clicks.

Existing customers and new members each will receive nearly 100 coupons with values ranging from 20 cents to $2 as part of its "Coupon Crazy" promotion, which runs through the end of July. Inc. will fulfill the back-end redemption with manufacturers, enabling customers to click on a coupon and have the discount and product added to their carts simultaneously. Coupons are limited to one per customer.

Clipping coupons is popular among the site's target audience of upscale women, ages 25 to 45.

"Lots of our customers tell us they clip coupons because they want the savings," said Tim Hogan, director of marketing at, San Francisco. However, he said, "they are frustrated as they [coupons] are hard to keep track of. Manufacturers are frustrated because redemption rates are down."

Hogan said the promotion's simplicity would encourage usage, as the site has had success with online coupons in the past.

"We use coupons routinely to promote the site," he said. "This is the first time we provided manufacturer-supported coupons on such a broad scale."

To reach some of the site's 1 million unique visitors per month as well as new prospects, the coupon offer will be sent by e-mail. The first mailing will be sent to 500,000 people. The site purchases its opt-in e-mail lists from companies such as and

"Buying lists has been very effective," Hogan said. "The most important variable [when it comes to buying lists] is that they've shopped online before. Not surprisingly, it's always important to have a strong offer."

Other mailings are likely to follow.

"Depending on response to these efforts, we'll expand the communications of the program," Hogan said.

To support its efforts, the site also is running banner ads on sites such as, and

An offline ad campaign will break later this summer with the tagline

"More Health. More Savings." It probably will feature television, radio, outdoor, direct mail and online components.

"I'm a believer that an integrated plan is necessary to build our company and brand over time," Hogan said.

Hogan said the company probably will abandon print advertising. "Print is a difficult medium for us because the lead times are so long. The business and our offers on the Web site change so frequently," he said. "It's also the hardest medium to provide a call to action, and it's difficult to measure. If we can't learn and measure, we're reluctant to continue with a program."

The site, which launched in August 1999, has outdoor ads in San Francisco and New York.
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