Distributing Coupon-Booklets with Local Offers?

12 replies
Hi guys,

Just stumbled upon an older thread here in the WF, but wanting to see what others think of the idea.

Here it is:

Make a well designed booklet, giving it a 'name' and perhaps mailing it out once per month.

You would have it distributed only within a specific local area/town.

You would get 1 business per industry per town to submit their ad for $300 or so per mailing. You then get the booklets into the mailboxes of around 5000 households (town has population of 20K for example).

What are your thoughts? Has anyone done it not too long ago? Does it work? Ideas?
#couponbooklets #distributing #local #offers
  • Profile picture of the author Taloucci
    Here is the issues you might face:

    1. To sell advertising spots on it, you need to show a copy of it first to the potential client.
    2. Printing 5,000 copies will cost you at least $2,000
    3. To mail it to 5,000 places, that is $2,500 + cost
    4. You need the addresses, How are you going to get them? buy them? or have the Post office send your Booklet for a minimum of $10,000?
    5. Design of the Booklet $800 minimum

    Last but not least you need at least 35 clients to pay in advance to maybe breakeven; That is a lot of work, I'm sure there is better way to make money than that.

    Ohhh, and did I mention that Print is dead? and business owners are now noticing it
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    • Profile picture of the author Mercedes1254
      I am amazed at how many ill-informed people think that print is "dead". Even among an MSNBC poll of tablet users, more than 68% said they preferred a "real" book or magazine. They all liked their toys, but it won't replace the feel and experience of real books or magazines.

      The "print" that IS dying are two former staples of the print communications industry: newspapers and telephone books. Of those, local papers that have adapted to the changes and focus on local issues are gaining market share against their traditional big brothers and profiting. As for the telephone book, the Yellow Pages are still the number ONE method for small business to advertise. The major change there has been to go with smaller display ads while combining web based products the major YP publishers offer, thus covering all bases and maintaining the same costs. Facts, not hearsay.

      I started a new "print" full color regional entertainment magazine almost two years ago (Aug 2010) and our revenue increases every month. I started with nothing, literally (except the Indesign software on my home computer, an idea, and the belief that I could do it), sold ads into the concept to local businesses and netted $1.3M last year in one market! We're expanding into three markets this year. That's not death, it's life.

      Print is alive and well and will continue to be for many years to come.
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    Hi Taloucci,

    Thanks for your comments above. Print is "dying" yes, but not "dead". Actually, I'm not really one to work with "print media" at all, I focus more on Google Places and Organic SEO to generate leads - but I just wanted to correct that because it is blatantly wrong.

    Regarding your points:

    1. Very true. Would need to show them the real-deal so this would be a hard part to get around.

    2. Printing out 5,000 copies, from a brief search, I found a printing supplier that I have used in Aus previously costs me AU$1,100. Not so bad.

    3. To put a stamp on each one in Aus, would cost me $3000.00 approx. but it would not be my method of choice. I can definitely have this done by someone or a few people handing them out manually to a whole suburb for $1000 or less. People will love a cash job like this.

    4. You are right about needing addresses. But I think this applies more if I stick a stamp on each of them - and in this case, you'd definitely be right. However, I would opt not to use the post office to do the mailing and stick with the method posted above, so this problem wouldn't exist in such a case.

    5. Design of the booklet can easily be had for much less than $800.00 Although, even if it was $800.00, it is pretty much a one-time cost for the most part, and most of it could be re-used for future mailings or adjacent mailings in other suburbs/towns.

    This brings it down to about roughly 9 clients needed to cover costs.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mercedes1254
      Your idea has much merit. From an advertising perspective it's something that has always worked and always will. People like the ability to carry a small coupon/discount book in their car or purse and more importantly, businesses prefer the physical coupon because it's easy for them to track their results. Yes, one could print a coupon out, many do. That does work, but industry statistics clearly show consumers prefer coupon books. Go for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author HappyGayleen
    Why not make it on online coupon book. You could have a code for each ad - or they could be printed out and brought in. Just a thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    Hi there Happy,

    Your thought is good, and is much like another idea I had - more of a directory type sort of, but obviously different because it is an online coupon type of book. However, I think the print media would get a better response because it is right there, in their face.

    If we gave them something in their face, then only some would read it - and then those who read it, only a percentage would log on to the site?

    But actually... it's not such a bad idea... I think it would require experimentation first to see what type of traffic it will get from sending out like a post-card sized adverting the local coupon website... if traffic stats were decent, I think businesses would buy into advertising it. Bit of an expensive 'trial' but it could definitely work.
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    • Profile picture of the author T.R. McCarroll
      Do remember many years ago someone produced a booklet of companies
      that deal with the typical things that are done around the home.

      Lawn Care
      Maid Service

      listed one per industry ,, but in a handy booklet type that someone
      could keep in their desk or kitchen drawer when needing a service.

      Update to today .. might be add the email and website or even
      a coupon ... now this is designed for an older crowd that is not
      especially computer savvy and still uses the YP

      All the best in your venture.


      You might ask the Don aka Midasman for any suggestions as well
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      • Profile picture of the author willz605
        Easily done much less than what you projected...

        Try this.....

        1. Get 30 businesses to be in the book....$99 per issue....simple graphics nothing too fancy....simple tear off coupon
        2. Print 1000
        3. Go to discount warehouses like Sams Club or BJ's....hand them out to people exiting the store.

        The savings have to be awesome!

        Here are examples......

        Pigs Butcher Shop.......Buy $20 worth of chops/steaks/meatballs for $10.
        TGI Fridays........1/2 off lunch on Fridays
        Deli Corner.............American Cheese $.99 cents per pound

        Have a look around at how many companies still use direct mail....it is hardly dead.
        Look at Valpak, coupon clipper and all the direct mail pieces that show up routinely in your mailbox....why do you think companies use it time in and time out.........
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  • Profile picture of the author jacquic
    I was talking about this with a local printer who said he'd be happy to do a mock-up for me to show businesses, so I'm guessing your printer could do that too. These are for ones that look like chequebooks, including a tear off portion, on the paper colour of choice. He also has a guy who delivers local leaflets direct to houses (no stamps) who would deliver these coupon books at a really reasonable cost.

    Certainly worth a try - hard work to start with but, if it succeeds, easier for subsequent signups/runs.
    See our great value publications - business, SEO, etc. Being added to weekly.
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  • Profile picture of the author MartinBuckley
    There is still money to be made with producing and distributing coupon books, but you need to keep things simple and low cost, so mailing the coupon books out to homeowners is way to costly.

    I suggest just distributing the coupon books in a busy plaza within a 5 mile radius of all the advertisers in your coupon book.

    Also keep you coupon design the same for all advertisers with just simple black and white text the businesses logo, business name, address, phone numbers and the discount offer.

    Niow, with the coupon book cover design use full color as the cover is the first thing customers see and if your cover looks good and professional it will help to make you aton more sales.

    You can go to a local printer and they should be able to help you with design, etc. and show you some different sample coupon books and then once you get all the details worked out, they can give you a price on what it would cost to get 1,000-5,000 coupon books printed.

    Then once you have the cost of how much it would cost to get the coupon books printed you have to add on top of that what you want to earn for yourself and then devide that amount between x amount of advertisers to come up with you selling price per coupon.

    Now, you just go out and sell your coupon spots and once you have all your spots sold, you create the coupon for each advertiser and then go back to your printer and get the coupon books printed.

    This is how to make money with a coupon book in a nutshell.

    I hope this helps,

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  • Profile picture of the author jhaw22
    Just throwing in my 2 cents here, a couple of weeks ago I received a coupon book similar to what you are describing. I noticed that most of the coupons/ads were for homeowners and there were around 20 or so ads. It was pretty well put together and was printed on a foldable book with a hook to hang on doors. The best part about it was that whoever distributed them used people that were dropping off phone books. I don't know how it is where everyone else lives but I get around 5 different phone books delivered to my home every year in a single family home neighborhood...apartment buildings might be different for the frequency.

    Anyway I thought it was a pretty good idea for a low cost distribution method. I had some friends when I was younger that delivered phone books in residential areas and they were not paid that great so maybe you could find someone that delivers phone books and hit them up to deliver your coupon booklets for a few extra bucks. They already hit every home anyway so they might as well drop off you booklet also.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    I was dead set on trying this last year and I abandoned it in favor of placing advertisers on a postcard instead. The reason I didn't do it was because:

    1.) small biz owners will have a very difficult time paying you $300 for this.
    2.) the printing cost is high and you need tons of advertisers to make it work.
    3.) I didn't like the thought of selling 30-50 spots in a month or two.
    4.) unlikely to generate high response due to a much reduced open rate than postcards.
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