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Manufacturers design their coupon campaigns to entice consumers in different regions with different shopping habits to purchase their product. A joy of living in the Twin Cities is that, frankly, we have two cities. That also means we have two newspapers, two Sunday editions and two different sets of coupons. Advertisers select where they want to spend their precious advertising dollars, and they usually opt for the paper with the larger circulation.
As a consumer that means the larger of the two Sunday editions will likely contain more and higher-value coupons than its lesser-read counterpart. Coupon-loving folks often pick up extra copies of the Sunday paper. Many of us have learned though, that newsstand papers may not contain all the coupon inserts that come in the home-delivered version. Unfortunately, you cannot assume that it was a mistake. Advertisers buy space within XXX number of copies of the newspaper. Their first priority is the home delivered paper, which means you are sure to get the most coupons and advertisements when you have the Sunday paper delivered to your door.
After home-delivered papers receive their inserts, the advertiser might have budget left for YYY number of copies to be included in newsstand copies, but YYY number of copies may not be enough for every newsstand issue. Complicating this further is the reality that newsstand papers are not delivered to their locations in a consistent, predictable pattern.
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That means papers at gas stations next to each other might have different inserts one week and the same set the following week. Most surprising to me, is the reality that an advertiser or manufacturer may actually want different folks within the same geography to receive different coupons. Truly, it is a type of market research, where the advertiser wants to know which version generates more desirable results. In conclusion, it is amazing to realize that the advertising happening around us is not nearly as haphazard as it seems.
Companies are intentional to reach us with their well-crafted messages and provide us the coupons they think we need to purchase their products. They shared tricks of the trade with me that they have learned through their years of experience. That's interesting. In Indianapolis, with only one major paper, I haven't noticed any differences in coupons in my area. I wasn't even aware other cities were experiences differences within a city. Nice to know. Thanks for this post! I had thought I was really unobservant that I couldn't find some of the coupons you have mentioned in your lists, even though I receive the Sunday Star Tribune via home delivery.
I guess there have been a few coupons my zip code doesn't get. The one example I can think of right off the top of my head is the Marcal paper product coupons. I have yet to ever see one of those in my South Minneapolis-delivered Star Trib. Thank you for the excellent and in-depth explanation! I have been buying the Saturday "early" Sunday paper and sometimes get two inserts in one paper and only one in another paper purchased at the same gas station at the same time.
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I am glad to know that it's possible I didn't miss one and throw it away although that is always a possibility too — LOL. Thank you Carrie, I found that very insightful, We live in Brainerd but are originally from the cities. I like reading the Pioneer Press. The local area stores won't accept the coupons because of the different values. The advertisement are totally different as well. I've bought a paper in the cities on our way home and have taken the coupons to the stores and they don't accept them. Very interesting! I had no idea that they sometimes have an A and B version, but I can see the reasoning behind it.
I sometimes get coupon inserts from my mom she lives in western WI that have really great coupons that we don't get here, so that's nice. Yes PocketYourDollars — I have noticed this for a long time. We usually compare and if mine are better we buy more papers in my area if finacially feasible or their area. Makes organizing a pain since I usually get both kinds from friends and neighbors. Thanks for the reasons, I had been meaning to do a post — I will link you!! Thanks again.
Kristen, I was missing the marcal napkin coupon too til I noticed that it says Small Steps on it. Most surprising about this article: the lack of attribution for the information. I'm not questioning the validity of the information, but I have no idea what the sourcing is. Did it come from a spokesperson at the Star Tribune?
A spokesperson from Red Plum. Old Man Johnson down the street, who use to deliver the paper for 40 years? An internet site such as A Full Cup? This website may not be a news organization, but some idea about where the information was obtained and I'm guessing more than one source would be helpful. While no hard and fast sources have been cited in this posting by Carrie, there is certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence to support what she has written.
My mother lives two miles away in what could be called a "geographically undesirable" zip code in St. Paul and she gets many fewer coupons than I do. I subscribe to the PP, but often pick up the Strib and can vouch that the Strib has more coupons and sometimes have a higher value. Plenty of anecdotal evidence, but no evidence that anecdotes are the source of this information.
All the anecdotal evidence in your world doesn't change the fact that the sourcing for this article is absent. Funny you mention sources as I had a statement in my final draft that talked about my sources, but I took it out. Guess I should have left it in, huh? The information you read came from two sources that asked for anonymity. All that to say, no this isn't anecdote, but "tricks of the trade" so to speak that folks who work with newspapers and coupons know. I would also include another reason: that sometimes the insertion machines screw up and inserts multiple flyers or none at all in a particular paper.
Companies try to prevent this, but it happens. Thanks for the great info. Although we are not considered twin cities, we are about 30 miles apart. Akron is a smaller market though, and we often miss out on some great coupons because of it. I end up buying both papers.
We also have smaller markets here too that get even less. Canton is 30 miles south of Akron, and I would imagine their coupons differ from both Cleveland and Akron, even though the entire area is considered a "region" NE Ohio. It is very interesting how they figure out where to put their dollars. I notice that Akron never gets Garnier coupons but Cleveland does for example, and we missed out on the recent Kelloggs coupons as well both Cleveland and Akron.
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So go figure. I am surprised that the sourcing is an issue for anyone, because it seems like incredibly elementary information to me. Then again, I worked for a coupon co for years…it starts with a "C" and ends with an "atalina. PocketYourDollars is right though- everything is targeted extremely carefully.
CPG companies aren't stupid- they put their dollars where they will make the most impact. Surprised somebody would like to know where the source of information comes from? I choose not to blindly accept everything I read as fact. And perhaps it's an issue because I'd like to read more on the topic, and if one of the sources was another website rather than anonymous, I'd go read more about it. I am surprised somebody wanting to obtain more information is a surprise for anyone, no matter how elementary the information seems to a coupon company employee.
I was with you on the whole, "I wanna know where the information comes from" until you started getting a little bit of a snarky tone about the whole thing.
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This is a great site and until now, the posts I've read have all been very friendly and helpful. I hope that it will be kept that way! Just thought I would put a reminder out there that the use of this site is free. We don't have to all agree with everything or accept everything PocketYourDollars says, but at the very least, be respectful. PocketYourDollars is trying to help us, and has helped my family tremendously. If you don't like something that is posted, then you could disregard it or at the very least present your question in a respectful manner.
There is also a link provided which can be used to contact PocketYourDollars directly. Early or Sunday The rack was even gone. Coon Rapids had no explanation. Andover stated that they would no longer be selling papers period. Has anyone else ran into this at the Dollar Store?
Yes, there were comments on another thread somewhere last week where a lot of people mentioned their dollar stores are no longer carrying the Sunday newspaper. I receive same coupons in both typically but some are arranged differently perhaps one coupon will be page 1 in one issue and then page 10 in the other. After subscribing to both papers for 6 months I have not noticed a coupon in one but not the other unles they miss my coupons. About a year ago, our newspaper Dayton Daily News started delivering an ad packet to our house on Saturday or Monday.
We don't subscribe. It contains many of the weekly ads that are in the Sunday paper, like Walgreens and Michaels, , and usually has the SmartSource coupons. I'm curious what I would be getting if I were a subscriber. I may bite the bullet and resubscribe-part of the reason we quit was that we read the articles online and didn't want the waste of the paper. Thank you for this information. I live just outside the Phila Inquirer circulation area.
I used to purchase copies of that paper at convenience stores until Red Plum stopped their inserts in the Inquirer. My local paper is based in a much smaller market and never did get all the scheduled coupons on any given weekend. I noticed just this past weekend, that I had to visit three locations in order to find a local paper that all the inserts my home-delivered one did. Thanks for such a great explanation. Now I have a couple of ideas why I don't get the same awesome coupons that 'everyone else' is always talking about!
You are so correct about this.
Advertsiers are very specific about how they want to spend their advertising dollars. I worked for a major retailer for years and depending on the sale event our store was allocated a certain number of newspaper inserts, which were inserted into specific zip codes and sometimes store radius where our best charge card customers resided.
Only our "Biggest Sale" ads went to all zip codes and newspaper subscribers. We did our home mailers the same way. Most of the mailers were sent to "new credit card customers" and customers that had spent the highest dollar amounts in recent months.
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There are very few "Home Mailers" sent to "All" addresses or even "All" credit card customers. This doesn't come as a surprise, given that, if marketing strategies covering every aspect of consumers' shopping habits, are going to be addressed.
My biggest grouse is having to do with a recent move from IL, nearby St. Personally, I like this feature, and I am sure that over time, it will become more and more available.