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    Text Message, E-mail Coupons Grow in Popularity

    Providence, R.I., is top city for text/e-mail coupon users, according to new research.

    NEW YORK -- Consumer and media research firm Scarborough Research released an analysis highlighting the ways households are obtaining coupons, and the study found text messages and/or e-mail are an emerging method for households.

    In fact, 8.6 million (8 percent) of U.S. households currently acquire coupons via text messages and/or e-mail. While not the leading medium for household coupon obtainment—the Sunday newspaper holds this distinction, and other means such as in-store circulars and regular mail still surpass it—couponing via text messages and/or e-mail is gaining a following among American consumers, the report stated.

    "We began measuring text/e-mail coupon usage in our most recent Scarborough study, and I am not surprised to see that households are taking advantage of this new couponing medium," said Gary Meo, senior vice president of digital media and print services for Scarborough Research. "Coupons received via text messaging are typically sent only to consumers who have opted-in to receive them. This increases the relevancy of the offer and the potential for the consumer to act on that offer. An additional benefit is the mobility of cell phones and other personal communications devices, which allow consumers to access the coupon at the point of purchase."

    Those consumers who obtain coupons via text messages and/or e-mail tend to be young, affluent, educated and female. Scarborough data shows that they are 14 percent more likely than the average adult to be ages 18-24; 51 percent more likely to be a college graduate or have an advanced degree; and 6 percent more likely to be female.

    The top local market for text message and/or e-mail coupon users is Providence, R.I.—12 percent of households in Providence typically obtain coupons via text message or e-mail. Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Diego, Austin and Chicago, where 11 percent of households get coupons via this medium, are also among the leading markets for this activity.

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