On annual basis in-store coupons, mail coupons, and online coupon offerings are redeemed for over 3 billion dollars in consumer savings. That number may seem large, but it is nothing when you think about the 99% of coupons that are never redeemed. Because only 1% of coupons are ever redeemed it is important to note the value unredeemed coupons can have at driving sales.

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, coupons hold value even if they are never redeemed. This goes against conventional wisdom which held that unredeemed coupons hold little value to business owners. In the Harvard Business Review study, it was found that consumers who received coupons but did not redeem them still increased their purchases with the associated stores.

This study can be used as evidence that coupons work twofold. First, coupons encourage customers to purchase a product/service by offering some sort of discount or bargain. Second, coupons work like traditional advertising increasing consumer brand awareness even if they are not redeemed for their discount.

While neither of these revelations is groundbreaking to savvy marketers, the impact of the benefit associated with coupon offerings is very intriguing. People who received coupons but did not redeem them accounted for 60% of the increase in sales associated with the coupon offering. A consumer group that large is definitely one to take note of, and understanding how powerful a coupon can be whether it is redeemed or not is definitely something to take into consideration when developing a marketing campaign.

Whether you’re using an Outta the Box coupon idea to drive in-store sales or launching an online marketing campaign using a promotional code, be sure to consider all the ways a coupon campaign can grow sales.