By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
As I’m still in hospital battling Crohn’s Disease, I’ve been taking some time off from terrorising the supermarket till staff with my usual stacks of coupons… but what I have been doing is collecting them up for when I’m back on my feet. Nothing gets between the Coupon Kid and his coupons!
As you may already know, one of my top tips for getting your hands on high-value supermarket coupons is to contact manufacturers and brands directly (if you’ve less time, see 100+ Supermarket Coupons you can print in an instant). Whether it’s to praise or complain, getting in touch with a company does tend to be how I reap the biggest rewards when it comes to couponing. So I decided to conduct a little experiment.
I wanted to find out, if I contacted as many food and drink brands as I could in just one evening, gushing about how much I love their products, how much (if anything) would I receive back in coupons and freebies. So that’s what I did. I spent a quiet Sunday evening carefully crafting and firing off emails to different brands using the ‘contact us’ page on each of their websites – in the hope of a hitting the coupon jackpot.
How I did it…
To make it a fair test, I didn’t use my real name (there’s probably a poster of my face in every marketing department with a red ‘X’ through it). I used my father’s address, which hasn’t been used for contacting companies before, and sent the same email to every company – with only slight tweaks to make each one unique.
And to hopefully increase my chances, I added a bit of flair to each email by writing a poem that I’d copy and paste each time but with a few mentions of the individual brand name for a more personal touch.
Cheesy? Yes. Did it work? Better than even I imagined.
Here’s the template email I used:
“You have one seriously happy customer here! I’ve been [eating/drinking] [product name] for years now, and I just love it. Thank you for all the work you have put in to making my stomach very happy. I thought I’d write a little poem to show my appreciation:
[Company name], you are a dream,
No other [drink/snack] is so supreme,
Bringing me joy and bursting with flavour,
[Company name], you are my saviour!
I Hope I’ve put a smile on your face! I must say, I haven’t tried your [other product name] yet. I need to add that to my shopping list!”
And here’s how I got on…
In just one evening, I managed to contact 45 companies. A total of 38 of them replied, with 20 of them saying they are sending coupons or freebies my way. In total it added up to more than £75-worth of coupons and freebies. The image below only shows half the stuff I’ve received in the post, which breaks down into £50 in coupons and £25-worth of free and samples and full-size products.
All from sending a few emails!
The best coupons I was sent came from Purina cat food (£10-worth of coupons), Vita Coco (£10-worth of free products), Innocent Drinks (£6-worth of coupons) and Patak’s (£5-worth of coupons).
It took me around 4 hours in total to write the email draft and send to all 45 brands. I make that an hourly income of £18.75 – far more than most of us earn at work!
Other companies that replied to me with coupons and freebies include Hipp Organic (baby food), Harrington’s (pet food), Young’s (seafood), Rustlers (microwave burgers), Belvoir and Sunny D (drinks).
My tips for success…
If you want to give this a try, here are a few ways I reckon you can boost your chances:
– Finish off each email with a line to prompt them to send you something. For example, say something like “I really want to try your new [product name] that has just been released” and they may send you a free one or a coupon to buy it.
– I also suggest targeting smaller brands. Biggies such as Cadbury, Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s are likely to receive 1,000s of emails every day, so they may be less likely to send replies. When I’ve gone for smaller (but still established) brands, this tends to be where I’ve had more success. Especially if you can win their hearts with something impressive like a poem or doodle.
– A word of warning though – be very careful copying and pasting the same email to each company, as it can be easily go wrong. Certainly don’t do what I did and send a poem about ‘how much I love to eat your products’ to a cat food brand (the shame!)
I hope this will inspire a few of you to try it. Just think how much these companies will enjoy having their inbox overflowing with your love letters.
Have you ever contacted a brand and got a freebie in return? I’d love to know in the comments below on Twitter.