Newspaper brand iNews has introduced a voucher promotion for retailers in a bid to find new readers and regain lapsed or occasional customers.

Dubbed ‘I’m On Your Side’, the scheme helps retailers promote the i to their customers by offering a money-off incentive.

Retailers involved in the scheme receive a pack containing four weeks of 50%-off vouchers for the Monday-to-Friday editions, as well as a free copy of the iWeekend on Saturdays for every customer signed up.

Key account manager at iNews Paul Bacon told betterRetailing the promotion is helping retailers boost sales and target new customers.

“Early sales have been encouraging, showing good levels of engagement from retailers, who have been promoting the offer along with six weeks free delivery via DeliverMyNewspaper,” he said.

“Retailers are asked to get customers to take out a subscription at the end of the promotion period, and will receive £10 for every new subscriber.”

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Trudy Davies, of Woosnam & Davies News in Llanidloes, Wales, is involved in the scheme and said it had resulted in a boost in sales of the i.

“It has been brilliant, as it has encouraged people who may only get a paper once a week to have one every day,” she told betterRetailing.

“It also means they are coming in the shop every day and they see it going the extra mile for them. It helps you involve and interact with the customers.

“It is a feel-good factor, and I hope it lasts after the promotion is finished.”

Davies said the promotion had also led to customers buying other products in her store.

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“When a customer comes into the shop every day, it is habit-forming, and they will then start to shop with us more because they are here to pick up their newspaper – it has been a welcome bonus on top,” she explained.

Bacon added that the current promotion is being run until the end of November, but that iNews will be running it again in March next year.

He also encouraged retailers interested in getting involved to get in touch: “It is a great opportunity for proactive retailers to use their customer knowledge to target suitable customers who are yet to discover the i, or to increase occasional buyers’ frequency of purchase.”

According to the latest ABCs, the i and iWeekend have seen a 6.8% and 4.7% year-on-year decline in sales, respectively, which represents a slower decline than most national titles.

It was also recently announced that the iWeekend would remain on sale for Saturday and Sunday in a bid to boost sales.

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