Members of Google’s Local Business Center are getting a surprise just in time to catch the beginning of the 2006 holiday shopping season. Google and direct marketing company Valpak will let local businesses offer printable online coupons alongside Google Maps searches and local business listings.
The system uses Valpak’s online coupon printing system. The coupons can be printed out by a user at home and then redeemed at a local brick-and-mortar store right in that user’s neighborhood. Valpak will provide coupons from its roster of local advertisers with businesses like dry cleaners, doctors, restaurants, mechanics and home re-modelers.
“We’re very pleased to be the launch partner with Google to offer Valpak’s print-at-home online coupons to more consumers and to give Valpak merchants valuable enhanced distribution tied to their existing listing on Google Maps,” said Valpak.com VP Todd Leiser in a statement. “Valpak’s blue envelope has been a North American institution for nearly 40 years and has the type of real consumer value that is perfect to support Google’s mission statement of organizing the world’s information.”
Coupons on Google Maps are free for both businesses and customers. Businesses just add their coupon information into their Google Local Business Center account, where they can also update their Google Map listing, and the coupon appears within a few hours. A business website, though, is not required. Eventually, Google plans to add AdWords support so AdWords advertisers can direct users to their related coupons on Google Maps.