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A tool to boost Census participation: Register tape advertising

Reach Over 1,000 customers for only $2.70

High visibility, low cost among register tape’s benefits


Governments at all levels looking to boost participation in the 2020 Census should look to register tape advertising.

The once-a-decade federal project has been thrown a loop thanks to stay-at-home orders and other precautionary measures put in place in the wake of the novel coronavirus, with traditional door-to-door visits out of the question in many areas.

The Census is vitally critical for municipalities since a head count of residents helps allocate federal and state funding for things like educational programs, healthcare, law enforcement, road and highway construction, and more. And, of course, the Census is used to ensure that each community gets the right number of representatives in government.

“Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions,” Census 2020 wrote. “The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.”

Municipalities have gotten creative as they seek to boost Census participation in their communities, with some hosting parades and others logging on to social media. Register tape advertising, however, may have them all beat.

Register tape ads allow you to place custom-designed, full-color coupons directly on the back of receipt paper running in cash registers. Because they are loaded on to the tapes of individual stores, you can target specific neighborhoods for placement. When paired with customized landing pages, email addresses, or phone numbers, you can pinpoint neighborhood-specific participation.

Register tape ad providers like Register Tape Network typically place coupons, promotions, and advertisements on register tapes. But the space would work well for Census promotion efforts as well. Register Tape Network notes that 87 percent of shoppers use coupons and 60 percent actively look for them.

A program was recently launched in San Antonio, Texas and surrounding Bexar County. On June 1, the county spent just $25,000 to place a message on the back of receipts from every local outlet of two popular and large store chains for 12 weeks. The message said “County Me In Census 2020—Shape the future of our community. GET COUNTED NOW” and included a QR code, website, and toll-free phone number to call. It ran in English and Spanish.

As of late June, the nationwide response rate for the 2020 Census was less than 62 percent, with some states clocking in at less than 50 percent. Minnesota easily led the response rate race, with more than 75 percent of residents responding.

In addition to boosting Census 2020 participation, Register Tape Network’s platform is an ideal and cost-effective advertising medium for restaurants, auto shops, salons, and car washes.

Ready to get started? Contact the pros at Register Tape Network for a free consultation today.

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