Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Promotional emails and offers

With a ton of email already in our boxes each day due to work and friends, it might not seem appealing to you to add to your clutter purposefully. There is an exception to that rule in that if the email benefits you financially, and relatively quickly, it’s worth agreeing to sign up for promotions. Just today, two items popped up simply because I had agreed to receive solicitations: a 40% off coupon for All Menus.com, the nationwide online restaurant ordering and delivery service, and CVS, promoting double ExtraBucks rewards.

A click on the CVS email indicates that one needs to "register" for this offer. By registering, meaning entering one's ExtraBucks card number on their website and submitting it. Behind the scenes at CVS, a little hamster in a computer is turning, indicating that you may likely participate in their promotion, which runs from January 17 to March 15, 2010. This isn't something you would have likely seen, or been told, at a CVS store. Not because an employee forgot, but because the obvious lure is for you to get on their website, register, and maybe fish around a bit to see if anything else is appealing.

Registering for promotions is not a new concept. But, more retailers are getting involved in the act. For the sake of this article, "non-traditional" retailers will be defined as those who weren’t previously requiring their customers to "register" for promotions, such as CVS, while offering special deals. They may have simply been doing so while only advertising it in the store, or on television. But, for years, "traditional" retailers, such as airlines and car rental companies especially, have been involved in this act. Register this code and get triple miles from Washington, DC to Maui during these dates or in the case of car rental companies, register and get a free class upgrade on the weekend. CVS, and others, like banks, have definitely gotten involved in the register-via-our-website-and-get-something-good game. It brings traffic, and likely, sales.

As such, an entire cottage industry has been born from promoting these special registration offers. Thus, it's a great idea to see what discounts and other deals are being offered in the course of comparison shopping. Google is your friend, but it cannot track every registration promotional offer out there. Some offers require you to call a phone number and key in a code corresponding with your credit card. They may be targeted, so not everyone can take advantage.

To help you manage commercial email so you can take advantage of special offers, set up a free account. You won't miss any emails, and you won't be deluged, either, with emails that might prevent you from seeing more timely communications. Alternatively, if you like everything under one roof, live dangerously and just use one account for all of your personal email communications. That way when you check your email frequently as most people do, timely offers can be seen right away.