July 20, 2010, 6:01 PM

Daily deal overload

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Just about every day I receive an announcement of a new daily deal site—either in the form of a coupon (like Groupon, BuyWithMe, LivingSocial) or direct sales (like Rue La La, Gilt Groupe, WineShopper.com).

For a while, I signed up for most of them—or at least the ones of interest to me. But soon my inbox became overloaded. There were deals for facials at a women’s hair salon (Groupon), women’s lingerie (Rue La La) and hotel rooms in Chicago (JetSetter).

It quickly became too much of too little that I’m interested in—no matter how great the deal is. That’s because they’re not at all personalized to me.  I go to a barber (okay, maybe there’s no barber pole outside but it’s not a spot where customers receive facials), I’m not in the market for lingerie and I already own a condo in Chicago so I don’t need a hotel room.

I don’t want to miss out on a can’t-miss deal, but I also don’t want to be bombarded with offers that aren’t relevant to me. If daily deal sites are here to stay, they need to take a page from Amazon.com and other sites that personalize their offers based on the specific user.

If they don’t better understand who I am and what I might be interested in buying, then I—along with many other people—will probably just unsubscribe from their e-mail list. In fact, for a few sites, I already have.

Comments | 5 Responses

  • Great points! The membership and daily deal sites are hard to ignore because of the exceptional savings on designer/brand name products, but the daily emails do become annoying and lose impact. Without some personalization like you've suggested, I think they will begin to see an increased opt-out, along with lower click through and conversion rates.

  • Same goes for online retailers, sending the same offer to 500,000 subscribers is not very effective so to get noticed, retailers must entice subscribers with promotions. Fortunately, there are companies including Barilliance ( I'm a co-founder) which make it possible and easy to send relevant and personalized emails based on shoppers activity and behavior http://www.barilliance.com/personalized_email_recommen ations

  • Excellent points. And since marketers seem to veer from one extreme to the other, it's likely only a matter of time until "Behavioral Hypertargeting: It's Creeping Customers Out" is the hot topic du jour. The older I get, the more I quote my dad: "Moderation in all things."

  • Great post and great point. I guess this is one of those too much of a good thing scenarios. It's a relative new marketing medium and with everything else online there will eventually be some consolidation and improvements. Groupon is leading the charge with their personalized deals. I believe this is a tactic that is here to stay. Let's just hope they work out the user experience and relevancy issues soon.

  • Agreed. Especially with idoari. Our company Mconception will never rely on sending unpersonalized offers. It's good to learn lessons from other people's mistakes.

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