How to Best Use Personalized Deals

When it comes to coupons—it’s time to get personal.

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No more clipping coupons from the Sunday paper or sorting through daily deals sent out to a mass audience, now promotions are increasingly targeting consumers’ specific shopping habits. And customers are reaping the benefits.

Retailers, marketers, credit card companies and even banks are using consumers’ shopping history to serve up coupons and while there are concerns of privacy breeches, it seems as if saving money trumps any worries.

“There are both pros and cons to this type of personalization,” says Ann Mack, director of trendsetting at marketing communications company JWT. “We conducted a survey last November and asked American and British adults about their attitude on this type of predictive personalization, and 65% ‘feel like big brother is watching’, but 64% said ‘it was OK if it saves me money.’”

Thanks to advances in technology, discounts are getting more personalized with the goal of only showcasing applicable ads in an email or text messages.

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“Retailers, credit cards and banks know your purchasing patterns and history and are offering coupons based on what products and brands you previously shopped at it,” says money and consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch.  “Sometimes the coupons will pop up at your bank statement online. You’ll always see it browsing certain websites.”

Personalized advertisements are become more prevalent as data analysis is getting more cost effective, according to Mack. What’s more, the science behind data mining and analysis is getting more sophisticated and consumers are generating more measurable data.

All of this helps brands predict consumer behavior along with their wants and needs. To get shoppers in the door, stores are targeting them with coupons via mail, email, pop ups and text messaging. Some retailers are offering location-based deals to shoppers via their mobile phone in real time when they are in close proximity of a store.

Take Full of Personalized Deals

Website Shop It To Me finds targeted deals by having users complete a profile listing favorite brands, styles and size. The site then sends emails featuring deals on clothes and accessories that match these specifications.  Along the same lines, Hukkster is a free browser add-on that will sends alerts on pre-determined items go on sale.

While personalized deals can bring hefty savings, they can also make consumers spend more than planned and increase unnecessary purchases. To combat this, Woroch suggests setting up a separate shopping e-mail address so deals don’t flood a personal inbox.

“This way you won’t get distracted,” says Woroch. “Allocate some time to see what comes in and pick apart what you want to take advantage of.”

Consumers should not feel obligated to share their e-mail address with every retailer over fear of missing a deal. Woroch says most retailers post the same deals on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“When you know you need something, look online for a deal instead of signing up,” she says.

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