Online couponing can be both a blessing and a curse.
The good part is there are coupons and deals everywhere, and you can easily stay in the loop by signing up for emails.
Your favorite stores will send you emails about weekly sales and promo codes. Your favorite brands and manufactures will send you messages about special coupons and promotions. Couponing websites and blogs will send daily or weekly emails with the latest hot deals.
This is where we get to the curse part of it all.
With so many emails coming your way, how can you organize your online offers so you can learn about – and take advantage of – the best ones without being completely overwhelmed and resorting to a mass delete?
If you’ve been swamped with coupon emails, there is hope! Follow the tips below to create a manageable system to organize your online offers.
1. Get a separate email.
The first thing you should do is to create a separate email that will be used exclusively for correspondence regarding online deals and coupons.
This will clear up your personal email account so you don’t lose messages from friends and family members. It will also prevent you from deleting coupon emails out of sheer frustration from receiving too many at once.
You can get a separate email address for free at sites like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. Use this new email address when you sign up for newsletters, but also use it whenever you make purchases or sign up for deals because sometimes (whether you realize it or not) you’ll inadvertently be signing up for emails.
2. Create folders.
Now is the time to take advantage of the organizational capacity of your email address.
Each email program offers the ability to create folders, so take the time to make folders with meaningful categories. You’ll use these folders to sort through incoming messages and place them in a logical place.
Here are some categories you may consider: store emails, manufacturer emails, coupons, blogs, freebies and sweepstakes.
You can always get more specific as you go. For example, if you love shopping for clothes, you may want to create a clothing folder for those special emails.
3. Take a few minutes to sort.
You may not have a lot of time each day to go through your emails, but if you can squeeze in a few minutes to sort through them, you’ll be pleased with the results.
Depending on the number of emails you get, it will likely only take a minute or two to log into your account and move each email from the main inbox to it’s appropriate folder.
To sort, don’t actually open the email itself. Instead, just look at the sender and the few words that are shown of the email message, and then take your best guess as to where it belongs.
“It’s important to continually
evaluate your emails over time.”
4. Check your offers.
When you do have time to spare, it’s time to check your coupon emails in greater depth. This may be every other day or once a week – whatever fits into your schedule.
The most important rule is to make time and don’t log into your email address unless you have a solid 15 minutes or more to devote to reading.
You want to have enough time to read, evaluate the deal and decide if it’s something you want to take advantage of or you’ll likely just start deleting out of frustration.
To go through the emails, first select your favorite folder (for example, store emails) and then:
- Delete the offers you don’t want.
- Grab the coupons and deals you like best or that have short expiration dates.
- For deals you will be grabbing later on, simply leave them in the folder. You’ll notice them next time because these will be the emails that have already been read versus the unread ones that were simply sorted and not read yet.
5. Evaluate over time.
It’s important to continually evaluate your emails over time.
There are two goals: eliminate those emails you don’t want/need and pinpoint your preferences so you can create better folders and possibly find new emails to sign up for within your favorite categories.
If you find yourself deleting all or most of the emails from a particular store/manufacturer/blog, open the email, scroll down to the bottom and find the unsubscribe button. Then follow the steps so you’ll no longer get emails from that sender.
If you find your folder system needs tweaking, go ahead and do it.
For example, you might have a folder you rarely use (so delete it!) or you might find you want a more specific folder (for example, deals for baby). As you fine-tune your interests, you may want to sign up for additional newsletters in your favorite categories.
With all the online deals and coupons, it’s easy to stay informed on the best sales via promotional emails and newsletters, but it makes no sense to receive them if you’re just deleting them in frustration every day.
Take the steps listed above to manage and organize your emails as they come in. When you have some “me” time, you can sit back, relax and take advantage of your favorite online offers.
Photo source: checkcity.com.