How to filter your emails + daily-deal sites 411

Aug 18, 2012 | How To Save Money, Organization

We all know I love a good deal. HOWEVER…
I hate
haaaaaaaate junk mail.
It's just plain obnoxious.

Here is a simple way to GET all the deals emailed to you, WITHOUT bombarding your inbox every day! This tutorial is specifically for Gmail (…because that's what I use…) but I'm sure with a little hunting you can find similar features through your email provider. You can find this tutorial originally in THIS post, but I thought it was time to give it a little more focus in it's own post. Enjoy!

Take advantage of daily deal sites, without cluttering your inbox

We all want a good deal, but don't want junk mail. Here are some ways to keep this problem under wraps:

  • Sign up for everything.¬†¬†As I mentioned in¬†THIS¬†post, it's my philosophy to sign up for¬†everything. If you aren't on a restaurant's email list, they won't be able to send you freebies for your birthday!¬†Click HERE for my ultimate birthday freebies list, and click HERE for my daily deal list. It's a good starting point for you. Keep in mind there are even sites for things you might not have thought of like appliances. Check out THIS SITE for coupons for sears for my Canadian readers.
  • Create an alternative email account. In my opinion, you should never have to pay for email. There are too many good FREE providers out there! I prefer Gmail (Google basically rules the world, after all). Call it “[email protected]” or whatever you want to call it. Use that email for contests, email lists, and anything else you don't want to miss out on, but that you don't want to have to sort through every day.
  • Or, create a filter in your existing account. This means you select emails from certain people or companies that skip your inbox altogether, and get filed and organized into a separate folder. This is the method I have chosen. I have Gmail, and they make it really easy to do this.
Here's how to create a filter:
1. Select the messages you want to keep OUT of your inbox by checking the boxes on the left hand side.
2. Under “more” you click “filter messages like these“.
¬†3. don't do anything here, just click “Create filter with this search” at the bottom.
¬†4. click “skip the inbox”
5. Click “apply the label…” then select the label you want. The “label” is the name of the new folder you want. Click “new label” if you need to create a new folder. As you can see, I have TONS of folders so my emails stay really organized and compartmentalized.
6. Click “also apply to __ matching conversations“. This step is important because it will move all the existing emails that are already in your inbox from this sender to the folder, so you don't have to do it manually.
And that's it! From now on any emails from that sender will automatically skip your inbox, but will remain “unread” and will get filed neatly into a separate folder. Genius, right?!
*Note: Over time some vendors somehow get through the filter. I don't know if they change their email address periodically or what, but I've had to filter the same store or restaurant more than once before. But it's just a quick step, not a big deal. Just be aware that it's not fool-proof because if the return address is changed even slightly, it will leak past the filter.
Here's what I do with those emails once they are filtered:

  • I try NOT to delete any emails. It may stress you out seeing 2,538 unread “daily deal” emails in that folder, but just ignore it. (You'll see why below.) You may not need that deal right now, but you just never know. Gmail has nothing but free space, no need to delete them just yet! Once they expire or if it's been a few months, sure, clear them out if it makes you feel better. It's just an unnecessary step.
  • SEARCH when you need something. If we want to go out to dinner, I go to the “restaurants” folder and either search the most recent emails for good coupons, or I use the search bar. If we feel like mexican, I'll type “mexican” in the search bar under my restaurants folder. It will pull up all the mexican restaurant emails, and I can search that way. If I want a pedicure, I go to my “daily deals” folder and search “pedicure” in the search bar. Shopping? Type “J-Crew” or “Old Navy”. See how that works? SO MUCH EASIER than reading through every email. The beauty of the search bar is it doesn't just search the title of the email, it searches the entire email. Gmail search works amazingly well so it really doesn't miss much.
  • By avoiding your inbox you'll save money. When my daily deal emails were coming to my inbox every day, I was reading them…every day. I found myself buying stuff that I didn't need. Over time I was letting many of them expire, or I was simply spending unnecessary money! Daily deals are a GREAT deal…but don't buy what you don't need. By using the search tool it's a ¬†more thought out and calculated purchase, rather than an impulse buy.
  • Have a plan before buying a deal. Deals are rarely good for only one day, you usually have at least a few days to buy it before it's gone. Talk your spouse. Check your calendar. Talk to a friend. Read reviews. Research the product or company. Do your homework and think through the deal, start to finish, before pulling the trigger. Want to buy a really neat, unique deal that you didn't know you wanted, and have no budget for? Plan ahead! Be willing to count it as your birthday gift, be willing to use your grocery budget for that week, find a way to earn a little extra money to pay for it. No impulse buys, please!
What to do once you buy a deal:

  • Save, star, favorite, or file that email away. If you decide to buy a deal, put it somewhere safe. Create a folder for “purchased deals” and move that email to the folder once purchased. You'll want them all in once place so you can revisit them.
  • Print out the voucher right away. As soon as the voucher is available to print, PRINT IT! I keep mine in my coupon notebook. If it's out of site, it's out of mind. Keep the voucher somewhere where you'll see it once in a while so you remember to use it before it expires.
  • Put the expiration date on your calendar. This is a HUGE tip. If you buy Zumba classes that end on September 1, put the expiration date on your calendar. BUT, also put a few reminders! If it's a 5 week class, you need to remind yourself a few months in advance so you're sure to use all the classes before Sep 1. I use Google Calendar because it syncs to my phone and computers.
  • USE THEM! For heaven's sake, DON'T LET YOUR VOUCHERS EXPIRE! This is hard to do, I'm still guilty of this. If you can't use it before it expires, gift it to someone.
  • ASK, ASK, ASK. If you forget about a voucher and it's about to expire, call and ask if you can extend your deadline. Many vendors would rather keep you as a customer and will be flexible to a degree. Remember to be assertive and ask, ask, ask (hey, the worst they can say is no).
  • Another tip: Watch for flash sales and clearance. They might not include these in an email, so you may have to go to the organic website. But often times they will put deals on clearance or put them on SUPER sale for a few hours. Keep your eyes peeled for these for even more savings!
Now, for all my Canadian friends…I haven't forgotten about you! I know I don't have much for you by way of my daily deal list. Click¬†HERE¬†for a neat site that has the top¬†50 coupons exclusive to Canada.
So there you go! Sign up for deals, sign up for email lists, buy the SMART way, and enjoy all the savings and fun things you'll be able to do. ENJOY!
Daily Deal photo source HERE.

This post was sponsored by our friends at Markco Media.

1 Comment

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *