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>> 1.25.2010

The email list.. almost every store offers one up with promises of insider information such as sale alerts and new deals. I've found that these lists can be hit or miss, but there are a few ways of ensuring that you don't just get an inbox-O-spam:

*Create a shopping email account. Before I created a separate email account for these lists, I found myself clicking through and forgetting about the shopping emails that were in my regular mail inbox. Having a special account to login to will allow you to avoid the flooding of seasonal sale alerts and give you a one-stop spot to check before heading out for a shopping trip.

*Stick to the stores you love. I think this is a pretty obvious trick, but it's a great way to get started on signing up for lists.

*Beware of the lists that only promise ideas and inspiration. When they tell you that they'll share great ideas on how to use their products, they probably mean that they'll flood your inbox with the newest and latest (and most expensive) "must-buys." Want some inspiration? Subscribe to some new blogs (they won't try to shove any products down your throat).

Not all lists are created equal! I've followed my own tips, but have still come up with some disappointments in the mailing list department. Check out how some of the list I'm on matchup:

Anthro, you'll always have a place in my heart... just not my inbox.

Anthropologie~ As one of my all-time favorite stores, I thought they would have an email list to match. Boy, was I wrong! The thrifty shopper in me wasn't impressed as I was "alerted" to 10% off of select kitchen aprons and the arrival of new shipments of navy sweaters. I seriously love the place, but do not need 2-3 emails a week to remind me why! Grade: F

Michaels~ I might not be interested in the shirt embellishment project ideas they send or the yarn sales I'm alerted to, but I'll always love them for the 50% off coupons that I can expect in my inbox. Grade: B+

IKEA~ They promise to give notice on special deals, news, and events and, for the most part, deliver on that promise.  I get advanced notice on the start dates of the summer and winter sales plus a rare alert on a weekend special worth checking out. Knowing that IKEA isn't a reliable spot for finding sales, I like that they send me little warnings on specials that will be happening in the store. Grade: B

Crate & Barrel~ I'll give them props for being more choosy with their sale alerts, but I feel like this list is more for the less experienced shopper. It doesn't take me an email alert to know that all of the holiday merchandise will be knocked down the day after Christmas or that those furniture discounts will become deeper and deeper as the stock remains in-store. Grade: C+

The delicious lists (Souper Salad/ Dairy Queen)~ These are the only two non-local restaurant lists that I follow because they're the ones I eat at often (I'm a sucker for DQ Blizzards!). I'll happily receive their emails in my inbox because they always contain coupons (bogo Blizzards!). Grade: B+

So does anyone deserve an A? Yes! Most of my favorite local stores and restaurants deserve top scores because they: a. don't have the advertising power to get the word on sales b. remain really loyal to their big shoppers and fans through discount day offers and coupons.

Do you have any favorite email lists? Please let me know what I'm missing out on! I'm also in the market for some new Twitter/ Facebook fan pages to follow... who gives out alerts on the best deals? Oh and speaking of Twitter... find me here!


Amanda January 25, 2010 at 9:55 AM  

A bunch of our local shops do text programs- which I thought would be annoying, but it turns out that they'll text you when they're doing a "2 for 1" deal that day etc. Perhaps that just increases the impulse-buy factor, but if I'm going to enjoy a little splurge anyway, then I might as well split it with a friend! I too have a separate email that I always give to "lists". Oh and I like the Runners World quote of the day- not product-oriented at all, just an inspiring quote. (I'm in need of a lot of motivation for my marathon training! How's yours going by the way?)

Christina January 25, 2010 at 10:03 AM  

Stein Mart send out great specials through their email list.

Also, I subscribe to and get weekly recipes and organizational ideas from them for free, without being a magazine subscriber.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 25, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

@Amanda~ A quote of the day might be nice for those days I just want to sleep in :). Only three weeks left until the big 26.2!

@Christina~ I'll look into those! I'll look into my other favorite magazines as well, maybe they do a similar free weekly?

Meredith Travels January 25, 2010 at 12:37 PM  

I'm not sure where exactly you live but I think it's somewhere in Texas?

Anyhow, if your city is listed on Groupon I would HIGHLY recommend it. Everyday they send out an email with coupons. Think $40 worth of dinner for only $20 a a great local restaurant. There are also local deals for shopping, spas, local bakery. The deal is only for that day so you buy the deal through the website with a credit or debit card and then are issued a printable coupon with the deal that you can use for about 6 months or so.

I would say I've chosen only about 5% of the deals I've been emailed but the ones that I have chosen were awesome-- including 50% the expensive photography class I had already decided to take!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 25, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

@Meredith Travels~ Thanks, I just signed up (Austin)!

Anny January 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

I signed up for domino's text alerts once because they were having a local promotion. Every day after that they spammed me with silly reminders to eat lunch (not even at great prices!) and whatnot. I have unlimited texting but it was still an annoyance.

Audreya January 25, 2010 at 2:52 PM  

I couldn't agree more about having an email address just for promotional emails. It makes my email life so much easier. I subscribe to more than I truly need but I live in a rural area, so knowing what types of sales are happening is good for me because then I can determine when it's worth a trip to "the big city". :-) Bath & Body Works is one of my favorites. The specials aren't usually extra-great, but if they have free shipping or something, I like to know so I can save a trip to the store.

Lydia January 25, 2010 at 3:55 PM  

I would say Borders coupons are the ones I print out the most - although the smarter thing would be to just buy books at the thrift store for $1 each or head to the library. Every once in awhile there is a good World Market one that comes through - $10 off a $30 purchase.

I echo the comments on Groupon - just used one at a favorite restaurant this past weekend! I also just signed up for a similar service in Chicago called YouSwoop. Not sure if that one is nationwide.

micah @ the yellow front door January 25, 2010 at 6:50 PM  

I like They post sales from lots of different websites/stores. You can sign up to get their emails, or follow them on facebook/twitter. I LOVE J.Crew but I won't pay full price there - they send out emails with discount codes every once in awhile (like an extra 30% off sale items).

DQ Blizzards... yum!

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