An all-too-familiar email inbox scenario: the plumber, the school teacher, the accountant, the lawyer, the retail clerk, and the retiree get the same bikini wax discount offer from their daily deals provider. Unless this is the foundation for a new satirical gender-bending song from The Kinks, there's a lot inherently wrong with that approach. And Google's taking measures to fix it.
The Mountain View, CA-based company last week began testing a segmentation feature that allows people signing up for Offers to obtain more personalized deals. People signing up for offers can use a check box to select subcategories within five main categories: things to do, places to go, shopping, health & beauty, and services. For instance, for things to do, a consumer can select a sporting events subcategory while opting out of arts offers, or vice-versa.
Then, Google asks the consumer, "Where do you hang out?" The viewer can then place a work, home, and hangout icon on a Google Map to record what neighborhoods they frequent. The feature is designed to help the search giant geo-target its offers.
In a third and final step, the consumers can look at sample emails - based on their expressed interests and shared locations - to see if they find those types of offers compelling. If not, the users can backtrack to revise their preference settings. At any rate, once finished, the consumers can save their deals wish list.
A Google spokesperson told ClickZ News via an email today: "[We've] launched a personalization feature for Google Offers beta last week. This feature is the first step in our effort to deliver more relevant and personalized deals to consumers, while also connecting merchants with shoppers that are the most interested in their products or services."
While establishing preference centers is fairly old hat in the email marketing world, the daily deals players like Google Offers, Groupon, and LivingSocial are just beginning to focus on interest-level email targeting. Consumers being inundated with often irrelevant deals will likely welcome the improvements.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
March 19, 2014