Reminder Emails: Groupon Gets It Right

I am a huge fan of Groupon*. While not every offer they send me is 100% relevant, I think they get it right more often than not. But this article is not going to focus on the relevance of their daily offer emails. Instead, I'd like to discuss a recent reminder email they sent me.

*Maybe I'm a bit biased as my good friend Andrew Kordek used to work there.


I'm constantly preaching the importance of sending targeted, timely, valuable emails to people who have subscribed. The reminder email above from Groupon hits on all four points. 

1.     Targeted: I'm not sure it can get much more targeted than this. I've never been a big fan of personalization, as I think too often email marketers focus on just first-name personalization. Notice that Groupon does use first-name personalization in this email, but more important is the personalized/targeted content. Without getting too technical, it would appear that Groupon is using dynamic content to pull in "My Groupons" and the expiration date for each offer. This email is 100% on target. 



2.     Timely: I could be wrong here, but my hunch is that this email is triggered when one has a Groupon that is less than a week from its expiration date. So for the Gap Groupon, this is perfectly timed. In fact, because of this email, my wife and I made a trip to The Gap and redeemed our Groupon. Very, very timely email.

3.     Valuable: The subject line of this email was "Reminder: Go use your Groupons!" I opened it immediately, sinceI had a pretty good feeling of what would be inside. I was not disappointed when I read the copy. Not only was the email targeted and timely, it actually provided value! (shocker, huh?) As mentioned in #2 above, a few days after receiving this email reminder, I redeemed my coupon. This email clearly answers the "what's in it for me?" question.

4.     Subscribed: I definitely opted in to Groupon emails. Better yet, because their emails are targeted (#1), timely (#2), and valuable (#3), I'll continue to open, read, click-through, and convert.

What else makes this email rock?

1.     Multiple calls to action: How many calls to action (those that point to my Groupons) do you see? Go ahead and count them. I'll wait. I see four or five - two "Redeem your Groupons" buttons, a link to The Gap Groupon, and a link to the Star of India Groupon. There is also a text link to my account. Brilliant. They give me many opportunities to redeem. More important, it worked. 

2.     Clean, simple design: The creative is not cluttered with new offers or other "off-target" ads or copy. This email is all about reminding me to redeem my Groupons. I also love how they call out The Gap Groupon by highlighting "6 days left" in orange. I'm not sure about you, but my eyes were drawn there immediately. 

I normally have suggestions for how an email campaign can improve. This doesn't happen often, but I'm not sure I'd change a thing with this Groupon reminder email. How about you?

9 comments about "Reminder Emails: Groupon Gets It Right ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Bruce May from Bizperity, November 22, 2010 at 3:34 p.m.

    Targeted? How so? What dynamic content is Groupon using? Timely? I get Groupon's every week and I never use them. Sure they are timely... all coupons are timely when they are first received. Valuable? Of course they are valuable... they are coupons. Sorry to sound so negative but could you please explain what you mean. I am just being stupid today. It probably has something to do with that coupon I got last night for a free bottle of Tequila.

  2. David Wilson from AMN Healthcare, November 22, 2010 at 3:40 p.m.

    I agree that this email is targeted and timely, but technically it does not drive additional value for Groupon, since you have already paid for the groupons mentioned. I think a transactional email like this would be the perfect chance to insert a related offer as an added benefit to both the recipient and sender.

  3. Kelly Lorenz, November 22, 2010 at 3:51 p.m.


    It's so funny because I got the same email (with different reminders) and was planning to blog about it, but you beat me to it! FWIW, my spin was going to be a bit different as my reminder left off one of the Groupons I had redeemed, but included another that had been used. It makes me curious as the the backend process/communication between the businesses and Groupon on redemptions.

    All told though, this is a great idea as it creates goodwill across the board: no wasted money or hurt feelings on the businesses' side or consumer side.

    -Kelly Lorenz

  4. Dj Waldow from Blue Sky Factory, November 22, 2010 at 4:26 p.m.

    Bruce: Sorry to be so blunt, but did you read my article? I am referring to this specific email (the reminder one), not all Groupon emails. This was targeted as it was just for me. It was not a generic email. They dynamic content they are using is the "My Groupon" stuff. It's specific to me! Timely - yup. My Groupon was set to expire in 6 days. Again, did you read my article?

    David: I agree that it does not drive additional value for Groupon. Sorry if that was not clear. What I meant was that it provided value to me, the subscriber. And - most importantly, because it was valuable to me, I'll keep opening/reading/clicking the Groupon emails. That being said, I do agree that a related offer would work; however, why clutter this email? Why not send a transactional email after I redeem (assuming Groupon has this information). "Since you just redeemed your Gap Groupon, how about...?"

    Kelly: Great minds!

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 22, 2010 at 5:47 p.m.

    I got a personal email from Groupon that there was one day left before my coupon expired. It was used 6 weeks ago. I am sure I am not the only one with expired emails.

  6. Kris Dougherty from Delivra, November 23, 2010 at 10:16 a.m.

    DJ, great article. I agree with all of it. In fact, I'd say that the additional value I receive from these emails (I'm a big Groupon fan as well and received the same notice) makes me much more likely to act on future offers. Noting is more frustrating than realizing that a gift card that I bought slipped my mind and expired. Sure, the offers aren't always relevant, but when they are, I have high confidence that I won't waste it.


  7. Chad White from Litmus, November 23, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.

    Reminders like this DEFINITELY drive value for Groupon. If you bought a Groupon and it expired before you used it, you'd be significantly less likely to buy more of them, wouldn't you? So it's in Groupon's best interest to make sure that their customers are using their Groupons as unused Groupons devalue their service.

    That said, I've received these reminders from Groupon as well and like Paula I'd long since used my Groupons. So while I'm glad they're looking out for me and want me be to satisfied, I'd love it if they actually knew I hadn't used my Groupons. Their lack of visibility into usage significantly hampers the relevancy of these reminder emails.

  8. Roger Toennis from Liquid Media LLC, November 23, 2010 at 9:36 p.m.

    Groupon is evil. It hurts small business owners.

  9. Kurt Johansen from Johansen International, November 24, 2010 at 12:43 a.m.

    Email Marketing is about 1. The List 2. The Relationship you have with your list and then 3. The Offer. I don't know about Groupon here in Australia but if the email does nothing to enhance the relationship then it could be doomed. But in this instance DJ was ecstatic to receive the notification so the email worked. I think that is the point he is making. He is being very specific to this email to him. The right message came to the right person at the right time. Cheers Kurt Johansen Australia's Leading Email Marketing Strategist

Next story loading loading..