Targeted ads that saved me money

Target Laptop

It can be really irritating to receive emails from unknown sources or have ads pop up on Facebook when you don’t remember ever sharing your email address or searching online for related goods or services. But sometimes you can get really good deals.

For example, during the August doldrums, the first rate Toronto restaurant Nota Bene offered via email, gift cards worth $200 for $150. I purchased one for my husband’s birthday, and we used part of it for a lovely dinner after the opera Madame Butterfly.

I get frequent emails from Kobo, the company that makes my e:reader. They have daily specials for as low as $1.99 and $2.99 (plus tax). I sometimes forget to check, but my friend Kathe reminds all her Facebook friends when there is a great sale that we may have otherwise missed.

Several of the good reads I have purchased recently include:

Eleanor Rigby By Douglas Coupland ($3.38)

Plain Truth By Jodi Picoult ($2.25)

The Color War By Jodi Picoult ($2.25)

The Time In Between By Maria Duenas ($2.25)

Foreign Affairs By Alison Lurie ($2.25)


I’ve also got some great buys this year on tickets to shows at Stratford – one of my truly “happy” places in this world. Based on an email, we got $29 tickets to see one of the last performances of Crazy for You this fall after paying up to $100/ticket for other shows during the summer. Previously I found out about other good deals by following the festival on Twitter.

We used to subscribe to tickets for Canadian Stage, but gave up our subscription several years ago after a particularly hectic year when we didn’t like most of the productions. But we are still on the email list and I have “liked” the company on Facebook.

In early October Canadian Stage was selling every ticket in the house for $15 for Thanksgiving weekend previews of their new multi-media show Helen Lawrence. Unfortunately we had other plans for the relevant period, or we certainly would have taken advantage of this offer.

When another Facebook friend extolled the virtues of the great deals available from Clearly Contacts for buying prescription glasses online (a blog post for another day), a $40 discount code appeared under the post, which I took advantage of.

I immediately “unsubscribe” from useless, unsolicited emails or mark the sender as “junk.” But there’s nothing I like more than getting a great price for goods or services I really need. That’s why on balance, I don’t really mind most of the targeted ads I receive.

What do you think? What are some of the great deals you found out about through emails or on line lately?



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