Cool Email Idea of the Month

What: User-generated email messages

Who: eBay

Why we love it: eBay has found a way to automate truly targeted, one-to-one email communications for its vast membership. When you do a search for a product on eBay you are given the option of saving the search and having any products that match it emailed to you up to once per day. Since the email is automatically generated off your search term, it is completely relevant. These emails elegantly emphasize what makes eBay so great (all that stuff!) while also off-setting the negatives (how do I find what I want without going back everyday?).

What would make it better: It would be wonderful if you could aggregate all your searches into a single email. This would be especially useful for searches that might overlap. For example you want to search for high-end shoes in your size. If you do “shoes size 8” you will get everything under the sun. But to narrow it down you need to create searches for Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, etc. That could lead to getting multiple emails every day which some users might find overwhelming.

Bonus points: Heavy users of the service could find the volume a little much. eBay solves this potential problem by making it easy to turn the email off once you finally find the perfect Hummel. In fact, the email expires after a period of time, though it is easy for the user to renew it if the search is still relevant for them.

Check it out: Start searching now at

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