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At some point, you’ve probably given your email address to a company in exchange for coupons and deals. Do this enough times, though, and your inbox can get swamped with ads and offers. So when it comes time to do some shopping, how can you find all of the coupons that might be buried among all your emails?

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, an email provider is unveiling a new feature to help separate the coupons from the clutter.

Yahoo Mail has unveiled a new coupon finder that will alert you to coupon offers that are in your email, without requiring you to even open the email first – and without requiring you to even have a Yahoo email account.

“Coupons Smart View” scans your emails and notifies you which ones have coupons inside. Click on the “Coupons” tab, and all of your emails that contain coupons will be there, along with the expiration dates for each coupon. You can click on the ones you want to save, and they’ll appear at the top of the list. And you’ll get notifications when those coupons are about to expire.

The feature is available on the web and in the mobile app. You can link other email accounts, and you can even use the app if you don’t have a Yahoo email address – it also works with Gmail, Outlook/Hotmail and AOL. So if you have email accounts with other providers, you can still use the coupon finding feature, and it will scan all of your emails for available offers.

Of course, as with any automated feature that purports to do all the work so you don’t have to, “Coupons Smart View” isn’t perfect. In a test run on an email account set up specifically to receive coupon offers, the coupon finder failed to find a majority of them.

A Yahoo spokesperson did not respond to a question about how the coupon finder works. Does it use complicated algorithms, or does it simply search for the word “coupon” in your emails? If the latter, that’s something you could do yourself and get better results.

So the feature may not be fully formed just yet. But it has plenty of potential, if it ends up working as intended.

After all, despite the fact that more of us are communicating via social media and texting these days, surveys have shown that we still prefer to get our coupons the “old” fashioned way – via email. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey last year, 58% of shoppers said email is their preferred method of receiving coupons from their favorite retailers. 20% prefer paper coupons, 10% would like coupons via text, and just 5% want to receive coupons in an app.

And coupons via email produce results, too. Another report last year by the email marketing company Remarkety found that shoppers are nearly twice as likely to open an email from a retailer, and buy from that retailer, if the email has a coupon inside.

So what better way to ensure that such emails are effective, than to have a feature that will help you find emails with coupons inside?

You might find yourself still waiting for that feature, since Yahoo’s coupon finder only sort of works right now. But with the holiday shopping season now in full force – and so many emailed coupons with so little time to open them all – at least it’s a good start.

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