What’s your email address worth?


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Remember when it seemed like every time you were ready to buy something at the mall, a clerk would offer a discount on it … if you opened a store credit card?

You don’t hear that offer as much, especially if you’re spending less at the mall and more online.

Instead of tempting offers connected to opening a credit card, now boxes pop up before you enter many online shopping sites, offering money off your next purchase if you just submit your email address.

So, why would something you can establish for free — an email account — be valuable to a retailer?

“Because email is the best way to communicate with customers; no other method is as good,” says Kurt Kendall, retail strategist with consulting firm Kurt Salmon.

Here’s how your email address is a hook retailers can use to reel you in, as well as some insight into whether it’s worth it for you to provide the bait.