The deal of the day has become a familiar feature on the online marketing landscape. Most prominent in the crowded space of the discount of the day is the company Groupon. It uses the lens of social media to amplify the reach of its online sales promotions. This paper examines the deal of the day phenomenon by comparing it with more familiar promotional and online marketing approaches such as group buying, e-couponing, and email marketing. It analyzes the content of 847 Groupon deals across 44 US cities in terms of characteristics, scope, and limitations and provides specific insight into the public policy issues that the phenomenon is giving rise to. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.