Putting a new spin on the direct marketing mantras “write relevant” and “segment for profitability,” Canadian clothing company West49 introduced gender segmentation and revamped e-mail subject lines with a hook to drive customers to retail stores.
Using the logo “skating = life” and the loyalty program insignia “belonging = fun,” the skatewear company, with music downloads and band blogs on its Web site, presents itself as an edgy brand to target customers ages 12 to 17. After more carefully crafting its subject lines and implementing gender segmentation, West49 further increased customer personalization, resulting in a 75 percent to 100 percent increase in open rates, and a 100 percent increase in clickthroughs.
Following the first segmented e-mail, the company saw a gradual increase in response; after five e-mails, the results leveled out and have remained steady, says Brent Laderoute, West49’s head of advertising. “You need to focus on being relevant. Getting the right message to the right person is essential, and gender segmentation further allowed us to do this because we will send the male segment male product and the female segment appropriate product for them.” Here, Laderoute details more of West49’s segmentation success.
Target Marketing: What type of data do you gather through e-mail tracking, and how do you use that information to better target e-mail campaigns?
Brent Laderoute: First, we analyze clickthroughs from previous e-mails and look for trends. If we see a big enough trend, we can create new segments, allowing us to focus future messages on that group’s common interests. For example, with our holiday promotion last year, there were groups that seemed more interested in our online contests; in this case, users could build their wish list and then enter to win it. Using contest-related subject headings in our newsletter will increase our opens and clickthroughs for this particular segment.