Brent Laderoute

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,

Putting a new spin on the direct marketing mantras “write relevant” and “segment for profitability,” Canadian clothing company West49 introduced gender segmentation then revamped e-mail subject lines with a hook to drive customers to retail stores.

The best way to analyze your e-mail is by breaking your subscriber file into two segments: type and source. Type consists of repeat customers (including new subscribers), offline customers (such as inactives) and leads; source includes site sign-ups, contest registrants, co-registration programs, appended names and so on. Segmenting such a comprehensive list may take time, but it will pay big benefits and you’ll identify the most productive groups, says Reggie Brady, president of Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions, an e-mail and direct mail marketing consultancy. Along with Luc Vezina, director of strategy and product management at GOT Corp., and Brent Laderoute, director of advertising at

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