Knowing whether someone is a man or woman is of real benefit, some say essential, in email marketing because it allows you to focus on the design of the email among all other essential components. You might think at the time of International Women’s Day that the gender of your subscribers should be irrelevant. That is not what the research tells us.
Accepted wisdom is correct: women are different to men, and this is confirmed statistically in the varying behaviours. For instance, women are in the ascendant when it comes to buying from an email marketing campaign. It is not by a massive amount, but it is statistically significant.
Further, we are told that women prefer branded products rather than something generic and cheaper. This might well reflect your experience but it is comfortable to have it supported by research. More useful is that women suggest they do not like pink emails. This might be because they feel patronised, but it is something you could test in your next email marketing campaign.
One finding was that more women than men bought technically related items on the internet. This goes against accepted wisdom, or to give it its more common title, stereotyping. Such information gives those who accept it an edge.
However, this is not to suggest that all women should be sent emails about the latest radio controlled indoor helicopter. What it means is that you should experiment by segmenting you email marketing list along gender lines, seeing which women are interested in, for instance, iPads and then working out what else they have in common in order to identify a specific group. In addition, you might well be given some pointers as to which men to target in future.
A warning though: whilst you can and perhaps, as research suggests, should treat women differently to men, you must not offer them worse conditions. In other words you can't charge more for a product because your target is a woman, nor can you restrict an offer to women only.
Women differ from men, of that there is no doubt. This difference means that testing with split lists will probably give a better return on investment. It might be small in each individual campaign, but it will carry on giving long into the future.