Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gender Gap

The following article was sent in by GACC printing for interest to our readers:

A number of researchers from a variety of disciplines have concluded that in aggregate, men and women react differently to colors, images, topic matter and even the style of copy. Empowered with that knowledge, should direct response marketers take into consideration these differences when designing direct mail and broadcast email campaigns? Will doing so improve overall campaign response rates? That's the topic we are going to explore. When we talk about response rates, we are referring to readers who respond to your piece's call to action, which is typically the one action you are looking to get the reader to take. Before you even get to the message, though, the subject of a broadcast email is akin to the direct mail envelope. The call-to-action for both is: Open Me!

Gender versioning attempts to identify design and/or copy components of a direct response campaign that can be modified to reflect general differences in visual preferences among the sexes with the specific purpose of closing a gender gap. To take a simple example, several researchers have concluded that men as a whole respond better to simpler and darker color schemes, in contrast to women who, in aggregate, favor brighter and more complex color schemes. So, if you produce two versions of a mailer with color selections made to reflect these preferences, will it do better than one version with one color scheme sent to your entire list?

Of course, the product or service you are selling, or the topic matter you select, may have absolutely no gender response gap. Our guess is that there are many factors, including the nature of the subject matter, that influence response rates for women vs. men. This provides a nice segue into the four questions you should probably answer: . Is this relevant?. Is this important?. If so, what should I test?. How do I evaluate the results?

Join the discussion on the AMA Pittsburgh blog by submitting your topics or comments.

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