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The Great Gender Debate

Online and offline marketers should always try to keep their marketing databases and lists updated whenever possible. This data can include current email address, postal address, name, age, and gender to name a few. Having this data is one thing. Using it successfully and appropriately is another. Sure, first name personalization is great. Geo-targeting is awesome. Age appropriate marketing rocks. But what about gender? 

Do men only want to receive content geared toward men? What if one of these men wanted to purchase something for a lady in his life? What about those whose gender is not known? What should these people receive?

There is a particular retailer that I used to love. I usually purchased items from them in-store. This past Christmas I purchased something for my wife from this retailer online via an email. From that point on I have only been receiving the female version of the catalog at my home. In this case this retailer assumed that since I bought one female item that I am an exclusively female shopper. This is a risky and potentially costly assumption - partly because of the way they have treated me since then, this retailer is no longer my favorite.

I recently saw an Express email that helps alleviate gender misunderstandings. There is a link towards the bottom of the email which links to the other gender. The female version of the email that links to the male version while the male links to the female. Brilliant!
It would be great (and maybe lucrative) for Express to highlight this feature and move it up in the email. This is like sending two emails to your list for the price of one! A simple test should tell if moving this link has any positive or negative results.

Here is the complete female version:
Here is the complete male version:

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