Men have changed: well, their online shopping habits have anyway

Why male shoppers should be part of your new email marketing strategy in 2022.

Men have changed: well, their online shopping habits have anyway

Post-pandemic, young men especially are more likely to respond to marketing emails, as well as being the driving force behind an increase in spend per purchase, explains Jennie Gerum, CMO at Voyado

More than any disruption this decade, COVID-19 has altered the way we work, communicate and shop. Brands and marketers largely adjusted to this, but what came as a surprise is a marked increase in men engaging with brands through email marketing channels, as the Voyado Index 2022 revealed. 

While the overall email open rate increased in 2021, the biggest increase, by 23%, came from young men between the ages of 18 and 25, with discernible change observed in other age groups too. Another statistic the Index exposed is that men are also the driving force behind an increase in the amount spent per online purchase, spending almost twice as much as women. This indicates that men, traditionally the big spenders based on previous index reports, are more comfortable making bigger, more expensive purchases online. 

Looking at the data, men buy fewer products per purchase but have a higher average receipt, both in-store and online. A possible reason could be that, in the fashion segment for instance, women have a much wider variety to select from at a lower price. The range of brands and clothing with a smaller price tag is traditionally a great deal bigger for women than for men. Generally, men are also inclined to buy big-ticket items such as electronics and DIY products. 

Based on the data from the Index, male engagement with brands through email marketing is likely to persist. This is largely because brands are getting better at personalising their content – the Index shows that retailers personalised their emails 15% more in 2021. The highest increase, 27%, was seen in emails sent to men between the ages of 18 and 35, which is likely what made them open their emails more frequently. Even a small tweak like incorporating personalised fields in the subject line has a massive impact on open rates. 

Making the most of the new engagement

Email is still one of the most cost-effective marketing channels if done right and with a sprinkle of creativity. As one of the most trusted communication channels, its growing value is evident. However, communication needs to be hyper-relevant to keep up with changing consumer demand in 2022. 

It’s critical for brands to be consistent with relevance and personalisation. Once you’ve managed to increase the open rates for men, move to the next KPIs – click rates and purchases.The click rate for men across all age groups decreased last year, again showing the importance of relevant and targeted content. As a retailer, you need to make sure that the content within the email is personalised, relevant and engaging to have the click rates and purchases aligned with the open rates. A witty subject line alone won’t cut it. Focus on creating shopping experiences that cater to all the customer’s needs.

Offering men a good enough experience to develop a relationship with the brand will most likely foster the same level of brand loyalty as what women have. To convert the new engagement into loyal customers, work with lifecycle-based personalisation and pinpoint how you want the customer to feel at every single touchpoint. Make sure to build customer trust by activating your members as soon as possible. Always provide relevant product information and try to mimic the experience they would get in-store. For example, replace physical fitting rooms with cleverly made videos and detailed product imagery.

Since men make larger and more expensive online purchases, brands need to improve every customer touchpoint to stay competitive. Ask questions like: Are my website and app accessible to people with disabilities? Are my delivery processes and payment solutions beyond reproach? Do I have the platforms and tools to maximise product search?

Should brands adapt their email marketing approach?

If a brand’s strategy didn’t involve as much email marketing to men – especially young men – as to women, it’s time for a rethink. As engagement increases due to more personalised content, you need to get the most out of every single sale. Send follow-up communication through email, especially to the men who spend the most. For example, if you’ve sold a new phone, grasp the opportunity to cross-sell by encouraging the buyer to purchase a phone cover, wireless chargers, or headphones. You can even offer it as a discounted bundle.

With the imminent demise of third-party cookies, first-party data will become like gold. Use what you already know about your target audience to deliver relevant experiences. Make the effort to get to know them even better. With an intuitive customer experience platform [CXP] you can collect personal data, historical data, intent and product searches, enabling you to act on it speedily and effortlessly.

The pandemic has accelerated the need to put customers at the heart of your strategy at all levels. This year, they will crave empathy from your brand more than ever. Don’t disappoint them.

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