What Do Women Want? Email and Chocolate

According to a recent study by BlogHer and Compass Partners, 36.2 million women are participating in a blog every week: 15.1 million are publishing and 21.2 million are reading and commenting. Perhaps even more interesting, the women that took part in the study said they would give up alcohol (55%), their PDAs (50%) and reading newspapers or magazines (43%) in order to keep writing and reading blogs. Their dedication had limits, however: 80% of the women surveyed refused to give up chocolate.

So, other than the fact that the confections industry can breathe a sigh of relief, what does this mean for email? Marketers, take note: Women online have purchasing power. The study found that the women who are engaged with blogging are educated (57% graduated from college) and well paid (46% earn $75K or more). These women could very well be your most active, responsive and engaged subscriber segments. How can you serve them better? Consider these three ideas:

Help Them: These women are reading blogs because they want information and they want to be entertained. You can tap into this by including relevant content as part of your messages. That can literally mean a few bullet-pointed tips or ideas relating to the products being promoted. Content adds value and keeps subscribers opening and clicking on your emails. Show subscribers how your products or services will help them excel at their jobs, be more attractive or become better friends, mothers, wives and daughters.

Reward Them: Women also read and comment on blogs to be part of a community. So, if you have a segment of loyal best buyers on your list you shouldcelebrate them! Brand their experience by inviting them to join a VIP or “club” program. Give them advanced notice on sales, a sneak peek at the latest catalog, exclusive access to new item arrivals or special alerts when a popular item is about to go out of stock.

Ask for Their Opinions: Women also participate in blogging to express themselves, either by writing their own blogs or commenting on others. You can invite your subscribers into a dialogue to rate your products and share their experiences. Or, create a forum for subscribers to voice their opinions by starting a blog on your site. If this feels too Web 2.0 for your company, consider occasional subscriber surveys and make it easy for subscribers to contact customer service when they have comments or need assistance.

Doesn’t this sound a lot like relationship advice for wooing and keeping a woman? Well, it is! If you value the subscriber experience, you’ll likely have a long lasting, happy and fruitful relationship to show for it.

Freud once famously said, “The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is “What does a woman want?”

The answer could very well be email and chocolate.

Want to make sure your email program is primed to tap into the growing number of women online? Email me!

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