In person, salespeople sell differently to men and women – here’s why that works and how to duplicate it online.
Last week I overheard a conversation about how “stylists” are trained to sell hair coloring, premium hair products, and massages to men and women differently.
When selling to Men:
- Coloring isn’t called coloring. It’s called “blending”.
- Using hair product isn’t “trendy”, it’s “contemporary”.
- Talking to men about massages makes them uncomfortable. Instead have a printed sign in your booth, let men tell you if they are interested.
In contrast, when selling to Women:
- Hair coloring is called hair coloring and is a natural part of fighting “premature aging”.
- Hair product sold at the salon are “healthier and more natural” than big box brands and stylists should tell the story of how they’re made.
- Stylists should talk about how fun massages are to get with their friends, and share a recent experience.
By segmenting potential customers into two instantly identifiable groups and adjusting messaging, the better the odds to close a sale.
How to segment your website visitors by sex . . .
Online you don’t have the benefit of instant visual recognition between the sexes, but you can build a simple system to genderize your visitors.
To make this work you can use either a visitor’s first name or rely on their input data:
- Match first names to gender using this open source database.
- Use an API like this to match first names to gender.
- Keep it simple and ask for a user’s gender on your registration form.
Once you have the data, redirect men to one set of variables, and women to another.
If you want to get more advanced, select page areas to dynamically change – such as stock-photos – to see the impact on your conversion rate.
An example of segmenting by sex to increase conversion rate . . .
Segmenting male / female traffic is a bread and butter tactic we use to drive client’s conversion rate through the roof.
To the left is an actual experiment that we ran recently for a client selling weight loss products.
We ran three sets of experiments: blended testimonials, 3/4 female specific, and 3/4 male specific.
The blended testimonials were the baseline, the gender-specific groups outperformed by 13.7%.
This particular client does in excess of 30,000 sales a month, so not only did we get to do A/B testing but we also ran multivariate to test picture ordering, and ideal pictures for each.
This is a simple example of the power of segmenting, but as usual, your largest gains will come from running lots and lots of creative tests.
Here are some truisms for designing genderized experiments:
Women – Tips to keep in mind when marketing to the fairer sex:
- Women are much more concerned about online security.
- Need more information to make a decision.
- Prefer different colors than men.
- Will read more ad-copy and like to read stories with details.
- Women care more about bargains (2008 Massey University).
Men – Here’s how to build experiments for men . . .
- Men tend to be more impulsive shoppers.
- We prefer headlines and bullet points.
- Are less concerned with shipping costs than women.
- Look at the crotch area of stock photos. (hah!).
- Care more about brand names regardless of price (2008 Massey University).
Use the above for inspiration, and keep testing, testing, testing!
More segmenting fun and please let us know if you want more . . .
First, please let us know in the comments or by following us on RSS or Twitter if you’re interested in more articles on segmenting.
In the meantime here’s a handful of additional, (and somewhat creepy) segmentation links:
- The Journal of Consumer Research show how to more effectively sell to females during times of peak fertility each month, taking it too far?
- OKCupid discovers that different ethnic groups like different things. And oh yah, Facebook can predict your race by your first name, last name.
- You can use different tactics to sell cell phones to men vs. women
P.S. – Want to drive your conversion rate through the roof?
If you’d like us to help you maximize your conversion rate please note that we charge nothing up front, work on a performance basis, and will write you a check for $10,000 if we don’t substantially increase your conversion rate in 90 days or less – contact us today.