E-Mail Takes Aim at Female Hunters

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Cabela's, a 40-year-old cataloger and retailer of hunting and fishing gear, sent 31,000 e-mails last week to past female customers in its second direct marketing effort targeting women.


The e-mails offer the Cabela's line of women's apparel for hunting, fishing and general outdoor use. The products include camouflaged attire, stretch rainwear, T-shirts, tank tops and fleece pullovers that range in price from $25 to $100.


The e-mails are designed as personalized letters from CEO Dick Cabela. They are HTML-embedded, and recipients can click through to www.cabelas.com to complete orders or read fashion articles about outdoor clothing. They also can use the e-mails to order the company's free catalog.


The retailer typically focuses on its male demographic with biweekly e-mails and 60 million catalog drops per year. Last week's e-mail campaign follows up Cabela's first catalog for women, which was dropped last fall. Both moves showcase the firm's recently expanded marketing focus on a more general outdoors audience.


"We haven't done a lot of cataloging for women specifically, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to take our products to that market," said Sam Sidner, director of Internet marketing at Cabela's, Sidney, NE.


Sidner declined to give expectations on return for the e-mails or the usual order sizes his company receives with its online and catalog efforts.


The e-mail campaign to women also marks the firm's recent concentration on building a list. In the past two years, the company has compiled e-mail addresses from 90,000 customers from across the United States and 120 other countries.


To build the list, Cabela's has been offering e-mail sign-up areas in its seven mega-stores in the Midwest, and it is developing ways to get more visitors to its Web site to enter their e-mail addresses.


Cabela's has been working on segmenting its list geographically to target offers according to regional hunting seasons. The retailer has started to organize e-mail addresses according to ZIP code so it can make special offers to people who live within driving distance to its stores.


In addition, the retailer has segmented its list according to the types of game in which its audience is interested. For instance, the firm sent people who had expressed interest in waterfowl hunting an e-mail offering products they can use to hunt the bird as well as links to a story on the subject.


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