Recent case studies have shown that dramatic increases in click-through and conversion of retention-based e-mails can be achieved through list segmentation and by providing unique creative geared toward a specific demographic profile.

Similar types of demographic profiling can be achieved at the acquisition level by targeting unique creative to third-party lists of publishers whose editorial focus is geared toward a specific affinity group. E-mails targeted to a specific demographic group, such as the gay community, highlight how marketers provide often-subtle messaging that gears the pitch to a specific audience.

One marketing sector that heavily promotes itself to the gay community is the travel industry, with e-mails offering everything from gay cruises to special vacation packages geared towards same-sex couples. In an e-mail promoting its "Pride Week" specials, Travelocity provides the following copy: "You know that Travelocity is one of the leading travel sites on the Web, but did you know that we're also leading the way in online travel planning service for the gay and lesbian community?"

Sometimes there is a slight subtlety in the imagery that can be read by the target group, but missed by those outside the target audience. In this e-mail from a wireless carrier, the headline reads: "One Great Pair Deserves Another," and, as a subhead: "It's your family plan." Nothing in the text itself would necessarily identify the e-mail pitch as one geared towards the gay and lesbian community, unless you connect the text with the images that illustrate two phones, each with a same-sex couple depicted in the cell phone's camera screen.

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