Making Father’s Day count: How-to tips for email marketers

With Father’s Day fast approaching, are you ready to deliver an effective email campaign? Columnist Jason Warnock offers some tips on how to resonate with shoppers and make the most of the June 19 holiday.

Holiday-themed email campaigns can be serious revenue drivers for consumer brands. With Father’s Day just around the corner, have you thought about how you will adapt your email marketing strategy to optimize opens, clicks and conversions?

Recently, I took a look at the most effective marketing campaigns for Mother’s Day and was surprised by some of the things I found — insights that can lead to higher-performing email campaigns this Father’s Day.

What makes an effective Father’s Day email campaign?

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), US consumers spend more than $21 billion for Mother’s Day and nearly $13 billion for Father’s Day each year.

Although these numbers pale in comparison to the more than $626 billion consumers spend during the holiday season, for many brands the “parental holidays” represent a significant source of revenue during an otherwise uneventful time of year.

There are a lot of reasons why email marketing campaigns dovetail nicely with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. In addition to the normal benefits of email marketing, these campaigns make it easy for consumers to honor their parents with gifts that can either arrive on their own doorstep for face-to-face delivery or be shipped directly to parents who live in other cities.

To identify the email marketing characteristics that are resonating with consumers in today’s marketplace, I evaluated the best-performing Mother’s Day campaigns per marketer for 10 of the nation’s largest consumer retailers.

5/1/16 Nordstrom For Mom: plus-size sleepwear 50,326 44.44%
4/26/16 Wal-Mart Your free VUDU movie credit is here!  176,507 42.86%
5/4/16 The Home Depot Save on a Gift for Mom! Coupon & Ideas Inside!  41,674 33.33%
4/26/16 Macy’s New from COACH: rainbow swagger, gifts for mom & more.  240,946 29.76%
5/4/16 Best Buy Apple Shopping Event. Let’s make Mom’s day  10,354,759 20.28%
4/28/16 Bass Pro Shop Limited offers to make shopping for Mom a breeze!  867,655 20.15%
4/28/16 Kohl’s The Cool Base MLB jersey from Majestic makes the perfect gift for Mom!  248,300 19.54%
5/5/16 Sears Don’t forget Mom! >> Redeem even more surprise points  66,574 19.05%
5/8/16 Lowe’s We <heart image>  Moms 4472627 13.41%
5/1/16 Target Your new Weekly Ad is here.  15,464,366 11.45%


I selected these retailers based on size, as well as their relevance to Father’s Day. With that in mind, here are several takeaways that are worth considering as you develop a Father’s Day email campaign for your brand.

1. Send promotions early

Of the 10 top-performing campaigns, four were deployed more than a week ahead of the actual holiday, and only one was deployed the weekend of Mother’s Day. Successful email marketers have dialed in on the fact that people plan ahead when shopping for Mother’s Day.

That’s a trend that carries forward to Father’s Day, because many of the same people will be responsible for purchasing gifts.

2. Include “Dad” or “Father’s Day” in the subject line

It’s interesting that the email with lowest read rate (Target) didn’t use any iteration of the word “Mom” in their subject line. Instead, Target pushed all mentions of Mom to the email content.

Yesmail (my employer) recently conducted a study in partnership Persado and found that Mother’s Day is all about emotion. Mother’s Day references positioned at the beginning of the subject line are more effective than campaigns that push those references to the tail-end of the subject line or don’t include them at all.

For maximum impact on Father’s Day, think about including references to “Dad” or “Father’s Day” at the beginning of your subject line.

3. Find gifts for Dad

Did you notice that seven of the top 10 Mother’s Day campaigns were about finding great gifts for Mom? In general, the most successful email campaigns emphasize finding the right gift rather than saving money.

Our study showed that Mother’s Day is all about emotion; emotive encouragement to buy the right gift for Mom generated the highest email open rates. Similar sentiments exist around Father’s Day, so savvy email marketers should prioritize emotive messaging that encourage shoppers to find the perfect gifts for dads.

4. Savings and points

Although it is admittedly much less important than finding the right gift, the theme of saving money is still present in the top campaigns for Mother’s Day. Several of the top-performing emails mentioned savings, sales or redeeming points.

The lesson for Father’s Day is that cost savings rank lower than finding the perfect gift, but financial gratification continues to be a factor when people shop for their dads.

It’s always best to test several variations of subject lines to identify the one that is most effective with your target audience. But even so, it’s important to recognize the role emotion plays in Father’s Day. Create subject lines that emphasize shoppers’ connections to their dads.

By creating emotive subject lines that are useful and valuable to your audience, you can start summer on a high note by delivering a Father’s Day that your brand — and your customers — won’t soon forget.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.


Marketing Land – Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.