Mother’s Day Retail Email Best Practices That Drive Sales (And Make Mom Proud)

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According to the National Retail Federation, Mother’s Day is the third largest retail holiday in the United States — which isn’t that shocking when you consider that there are 85.4 million moms in the US. Multiply that by the number of kids, grandkids, and partners taking the opportunity to thank Mom for all she does, and you get a pretty huge incentive for retailers to ramp up their email marketing efforts.

Just how huge? The average American will spend $168.94 on mom for Mother’s Day, for a projected total of $21.4 billion — and 28.5% of Mother’s Day gifts are purchased online. Let’s look at some proven ways retailers can optimize their email strategy to make the most of Mom’s special day and drive serious sales.

Mother’s Day Best Practice #1: Nudge Your Subscribers With Reminder Emails

It’s happened to all of us: springtime rolls around, and we’re barely recovering from Spring Break by the time we realize that Mother’s Day has caught us unprepared. Is there enough time to have her gift shipped, or will you have to make a last minute trip to the flower shop? A series of reminder emails can help thwart last-minute, phoned-it-in gift giving, while preventing retailers from losing ground to other sellers vying for Mom’s affection.

When designing your Mother’s Day email reminder series, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Prominently Highlight the Actual Date of Mother’s Day

Let your readers know you’re looking out for them by displaying the date in a memorable way. You can include it in your subject line, or dress up the numbers in a high-impact email header. Not only are you helping your subscribers out with valuable information, but you’re taking steps to ensure they don’t miss their “deadline” to buy Mom something truly special — hopefully, from your business!

  • Include a Mother’s Day Countdown In Your Subject Line Or Header

A countdown to Mother’s Day helps drive urgency, while also serving as a fun way to look forward to the holiday. You might also opt to include your shipping times and rates in the countdown as an incentive to shop early — for example, “order by May 10 to get your gift on time, and by May 3 to enjoy free shipping.”

  • Use Urgent Vocabulary In Your Subject Line and Email Copy

As Mother’s Day draws near, there’s nothing wrong with putting on a little pressure — just stop short of “Ya killin’ ya motha!” (unless, of course, that sort of humor suits your brand). Phrases like “Last Chance,” “Don’t Let Mom Down,” or “Only X Days Left” can encourage last-minute shoppers to get moving before it’s too late to get Mom something really spectacular.

Mother’s Day Best Practice #2: Curate a Gift Guide for Your Email List

What can you possibly get Mom to thank her for the years of chauffeuring you back and forth to soccer practice, hours of labor pain, and willingness to sit through the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie over and over with you? The hunt for a gift that perfectly encapsulates your gratitude, puts a huge smile on her face, and comes from a heart can be overwhelming — so give your subscribers a hand with a Mother’s Day gift guide email.

  • Keep a Light, Positive Tone

While we mentioned the usefulness of urgent language, getting too aggressive in your email copy can turn customers off. Balance out that urgency with the heart of the holiday: love and appreciation for the women who have done so much for your readers. (We’ll go a little deeper into copy best practices in just a minute!)

  • Use Engaging Imagery in Your Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Here’s where you get to show off a little — both in terms of fun email design, and in terms of highlighting your most mom-friendly products!

Note that this isn’t the time to cram your full catalog into the email. Include a handful of representative photos, then use a strong CTA to drive to a landing page with your curated gift guide. Make sure your email and landing page use a similar visual style, and aim to delight with design. Photography featuring mothers and children tends to play very well in Mother’s Day emails.

  • Highlight Popular “Mom” Products

To curate the perfect Mother’s Day gift guide, choose popular products from your line that speak to Mom’s needs and wants: gifts she would like, gifts that would make her life easier, gifts that serve a purpose.

But what do moms really want for Mother’s Day — and more importantly, what do moms in your particular audience want? One way to find out is to, well, ask them! Pose the question to your Twitter or Facebook followers, then share the results in your email campaign, along with products from your line that match those answers. This can also help you select which items you want to incentivize with offers and coupons.

  • Make Your CTA Stand Out

As always, make sure your gift guide email promotion follows all CTA best practices, and that your CTA is clear and strong on mobile. Make that button impossible to miss and almost as difficult to resist! You can have some fun with copy here, using a message like “Find the Perfect Gift for Mom” or “Look At Gifts She’ll Never Forget,” and then A/B test until you find just the right formula.

Mother’s Day Email Copy Best Practices

With your strategy set and your gift guide curated, it’s time to write the ultimate Mother’s Day marketing email. Remember that your competition may be sending their own Mother’s Day promotions — and while Mom might not have a favorite child, you do want to be the favorite retail message. So take this opportunity to stand out, show off what makes your brand unique, and follow these best practices.

  • Begin Your Subject Line With the Words “Mother’s Day”

Lead with the holiday — email subject lines that begin with “Mother’s Day” have a 16% higher email engagement rate than those that include the phrase later in the subject line. You’ll also want to follow other best practices for holiday email subject lines, like personalizing them to each of your readers and making sure to include your actual offer in the subject line. If you’ve found that using emojis in your subject line increases engagement, flowers, hearts, and springtime fare are all great options for Mother’s Day messages.

(Want more great advice? We’ve written quite a few articles on best practices for writing and testing the perfect subject line.)

  • Use the Language of Pampering

She’s loved you since you were in Pampers — now it’s time to pamper mom! Use language that appeals to your readers’ desire to give back to the woman who gave them so much. Encourage your readers to “treat Mom,” “spoil Mom,” and remember that “it’s all about Mom.” Otherwise, they may be tempted to default to the same card-and-bouquet-of-spring-flowers Mom gets every year, and doesn’t she deserve a little extra?

  • Keep It Short and Sweet

Your products, offer, and CTA should be getting top billing in the email, not copy — so get in and out with fun messaging that celebrates mom, encourages pampering, and drives the urgency of the holiday, and let your bold imagery and smart incentive do most of the work to drive engagement.

What Has Worked Best For Your Company?

We’d love to hear your favorite Mother’s Day marketing wins. Have you run a successful Mother’s Day contest with a branded hashtag and email promotions? Have you used email to promote a Mom-themed event you planned? Tweet us @WhatCounts to share your favorite best practices, what’s worked for you, and any questions you have about retail email marketing!

More Email Marketing Best Practices for Spring

If you found this article helpful, you’ll find even more marketing tips in our Spring Strategy Planning Webinar, including information on the best times to send email (with retail-specific statistics), ways to make the most of other Spring holidays and events, best practices for social integration, and much more — as well as several examples of brands making the most of their email marketing campaigns.

Click here to watch the webinar at a time convenient for you, and contact WhatCounts if you want help optimizing your springtime marketing efforts.

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