5 Father’s Day Retail Email Best Practices That Deliver Big ROI (And Make Dad Proud)

We’ve already talked about how Mother’s Day is a huge opportunity for retailers to nail down their email marketing strategy — and seize a bigger cut of the $21.4 billion of consumer spending on the 85 million moms in the United States. But what about dads? Is Father’s Day as lucrative for retailers as its maternal counterpart, and do the same best practices apply?

While honoring the man behind the grill doesn’t result in quite as much business as does pampering his female counterpart, Father’s Day is growing in influence and spend, predicted to reach $14.3 billion in sales this year — including $1.7 billion for consumer electronics alone. Whether we’re upgrading dad’s pocket watch to an Apple Watch this year, or just taking the big guy out for artisan burgers and beer, the average consumer will be spending $125.92 to make the day special for the man who raised them.

That’s a huge incentive for retailers to remind their email subscribers to show dad their appreciation. To make the most of Father’s Day, be sure to follow these five data-driven email marketing best practices:

1. Make your father’s day marketing email mobile friendly.

When looking at Father’s Day consumer behavior, one trend is clearer than the lake you and Dad love to fish on: mobile is massively important. While 38% of consumers look for the perfect gift in department stores, 32% will shop online — and among smartphone owners, 30% will use their devices to research gift ideas, but only 16% will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are frequently used both to research (32%) and purchase (19%) a gift that will make him smile.

So whether you want your subscribers to purchase online or in-stores, it’s crucial that you make your marketing emails mobile friendly. That means taking a mobile-first approach to design, ensuring that copy and creative are eye-catching and persuasive even at a smaller scale, that CTA buttons are clear and easily reachable by thumbs, and that you thoroughly test and QA your email on a variety of mobile devices.

2. When’s Father’s Day again? Nudge your readers with reminder emails.

Without looking, do you know what date Father’s Day lands on this year, off the top of your head? Even if you do, chances are good your readers don’t — so help them out with a series of reminder emails. Best practice here is to prominently highlight the date in your email creative and subject line, and to turn the urgency up a notch with subsequent emails close to the actual date.

You might consider including a countdown in your header as a fun visual that helps motivate your readers to make dad a priority. For conversion, reminding subscribers that “There’s still time to get it by Father’s Day” is a good push to make the purchase. Similarly, including a reminder just under the CTA that tells subscribers to order by a certain date to receive the gift in time (or in time for free or reduced shipping!) helps seal the deal.

3. Create a Father’s Day gift guide — or several!

Emails that provide Father’s Day gift ideas are hugely popular. After all, no two dads are exactly alike, and it can be hard to find that special item you can really “Wow!” him with when you see the same ties, cable organizers, and BBQ accessories over and over each year. By curating a unique gift guide that stands out from the fray and showcases your product lines, you’re reducing friction in your subscriber’s decision-making process — and increasing the odds they’ll reward you with a purchase.

One great way to distinguish yourself is to curate several different gift guides based on father “personas.” Not every dad is the brew-sipping, steak-grilling sports lover retailers often stereotype him as. Maybe dad’s more of a comedy buff, or a science nerd, or the king of the kitchen. Giving your readers a few options to choose from isn’t just wise — it’s fun! You can craft creative copy around each persona, with different visual treatments for each type of dad, and invite your readers to choose one or more that best fit their pops before clicking through to the various guides.

4. Ensure your Father’s Day email subject line stands out.

The main goal of your Father’s Day subject line is to intrigue your subscriber to click through — and you don’t have many characters to hook them. Use your subject line to drive urgency, don’t be afraid to be a little sentimental, and always make sure it’s catchy and attention grabbing. After all, your competition is likely sending their own Father’s Day email, and you don’t want your message lost in a sea of forgettable subject lines. Some examples of language that work well include:

  • Spoil Dad
  • What Dad REALLY wants
  • Don’t disappoint Dad
  • Be Dad’s hero

5. Make Papa proud with great marketing email creative — and test it to perfection.

Getting your subscribers to open your email message is half the battle. Once they’re in, it’s time to knock their socks off with awesome Father’s Day marketing creative. Incorporate verbiage that speaks to the day, leveraging heartfelt messaging or humor — or both! 49% of people say it’s important to give their dad something thoughtful or sentimental, so a little emotion can go a long way in your creative. On the other hand, dads are infamous for so-bad-they’re-good jokes and puns. If comedy isn’t your forte, we invite you to visit Nice One Dad, a repository of dad jokes from around the Internet, for inspiration. (Don’t blame us if any of them send you to the pun-itentiary.)

Use illustrations and photography that show fathers with their children, dads doing dad things (golf and fishing are top of mind, but try to think outside of the box!), or chores Dad is often responsible for, from yard work to home repair. Use creative, eye-grabbing pops of color throughout the email, but make sure it doesn’t end up being cluttered (even if dad’s garage typically is).

As usual, make sure you’re following CTA best practices. Make sure your call to action is impossible to miss, and nearly as difficult to resist. Make it large and visually prominent, with high-contrast colors, and lead with a compelling verb (for instance, “Find the Perfect Gift.”) Make sure to A/B test various elements of your email, including the CTA, to find the combination that resonates best. You can also look back at your Mother’s Day email analytics to see what did and didn’t work, and use those insights to help guide your Father’s Day campaign.

Power Your Marketing Email Program With WhatCounts

Of course, one of the most important parts of running a successful email marketing campaign is using the right platform. WhatCounts offers solutions and services tailor-made for the retail industry, optimized for referral programs, cart abandonment emails, holiday campaigns (like Father’s Day!), upselling, and more. Learn more about WhatCounts retail email marketing solutions, then schedule a demo to see what WhatCounts can do for your campaigns.
How will you be making your Father’s Day email campaign stand out this year? What’s your all-time favorite dad joke? Tweet us @WhatCounts to let us know!

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