Unless you’ve been doing business under a rock lately, then you know that Mother’s Day is only a few weeks away. And while it isn’t as huge as the Christmas holidays or the back-to-school season, Mother’s Day is still considered a significant shopping event that retailers should pay attention to.
Whether you’re cooking up your Mother’s Day campaigns for the first time, or you are looking for new ideas to spice up your existing ones, the tips and examples below will get you started.
First things first: know who you’re talking to
Before diving into Mother’s Day marketing tactics, take a step back to think about who you’re targeting. Ask yourself: who do you want to reach with your efforts and what are their shopping objectives for Mother’s Day?
It helps to know the individuals that your customers are shopping for. Are they buying presents for their mothers or spouses? Are they celebrating with their friends, sisters, or daughters? The answers to these questions will help you craft your messaging and audience targeting correctly.
To give you more insights into Mother’s Day trends, the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that eight out of 10 consumers celebrated the holiday, despite the pandemic. Last year, the National Retail Federation indicated that average Mother’s Day spending to reach $228, and we’ll likely see similar trends in 20212, especially as the world continues to open back up.
Do you see the same trends in your business? Pay attention to your shopper data to find out.
Once you have a handle on who your audience is and the people with whom they’re celebrating, you can start crafting and executing campaigns to reach them.
Consider giving customers the option to opt out
Mother’s Day can be a sensitive topic for some consumers. Depending on your customer base, it may make sense to give people the opportunity to pause Mother’s Day marketing messages.
This may feel like a counterintuitive practice, but some experts believe that it can actually improve subscriber retention in the long run.
As Kate Muhl, a marketing analyst at Gartner told Morning Brew, giving people the ability to opt-out is a “retention move” that allows brand “to stem the tide of people who are frustrated, hurt and triggered by your [emails], and opt out altogether.”
It can also help you get to know to your subscribers better.
According to Josh Pierry, CEO of digital marketing agency Pierry, the practice gives brands more information on the preferences of their customers, which can ultimately be used to create a more relevant experience.
“If someone wants to opt out, that’s a data point and something we get to know about a consumer,” he told Morning Brew.
Need inspiration on the types of “opt out” messages to send out? Here’s an example from Tea Drops.
Mother’s Day Promotion Ideas
Now that we’ve covered the top industry trends surrounding Mother’s Day, let’s look at the ways in which you can help your customers celebrate. Here are some campaign and promotion ideas to try in your business.
1. Start sending Mother’s Day reminders to your existing customers and email list
Lindsey Winsemius, Vice President at digital marketing tech company ApogeeINVENT, recommends that retailers take advantage of email marketing to put themselves in the radars of their customers.
“Use email marketing tailored for Mother’s Day. If you have a special deal, or even if you don’t, create an email marketing campaign with Mother’s Day as the theme,” she says.
“You could include a list of gift ideas for Mother’s Day, highlighting your most popular products. This helps ensure your consumers are thinking about your business when it comes time for them to buy a Mother’s Day gift.”
You might also want to include a calendar or table that shows when customers need to place their orders (if they’re shopping online) and what shipping option to select if they want their purchases to arrive on time.
One store doing this well is Casetify. Take a look at their email above. Not only did Casetify send out an effective promotion, but they also enclosed a handy shipping cut-off guide to so customers know their order deadlines.
2. Create a Mother’s Day gift guide
You most likely have customers who aren’t sure what to buy on Mother’ Day. Help them out by creating a gift guide that allows people to shop according to:
- their budget (e.g, “Gifts under $50”)
- the receipient (e.g., mom, wife, friend)
- interests (e.g., techy moms, pet lovers, etc.)
- product category (e.g., apparel, accessories, homeware, etc.)
The jewelry retailer Alex and Ani does this incredibly well. Alex and Ani recently published well-organized gift guide to help shoppers find the perfect present for their loved ones. Products are organized based on different parameters so it’s easy browse for gifts.
3. Partner up with local flower shops, spas, jewelry stores or restaurants
Don Uselmann of Saks Fifth Avenue advises merchants to partner up with businesses such as flower shops, spas, jewelers, and restaurants.
“At Saks, our customers were coveted by others and often the store would approach a local restaurant who would provide gift cards at no cost.”
The shop would then run a gift card promo (i.e. “Spend $100 on mom and get a $25 gift card to ABC restaurant) to encourage people to buy. The store benefits because of the increased spending, and the restaurant wins as well because it gains new customers.
This arrangement can work both ways. If you want to increase traffic in your location, consider teaming up with local merchants that see a lot of business on Mother’s Day (flower shops, restaurants, spas etc.) and send them free gift cards to offer to their customers, and hopefully drive traffic to your location.
4. Team up with other non-competing businesses
In addition to the business types we mentioned above, you can also get in touch with retailers in your area (preferably ones that complement your business) and see if they’d be willing to hand out your store gift cards or coupons in their location.
For example, if you own a spa or sell wellness products, you can team up with a shoe retailer and have them give away coupons for a free foot massage for every $200 purchase. Again, this creates win-win situation for both parties. The shoe retailer encourages shoppers to spend more, while you get added exposure and potential customers.
You can also create a contest with your partners. Check out this example from New Zealand-based apparel retailer The Shelter.
They held a contest encouraging customers to share their favorite thing about their mom in order to be part of their Mother’s Day window installation. In addition, one commenter was given a chance to win a prize pack filled with goodies from other merchants. Prizes include spa treatments, lingerie, Turkish towels, coffee, and more.
5. Encourage your customers to share their mom-centric content
Mother’s Day isn’t just about giving gifts. The heart-warming stories or photos that people share about their moms also play a big role during the occasion. This year, give your customers the chance to tell you more about their moms (so you can drive engagement while you’re at it).
Here’s an example from dress shop eShakti. For Mother’s Day 2017, the company ran a giveaway to encourage customers to share photos and stories about their moms.
Users could submit photos and stories (along with a relevant hashtag) via various social networks for a chance to win eShakti gift cards.
Here’s what made the giveaway even more interesting: everyone was a winner. To further entice people to join, eShakti gave away $20 coupons to every single contest participant. To get their discount, all customers had to do was email the eShakti team a link to their social media post.
6. Have a special Mother’s Day section on your site (and in your store)
Make it easier for Mother’s Day shoppers to find what they’re looking for by adding a special Mother’s Day section on your homepage. According to Winsemius, this is another good way to get sales around the occasion.
“Create special deals around Mother’s Day gifts. Highlight these special deals on the homepage of your ecommerce website so visitors see them as soon as they reach your page.”
One retailer doing this well is Zazzle.com, which now has a great-looking banner on its homepage highlighting their Mother’s Day “Just for her” offer.
Note that this tip can also be applied in brick-and-mortar stores. If you’re running Mother’s Day specials or are promoting products as gifts, consider having a specific section in your shop where people can find all the mom-centric products they need in one place.
Check out this example from the Barnes & Noble in Carbondale:
Or how about this one from Molto Bella Boutique in Florida? This lovely display shows that you don’t always need signage to make a “Mother’s Day” statement. Sometimes, fresh flowers would do!
7. Don’t forget your window displays
Make no mistake, people will turn to retailers for Mother’s Day gift ideas. Put your store on their radar by sprucing up your store for the occasion. Make it clear that you’re selling something for Mother’s Day by spelling it out on your windows.
Why not get yourself a lovely (but inexpensive) “Happy Mothers Day” decal and stick it on your shop’s window?
And don’t forget to show off your best mom-centric products so passers-by can see exactly what you’re offering.
8. Running online ads? Lead people to specific landing pages
If you’re running PPC ads for specific Mother’s Day keywords, you should consider creating special landing pages for your campaigns, instead of just letting people click-through a generic homepage.
“A landing page is a direct sale page that generally highlights a single product purchase,” Winsemius explains. “It is optimized to make sales, and is the best way to use a PPC campaign because it allows you to select very specific key terms, like Mother’s Day gift ideas.”
9. Offer Mother’s Day-specific products
Consider selling limited, mom-centric products at your store. If you make your own merchandise, for example, you could create specific flavors for Mother’s Day.
Take Chantal Guillon, a café and bakery with a couple of locations in San Francisco. Chantal Guillon specializes in macarons, and to celebrate Mother’s Day, they’ve created a limited edition Mother’s Day flavor for the occasion.
10. Offer convenience through bundles and complimentary services
A lot of shoppers need help finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift, so try to assist them in any way you can. Why not offer bundles complete with giftwrapping services, to give people a convenient shopping experience?
That’s what natural skin care store Scrubz is doing. According Roberta Perry, president at Scrubz Body Scrub, they make it easy for shoppers to give their products as gifts by “offering free gift wrapping complete with a customized card.”
Scrubz even has a special section on its site for Mother’s Day recommendations, filled with individual items and bundles alike.
11. Provide value with mom-centric content
Consider creating non-salesy content for Mother’s Day. If you have a blog or newsletter, why not share useful mom-centric content with your audience?
For instance, if you’re a craft store, you could put together an article about Mother’s Day decoration ideas. Or if you’re selling food and cookware, a Mother’s Day recipe roundup could be a good way to go.
Check out what GrubHub did last year. For Mother’s Day 2017, GrubHub created a roundup post of Mother’s Day-inspired dishes from the restaurants on their platform.
It was an interesting post, and it even had internal links to pages directing potential customers to the right restaurants.
See if you can do something similar this Mother’s Day. Create a piece of content (that’s genuinely interesting and helpful) and if you happen to mention a product that you sell, throw in a link so people can find it.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.