Mother’s Day Marketing 101

For retailers, celebrating mom often comes with a boost in sales. But to capitalize on the holiday, independent retailers need to start taking social media and technology seriously, says Matthew Hudson, of Rick Segal and Associates.

“Too many retailers are thinking of old-school ways to get their message across, like putting an ad in a newspaper. It’s expensive, and not always effective. You really need to get into [customers’] smartphones. Instead of trying to draw them to you, you need to go to them,” says the retail consultant, who has over 25 years industry experience. Here are four ways to optimize your holiday marketing campaigns and maximize customer loyalty and success.

1. Keep it personal
A one-size-fits all approach to email marketing no longer cuts it, says Hudson. To be effective, newsletters need to be customized to your audience. Montreal men’s boutique Clusier, for example, tailors all their e-mail communications to customers’ buying habits and personal information. Stores looking to capitalize on Mother’s Day can take a similar approach. Consider offering a special deal to customers living in your neighborhood – they’ll be more inclined to stop in as the special day nears. Segmenting data helps retailers create promotions that speak to individuals on a more personal level, so they don’t feel like just another name on your email marketing list.

2. Your phone is your friend
Email exhaustion is a real thing. As more and more promotions come through to our inbox, it’s easy to ignore them and open rates might seem underwhelming, Hudson says. However SMS, or text message, marketing is underutilized in the industry. “You’re looking at an 80-90% open rate,” he adds.  Affordable services like EZ Texting.com and BulkSms.com allow you to consolidate your data and send a text message to hundreds of different numbers in one shot. But don’t overwhelm your customers. Keep the message short and remember to always provide value. Try something like: Take your mom shopping this Sunday and we’ll surprise her with a rose.

3. Pictures Please
Many independent retailers struggle with social media marketing. It’s not enough to have a Twitter or Instagram handle, Hudson point out. You need to use your in-store marketing to promote your online presence (try distributing cute cards with your social handles during the transaction process). Then, you need to find a way to get traction on those channels. When Ellen DeGeneres posted a celebrity group ‘selfie’ on Twitter at the Oscars, the term became a mainstream phenomenon. Your mom’s probably up on the trend so why not run a “Mother’s Day Selfie” contest on Instagram. Ask your customers to take photos of themselves with their mom in your store in exchange for a chance to win a prize. They’ll be promoting your store at a very low cost for you. You’ll get more impressions online if you get your clients to share for you instead of simply posting images of your products.

4. Bundle it up
Many independent retailers sell items that could be purchased elsewhere. Their competitive advantage therefore lies in creating unique experiences for their customers. In order to exceed expectations this coming Mother’s Day, merchants can offer a special service or experience through cross promotion. Team up with another business and sell gift cards to a nearby spa or piano bar. You’ll be providing a value-added experience for your customers that show you care about more than just moving product. Local services are often more than willing to sell their gift cards to retailers at a discount if you buy several, and there are fun ways to market the deal – e.g. “Buy a 30 minute massage and get 30 minutes on us!” It might not be the most profitable sale you’ll make that day, but you’ll be building a positive brand association, which is more important for the long term.

If your store is doing something unique for Mother’s Day, let us know in the comments below! We always love hearing how retailers are upping the ante and creating memorable experiences for their customers.

Stephanie Braun

Stephanie Braun

Stephanie Braun is a content writer, fashion enthusiast, and lover of pets. When she's not writing about retail trends, she's travelling the world and learning new languages.