Mother’s Day Emails – What Does Mom Want Besides Flowers?

As my colleague Julia Peavy mentions in her recent post, frequency of email goes up for floral retailers around Mother’s Day. I thought we’d take a look at how some other marketers leveraged the holiday.

Next to flowers, another common way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to eat out with family. Not surprisingly then, OpenTable leveraged the holiday by send several Mother’s Day themed emails that each took a slightly different approach. The first email takes the approach of showing the subscriber that the only option isn’t Sunday Brunch. Separate images and links prompt the recipient to choose from Friday dinner, any meal on Saturday or any meal on Sunday. Finally, for those too far away from Mom to dine together, there’s a link to buy dining gift cards online. 

OpenTable’s next email on Thursday, May 9th includes a calendar to show the subscriber just how little time they have left and features nine restaurant options to help the slacker child/husband get going.

The final email sent on Saturday, May 11th (now it’s REALLY late) shows, very accurately, the three things Mom wants for her day and how OpenTable can help.

So Mother’s Day is probably an easy tie-in for floral companies and OpenTable.  I found a few examples of brands that found pretty relevant ways to connect.  First is Famous Footwear.  First they sent an email featuring a surprisingly touching Mother’s Day tribute video that somehow manages to subtlety incorporate moms, shoes and Famous Footwear’s “Victory is Yours” tagline. The video can be viewed here:

The next email from Famous Footwear finds a fun way to get subscribers to scroll down a long email and take the time to view several product types. The gift finder asks the subscriber if her mom is sporty, trendy or if she likes to be comfy. The yes/no decision tree leads the subscriber to view three different products with links to see the product in various colors. I would have also considered a link to a broader category page showing other sporty/trendy/comfy shoes.  The tear-jerker video is promoted again at the bottom. Sniff-sniff.

 The New York Times sent an email that featured mother related archive links at the top and two mom related promotions beneath.

 On the Wednesday before the holiday, promoted participating with Mom in a race on Mother’s Day. We like how they say “celebrate with mom” instead of “celebrate with your mom.” This wording is up for interpretation – it could be meant for dads who are planning an outing for their wife and young kids. The link lands leads to a gallery showing eight races around the country. I clicked through after the fact so it was too late to see if registration was still open for these races, but I would hope wouldn’t promote races that were full. Also, most of us aren’t prepared to run a half-marathon at the drop of a hat, but can maybe pull off a last minute 5k or family friendly fun runs (with the requisite bounce house afterwards).


The one I personally thought may have fallen flat was a video by Fandango. Unlike the Famous Footwear one, this one didn’t do much for me. First, the email link simply says “Happy Mother’s Day from Fandango.” We’re not provided with any clue as to what is at the other end of the link. Also, I’m not really interested in receiving Mother’s Day wishes from Vin Diesel or Gwyneth Paltrow. But, to be fair, movie/celebrity buffs may be. Odd that they feature Carrey Mulligan, who is British, since the U.K. Mother’s Day was in March. She even admits she’s not wishing her own mother a happy mother’s day since it was months ago. The whole thing was awkward. (O.K., the David Alan Grier line was funny). The video can be viewed here:


I did, however, like their movie gift card that they promoted in an earlier email which allows you to upload a picture to the card making it far more personal.  Grandma would love the picture of the grandkids as much as the movie. 



All in all, some creative, relevant solutions for moms from marketers this May.

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