Happy Mother’s Day? Well not for some, and brands offering the chance to opt out are doing the right thing
Events such as Mother’s Day can be very difficult for people who have lost loved ones. Since the pandemic, it’s become even harder for many of us.
However, it’s not only grieving for a loved one that needs to be considered. People who have grown up without a Mother, suffered abuse, a strained family relationship or even someone who is struggling with infertility are all reasons for your customers to not receive your campaign.
In years gone by you’d see many brand setting off a ‘batch ‘n blast’ email to their entire database selling products related (or not) to Mother’s Day without consideration of the impact this can have on the recipient. In fact, the raw emotion involved can be triggered by receiving such an email.
Thankfully, many marketers are no longer following this bad practice and are showing empathy to their customers, acknowledging that they don’t want to receive these emails from them. It’s simply the kind thing to do.
How do you let customers opt-out of Mother’s Day emails?
Thanks to clever marketing automation, allowing your customers to control their preferences is so much easier than in years gone by. The effort involved is now minimal as segmentation and automation rules do all of the work for you.
The process starts by creating an opt-out form, preference centre or a dedicated microsite. Whichever one is chosen the end result is the same – a form which has a checkbox asking to be removed from Mother’s Day emails.
Once submitted the data will automatically be transferred to the marketing automation’s database and updates the record of that customer in real time. It can be a simple flag such as a Y or N, or 0 or 1.
The next simple task is to create a segment that references that flag. So, for example, if you have created your flag as Mother’s Day email opt out is Y then create the segment looking for that value. Once the segment is live it can then be added as an exclusion rule to any campaign that mentions Mother’s Day.
With Mother’s Day approaching this was front-of-mind for the team at Hobbycraft
Katherine Smith, Email Manager, said “At Hobbycraft we strive to always put our customers first, so with Mother’s Day coming up we wanted to give them the chance to opt out of content they may not be comfortable seeing.”
“We worked together with RedEye to produce a microsite to give our customers a quick and easy way to opt out of receiving emails about Mother’s Day.”
“We made this change because we believe it is the right thing to do. We also expect this move to reduce our unsubscribes and protect lifetime value and engagement with the brand.”
It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing affair either
If your marketing automation platform includes advanced dynamic content ability, then you can still include these customers in your campaigns. Obviously, for campaigns which are promoting products such as flowers or personalised gifts which are highly relevant to Mother’s Day then, of course, leave them out altogether.
But if the product your promoting is relevant to the customer and has a fantastic deal because of this holiday period, you could easily use dynamic content within your creative to switch all the imagery over to a product-led design rather than a Mother’s Day-led creative.
This way the customer doesn’t miss out completely on what could be a bargain!
When is the best time to send the Mother’s Day out opt email request?
The best time is when the customer first signs up to your brand and goes through your welcome journey workflow. At some point in this journey, you’ll be sending them to your preference centre so they can tailor and personalise their communications.
The opt-out section should be in this preference centre for a range of holidays – not just Mother’s Day.
However, not all customers will go and complete their preference centre. To contact these customers directly about this sensitive topic, it’s best to start a couple of months before. At this point, emotions won’t be running too high as the big day is out of mind.
A simple copy-led service message template design is recommended, without any focus on Mother imagery. Being humble and attentive in your sentences is all that’s required with a clear CTA to the opt out method.
It helps your customer, and it helps you through higher retention rates
Whilst the primary aim is to help your customer at a difficult time, marketers are also aware this helps them too. By not offering this specific campaign opt out you run the risk of losing the customer completely if they unsubscribe from all email marketing activity. And these could be customers who have a potentially high customer lifetime value (CLV).
Running a Mother’s Day opt out email campaign is significant. It suggests you’ve grasped the concept that customers should be in control of what they receive. You’re building a relationship with them.
And that means your multi channel marketing campaigns are highly personalised and relevant; both of which are essential for success.
Letting customers opt-out of Mother’s Day emails should be seen as the norm
Such is the emotion around the topic, it was brought in the commons a couple of years ago by Lincolnshire MP Matt Warman as reported by the BBC who said “If other companies were to follow suit, then the dread, and I do mean the dread, around this day might be mitigated for many people.”
“I could be a part of something that an organisation like the Advertising Standards Authority could make part of a voluntary code around data.”
Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price said the Advertising Standards Authority “can do a lot more to spread good practice”. She added that she would encourage companies to be “a lot more sensitive” in how they contact customers at delicate times.
With or without guidance from the Advertising Standards Authority or a committee of MPs it’s heartening to see so many brands allowing their customers to opt out of Mother’s Day emails this year. The trend is growing and starting to become the norm.
If you’re running a specific Mother’s Day campaign then make sure you’re offering your customers the choice too!