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Father’s Day email marketing ideas to cut through the crowded inbox

Ahh, dads – they’re a species of their own, aren’t they? With their eccentric habits and top-notch “jokes”.

Father’s Day is just around the corner, but it’s not all fun and games. Some wickedly talented marketers are throwing out impressive email campaigns at this time of year. For us email marketers, Father’s Day is a golden opportunity to dip into this once-in-a-year tradition where the US spent $20B in 2021 alone. And the competition is fierce. 

So it’s time to dissect some of the best Father’s Day campaigns and use some bespoke strategies to win the attention of all the grown-up children on your mailing list. Pull up your tanned cargo shorts – let’s get stuck in.

The challenges of email marketing for Father’s Day

While nowhere near as busy as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day still creates an oversaturated inbox where it’s difficult to get noticed. You’re going up against an army of talented marketers looking to take a chomp at the opportunity.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has tracked US Father’s Day spending since 2003. This year, 75% of the US population will celebrate Father’s Day and spend an average of $172 on gifts. That’s a 30% spending hike since 2018, so business is booming! And it’s not just dads that are given gifts – husbands, grandfathers, brothers, godfathers, and even sons get them too.

Graph showing upwards trajectory of Father’s Day spending per person.
Source: NRFs annual Father’s Day survey.

 

So who’s buying all these Home Depot gift cards? While men and women celebrate equally, it’s actually men who spend significantly more on their dads, 38% more to be exact. Inevitably, we see a decrease in spending at the 45+ age range.

Unlike seasonal sales, there’s the challenge of hitting a static deadline – June 19, 2022. Ideally, you don’t want to wait until the last minute and scramble to create something. The result will be comparatively low quality and you’re more likely to make mistakes. You’ll want to send your campaign two weeks before the date to alert your audience and send a cadence of reminders in the lead-up to the big day.

So we’re not just looking at a “one and done” campaign. If we want to win the inbox, we need a bespoke email marketing strategy, including original designs, a curated product offering, inspiring copywriting, heartwarming imagery, and follow-up emails.

Does this sound like lots of work? Well, it is! Map out the project and be realistic about fitting it around your busy schedule – get this wrong and you’ll be stressed and scrambling as the deadline inches closer.

How to hook your audience in a crowded Father’s Day inbox

It’s about to get hectic out there, so let’s look at some effective Father’s Day email marketing tactics to reel in the catch before June 19.

Allow people to opt out of your Father’s Day emails

Let’s be honest – families are diverse and complicated. And while for some, Father’s Day might be a huge holiday to celebrate, individual personal experiences might make this day hard for others on your contact list.

So before you start your Father’s Day campaign, send a heads-up email acknowledging that this might be a sensitive topic and allowing your audience to opt out of your Father’s Day communications. Add these op-outs to an exclusion list so they won’t get messages that might trigger negative feelings. Not only will you protect your readers from unwanted emotions, but you’ll also build a positive brand reputation and increase customer trust and loyalty.

Use eye-catching Father’s Day email subject lines

Very soon, Father’s Day emails will start popping up in people’s inboxes like a game of Whac-A-Mole. It’s therefore more important than ever to create a clever, thoughtful, or funny subject line that will make readers double-take and click through.

Wondering how to write a Father’s Day subject line? Here are a few tips:

  • Entice the reader with an offer they can’t refuse.
  • Use the recipient’s first name to make it feel personal.
  • Play around with puns and wordplay.
  • Describe the value your email is offering.
  • Use emotive language.
  • Use emojis to capture attention, but only if it fits your style guide.

 

While Father’s Day emails might seem more suitable for an ecommerce business with gift ideas, that doesn’t mean other industries shouldn’t take part. Finance, education, or healthcare brands, for example, can use this date to tell a heartwarming story, offer advice, or just remind readers to spend time with their dad(s) or father figures in person or virtually.

12 of our favorite Father’s Day email subject lines:

Gift guides Humor/wordplay
From: DTLR
Subject: Don’t worry,
we know what dad wants
From: Saxx
Subject: Support for the man
who supported you
From: AO
Subject: Looking for some
Father’s Day inspiration?
From: The New York Times
Subject: A Father’s Day gift you
won’t have to puzzle over.
From: Penguin
Subject: The must-read books
we’re giving this Father’s Day
From: Grovemade
Subject: Light turns on. Light
turns off. Light turns on.
Light turns off…
Heartfelt Urgency
From: Fracture
Subject: Nominate the
hero you call “Dad”
From: Liberty London
Subject: Father’s Day is
around the corner
From: Atoms
Subject: Your dad is
the greatest
From: Fitbit
Subject: Let the Father’s
Day sale begin!
From: Brooks Running
Subject: Dads, we
salute you
From: Sonos
Subject: It’s almost his day.
Get ready.

Pull on their heartstrings

Father’s Day is often categorized as just a gift-buying exercise, but really it’s so much more than that. An email is the chance to bring the feeling back to this special occasion.

Firstly, you can achieve this through heartfelt copywriting and authentic stories that put the reader at the center. Find the right balance between humor, honesty, and emotion, and craft an email message that will speak to your audience. Looking for some dadspiration? We’ve got you – check out these scenes from the award-winning drama series This Is Us!

You can also use imagery that conveys family values – however diverse those might be. Be mindful of cultural differences and choose universal themes that make everyone in your audience feel seen. Start with these themes when choosing a prominent image and put any product imagery further down the fold.

Remember, everyone has very different stories. There are many reasons why someone may not have a father figure in their life… Others define a father as someone who raised them, not necessarily biologically. While there’s no rule book for being sensitive to others, all we can do is be mindful when we create our campaigns. An email subject line that says “Remember to give your dad a call this Sunday”, for example, could be a trigger for a subscriber who has lost their father. Even if you’ve given people the chance to opt out, tread carefully.

Create a sense of urgency

Nobody wants to forget about Father’s Day, so be sure to send an initial campaign a couple of weeks before the big day to drive action. Don’t hesitate to send gentle reminders to those that haven’t converted: let them know the clock is ticking and there is limited time left to make a purchase. Not too many though, or you might see a spike in your unsubscribe rates and spam complaints.

Use prominent headings to remind readers that it’s their last chance to order items if they want them to arrive on time. You can even come up with last-minute ideas – a coupon or a digital gift – for those that will inevitably still forget, no matter how many emails you’ve sent.

Curate a selection of gift ideas

Let’s face it – dads are notoriously hard to buy presents for. Help your subscribers by hand-picking the perfect gifts that even the most fulfilled father can’t say no to. If readers see something they like in your email, a direct CTA will significantly reduce the steps to making the purchase.

Even if you don’t sell anything for Father’s Day, you can still curate the best gift ideas from across the web or even from your marketing collaborators. For example, you might only stock feminine products, but have a marketing partner that stocks products aimed at men. What a perfect opportunity to offer value to customers and maybe even get your back scratched in the future.

Throw in some (bad) dad jokes

Ahh, the notorious dad joke. The proud look on any dad’s face when they tell a “joke” should be framed and hung on the mantelpiece. If there’s a day to embrace your inner comedian with some cringe-worthy one-liners, it’s certainly this one!

Looking for subject line inspiration? This Twitter account has about 8,500 dad jokes. Alternatively, you could devise one of your own. It’s not like they are that clever.

Dad jokes on social media.
Urgh.

Offer discount codes or special offers

While not the most original marketing idea, promo and discount codes are still the most effective psychological tools to drive a purchase. But just because it’s all been said and done doesn’t mean you can’t add a hint of lime juice to zest things up.

Make people laugh with your promo codes – instead of FATHERSDAY22, why not try BBQDADBOD22? – and track any codes you use within your CRM to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts. Use that first impression subject line to hint that there’s a promo code inside. Once they have clicked through, ensure the CTA is not buried beneath a mountain of family images.

Avoid common Father’s Day email mistakes

Here at Mailjet, we look at more emails than most. So we’re always surprised to see companies making the same mistakes year in, year out. Shopping events like this only come a few times a year, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to your marketing output.

When creating your Father’s Day email, make sure you don’t:

 

Save time by keeping these points in mind when you start mapping out your campaign, not after it’s designed.

Inspirational Father’s Day email marketing campaigns

So what sets a high-quality email apart from something average? Three themes will set one email above the rest: design, structure, and originality. Based on these, we have curated our favorite Father’s Day email examples to inspire you.

The targeted one

We absolutely love this “Do it for dad” email from Codeverse, an educational company aimed at kids interested in coding. Knowing your audience is paramount when creating emails, even more so when marketing to a younger crowd.

Colorful email campaign from Codeverse.
Codeverse understands their audience.

Design

Right off the bat, the colors are striking and very much on-brand for Codeverse. This is an example of how featuring a large emotive image is a powerful tool to set the stage for Father’s Day. The background graphics and game imagery are all colorful cartoons, perfect for the demographic’s taste.

Structure

There’s ample spacing between all the elements in this design, giving readers room to soak up all the information. A clear visual flow guides the eyes through clearly defined sections. And finally, we have clear headings for scanning, short but punchy copy for impatient readers, and just two prominent CTAs begging to be clicked.

Originality

You don’t need a great Father’s Day product offering to get in on the action. Codeverse went to the drawing board and thought about how they could offer value to their audience. In this case, they curated a selection of games readers could code for their dads. It’s a hugely sentimental email offering with far-reaching positive repercussions.

The curated one

This email from Theory11, a premium playing cards company, showcases the ultimate Father’s Day gift guide. What really shines here is the time taken to find cool stuff Dad would love as a present. They know what their audience needs, and they present (no pun intended) it compellingly.

Dark email campaign from Theory11.
Theory11 curates a compelling gift guide.

 

Design

Black backgrounds are controversial, but Theory11 just about pulls it off. The product photography is really what shines, accentuating the beautiful box designs. The use of a black background contrasts the images to light up like neon signs. Playing cards have never looked so cool.

Structure

The structure in this email is clean and spacious, so scrolling through the product offering doesn’t feel time-consuming. The mix between one and two columns adds some variation to the design and allows for an extra selection of products. The email length is relatively short and sharp, with well-segmented product category CTAs to guide the user to the right landing page.

Originality

It’s nice to see Theory11 take the time to choose these Father’s Day gifts. And, let’s be honest, who knew you could find such an interesting range of playing cards? Between custom options, new cards, box sets, and decor, the variety in the curated gift selection means there’s something for everyone.

The emotional one

To all the aspiring authors out there, now is your time to shine! Beardbrand’s “Shoutout to all the dads” email proves you don’t need all the bells and whistles to make an effective Father’s Day email. To quote the late John Lennon: “All you need is love”.

Simple email campaign from Beardbrand.
Beardbrand brings the love.

 

Design

Did we mention that large emotive images are the backbone of Father’s Day emails? Well, we’ll say it again: Large emotive images are the backbones of Father’s Day emails. It’s also well known that users are more likely to engage with content featuring images of people looking directly at the reader. Don’t believe us? Go to Netflix.com and take a look!

Structure

If you aren’t selling anything or promoting content, keep it simple. Beardbrand’s “less is more” approach ensures nothing detracts from the main message. But if you’re not selling, you need to be building your brand, so don’t forget to add prominent social icons to your email.

Originality

Copywriters, assemble! Father’s Day is a golden opportunity to deviate from your usual email marketing script and do something a little different. In this case, it is a simple heartfelt message with a sprinkle of self-love on top. You can really feel it when they say, “thank you for being awesome.” It’s completely unnecessary but feels 100% authentic.

To summarize: Happy Father’s Day

Well, there you have it – thanks to your wonderful emails, dads and father figures worldwide are now going to get all the love, praise, and presents they deserve!

As you can see, Father’s Day email marketing is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Keep the reader in mind when crafting your winning campaign and ask yourself: Am I talking to kids, adult children, spouses, or dads themselves?

Need a little TL;DR? Here are our top tips:

  • Get ready – Father’s Day inboxes are highly competitive!
  • Factor in extra time for Father’s Day campaigns.
  • Use email subject lines to create a sense of urgency, highlight promos, or show your email’s value.
  • Use emotive imagery and copy to pull on the reader’s heartstrings.
  • Don’t be scared to add a bit of humor – dad jokes included!
  • Carefully consider how to add value: Curate a selection of thoughtful gift ideas, offer discount codes…

 

We’re not going to sugarcoat it – there’s a lot of work to do. Lucky for you, Mailet’s email marketing platform makes the big jobs a lot easier with features like our intuitive Email Editor, real-time collaboration tools, ready-made templates, and inbox previewing capabilities to ensure your campaign displays perfectly on every email client.

So what are you waiting for? The countdown to Father’s Day has already begun!

Professional email templates for Father’s Day

Did you know that 53% of emails are opened on mobile? With Mailjet, creating responsive Father’s Day email templates that look good everywhere is fast and simple. Just choose one of our professional templates from our extensive template gallery and customize it, or design your own from scratch. No programming skills required!

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