Most seasonal dates offer the ideal opportunity for an email marketing campaign, and Father’s Day is no exception. With the special day just a few weeks away, now is the time to start planning!

Although it lacks the emotional resonance usually associated with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is still an excellent opportunity for customer engagement. Experian estimate that we will spend 800,000 hours shopping for Father’s Day gifts. Also, according to Sage Pay, UK consumers spent 14% more on Father’s Day in 2013 than they did the previous year; a figure that’s expected to increase this year. By carefully planning your campaign in advance, you could see a significant return on your investment!

It’s Not Mother’s Day!

Don’t be tempted to simply give your subscribers a carbon copy of your Mother’s Day marketing campaign. People generally have a different emotional response to Father’s Day, and shop for the event in a different way. While Mother’s Day campaigns tend to emphasise emotion and extravagance, Father’s Day mailings tend to focus on the practical, highlighting gifts that most Dads would find useful.

Take these example of mailings from Apple (Father’s Day on the left. Mother’s Day on the right):

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Although the two mailings look stylistically very similar, Apple have put a few significant differences into them. The iPad in the Mother’s Day mailing shows a picture of a Mum bonding with her child (emotional), while the Father’s Day iPad shows a travel guide (practical). The headlines also showcase this difference, suggesting that the Mums will have an emotional response to their gift (‘Make Mum’s Day.’), while the Dads will find the gift useful and practical (‘…a gift Dad will never put down’).

Don’t overlook emotion altogether though. Many Father’s Day consumers are in fact Mothers shopping on behalf of their young children. A photograph of a Father with his child, or a family spending quality time together, could speak volumes to this section of your customer base.

Get Your Timings Right

When marketing for a special occasion, timing is key. Send your Father’s Day messages too far in advance and they will be forgotten about by the time the date comes around. However, if you send them too close to the date, you won’t be giving your subscribers enough time to react to them. According to Experian, the best time to send Father’s Day messages is around 4 to 5 days before the date.

Although it may sound obvious, but your Father’s Day messages should also be specific and contextual; don’t assume that your subscribers know that you are emailing them about Father’s Day. Make sure you include a reference to Father’s Day in your subject line. Research by Experian has shown that Father’s Day targeted emails are 14% more likely to be opened than generic emails.

Include the words ‘Father’s Day’, and the date it falls on, prominently in the body of your message, such as in this mailing from Morrisons:


This will create a sense of urgency in the minds of your subscribers, and help ensure they think of your brand when they think about Father’s Day.

Although Father’s Day may not have the gravitas of certain other important dates throughout the year, don’t overlook the marketing opportunities it offers. A well-crafted Father’s Day campaign could benefit both you and your subscribers.