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The mother of all Mother’s Day SMS marketing guides for 2020 (COVID-19 edition)

It’s 2020 and Mother’s Day is here yet again! This day is a reminder of how much our moms mean to us all across the world. And we’re clearly grateful, as this special occasion accounts for one of the biggest retail events of the year. (Although this may soon differ due to COVID-19, so keep reading). 

While many assume the day is just about mom, it can also apply to all kinds of women. For example, we can also celebrate our grandmothers, mother-in-law, friends and co-workers. This day presents a prime opportunity for your business to get some much-needed exposure and sales. This is especially true as we hunker down inside amid COVID-19. 

Find everything you need in this mother of all Mother’s Day marketing guides to get your store or service going right here. 

Make sure your Mother’s Day marketing is sensitive to COVID-19 

According to a ResearchandMarkets.com report, UK consumer spending for Mother’s Day, which occurs earlier in the year, was down 25.4% on the previous year. This was due to heavy economic uncertainty as a result of COVID-19.  

This may look like a certain predictor for spending come our Mother’s Day. There is, however, some optimism in light of how COVID-19 has deepened our need to better connect to family, friends and community. According to the National Retail Federation, 78% of US consumers have indicated that Mother’s Day is still important regardless of the pandemic. 

Here are some general guidelines on how to be COVID-19 sensitive: 

  • Write messages, offers and promotions that center around wellbeing and positivity, especially for UK consumers
  • Focus on offers and discounts, especially for US customers
  • Be sensitive in your tone of voice and offers, not exploitative or opportunistic
  • Avoid healthcare related puns that use words like ‘killer’, ‘contagious’, ‘spread’, and even ‘viral’
  • Make use of collective call-to-actions. For example, ‘Let’s do this for our moms’ or ‘We can support our moms just as they have supported us’
  • Many people are unable to spend face to face time with their moms on Mother’s Day. Ensure gifts and offers reflect this and can be delivered on-time and easily 

 9 new Mother’s Day marketing ideas during COVID-19   

Given the restrictions under COVID-19, many of us cannot share a special experience or outing like we normally would do. We are going to miss taking mom out to a nice restaurant, enjoying high tea at her favorite tearoom or indulging her with a wonderful spa package. That doesn’t mean you can’t pivot your business to create new experiences or gifts that will suit COVID-19 conditions. 

1. Give her the best mom-mento – flowers!  

Mother's Day flowers SMS alert

Flowers always work a treat. Best things about it: most florists are still open, plus sending flowers is easy and contactless for everyone. Keep in mind that flowers sales on Mother’s Day are second only to Valentine’s Day in terms of volume. So, it’s best to remind customers that they need to get in early for the best bouquets.  

If you’re a plant shop or nursery, get in the game by sending out offers about a Mother’s Day gift series. See how we helped  online florist network Petals bloom with an SMS digital strategy. 

Best Practice: Florists or retailers with strikingly visual products can use a mobile landing page (MLP) or multimedia messaging services (MMS) for a greater impact. 

2. Be Mom point: curate handpicked gifts for Mother’s Day 

Mother's Day gift range SMS Alert

Finding a great gift can be difficult and most may not be in the right headspace with COVID-19 concerns top of mind. That doesn’t mean people won’t want to celebrate Mother’s Day; we just have to make it easier on them.  

Help customers out by giving them the gift of pre-selection. Send a series of specially picked Mother’s Day gifts they can easily swipe through and choose from. Use a short trackable link or an MLP to send customers to a special webpage with Mother’s Day gift ideas and offers. Include a discount code or free delivery offer too – just for them. 

Best Practice: If you’re using a platform like Shopify, make sure you make use of our MessageMedia SMS marketing automation integration. This can automate Mother’s Day reminders and links to offers. 

3. Be mom-nificient: get personal with your gifts! 

Mother's Day Personalised Gift SMS Alert

  Mother’s Day is a special day because it’s personal. It’s different for everyone, and this is usually reflected in the choice of gift. It could be a gag gift to remember a slip up mom made years ago or rehashes a treasured memory from your lives together.  

While we can’t replace face to face connection, that’s not to say it can’t be echoed in the gift we give. If your business can offer it, extend an invitation to personalize gifts for free with an additional card or note. 

Best Practice: It can’t hurt to personalize your messages too. If you’re sending an offer out, make sure your message is addressed to the customer by using their first name. 

4. Be mom-believably amazing with a post-COVID-19 gift 

A common gift on Mother’s Day is often an experience that children and their moms can share together. For example, a fun day at the salon getting hair and nails done before a special family dinner. This year, we might be able to virtually paint our nails with mom across screens. We’re not, however, going to be able to enjoy the experience of being catered to by the experts. 

Mom and daughter might not be able to enjoy a Swedish massage at their favorite retreat right now. They can, however, postpone celebrating to when things start to reopen. Many venues are sweetening the deal with extra special additions to encourage customers to buy up now for an even sweeter experience later.  

For example, chefs at top restaurants are promising to personally prepare dinners at home. There will be more than one reason to celebrate once restrictions are lifted. Encourage customers to buy gift cards or experiences to use post-COVID19 with special offers and messages. It will give everyone something to look forward to. 

Best practice: This is a great option for last-minute Mother’s Day gift buyers. With everyone busy dealing with COVID-19, get out experiences or offers fast via text messages. SMS messages are read 90% of the time and within 90 seconds. 

5. Whisk her an egg-cellent Mother’s Day with her favorite food and drinks 

Mother's Day Food Order SMS Alert

  When most of us were young, we didn’t have the cash to buy nice gifts. There was nothing nicer than whipping up mom’s favorite pancakes, toast and eggs. While DIY is fast becoming a popular trend from home this year, food and drink venues should create easy to order Breakfast in Bed packages. Bank on customers wanting to support their local restaurants and cafes, so start with your local community first. 

Not everyone does breakfast, so make sure you have Mother’ Day lunch and dinner options too, or even specially curated living room picnic packages. Breweries, cocktail bars and wineries are creating special DIY cocktail kits or wine-tasting boards for moms who want a bit of something else. 

Best Practice: Venues may want to avoid paying high commission rates for delivery platforms like Uber and Deliveroo. Use SMS to give customers an easy way to text in their orders for pick-up or delivery. We want to help you save money this Mother’s Day, so check out our free SMS package for hospitality businesses affected by COVID-19. 

6. Mom’s the word with a Mother’s Day event 

Mother's Day Event SMS Alert Reminder

We already mentioned a winery who created special wine-tasting boards you could order for delivery on Mother’s Day. This winery took it one step further by elevating the experience by offering a special virtual session. Winemakers talked through food pairings and the story behind the wines. We suggest you get creative in thinking about how you can bring the experience of your product or business to your customers at home. 

If you’re a venue, how can you recreate Mother’s Day experiences? For example, host a live comedy show all about moms. Moms also love other moms, so can you create a safe communal atmosphere in a virtual event space centered around your product? Many moms also get gifts like stage shows, art tours or cultural experiences; is there a way you can show this virtually? 

Best practice: Virtual events are great, but people often forget they’re on if they don’t have to organize logistics to leave the house. Set up SMS automations to send reminders about your event an hour or two before it starts. 

7. Mom’s sew amazing, so get arts and crafty 

Mother's Day Arts and Crafts Order SMS Alert Delivery

 Bring on a Mother’s Day crafternoon by advertising delivery of art wares to customers as a special Mother’s Day offer. Like everyone else, moms around the world are probably just as bored thanks to self isolation. This is perfect for moms who are creative or for kids who are looking to share an experience virtually.  

Get creative about your creations. From DIY ceramic boxes, to embroidery wall hangings, to macramé plant hangers, there are endless opportunities to help your business get crafty on Mother’s Day. Is there a way you can tweak your product so that moms can learn how to do it themselves or make it a family activity? 

Delivery isn’t the only way to get her presents where they’re needed. You can also use SMS to organize curb-side pickups, just as many hospitality venues are doing with distance dining

Best Practice: Sometimes learning a new art or craft can be hard. While moms are crafty and clever as hell, we don’t want them to be spending Mother’s Day trying to navigate difficult instructions. Use SMS messages to offer customers additional support, either via 1-on-1 video consultations or ready-made tutorials on the day. 

8. Serve up soup-er mom by virtually volunteering together

Mother's Day Virtual Volunteering or Donation SMS Alert

 Giving back at a time like this may be what mom wants this Mother’s Day. If you’re a non-profit seeking to gain volunteers or donations, this may be an opportune time to reach out. According to a report from the Institute of Fundraising, 54% of women gave to charity in 2018 compared to only 40% of men.  

In addition, the research study ‘Who Gives?’ found that while men donate more, women donate more often. Women were also more likely to give to multiple categories over men. 

Charities and churches can reach out to donors and see if they are willing to offer money or services to support your efforts. Include the ability for volunteers to donate in the name of their mother or a particular person for Mother’s Day. If you want to use SMS services to get the word out, make sure you check out our free SMS package for not-for-profits during COVID-19. 

Best Practice: Make donations or volunteering efforts tangible and memorable. Use Mobile Landing Pages (MLPS) to give moms a visual graphic with their name and the amount donated. You can even set up an automation so it delivers on Mother’s Day. If it’s a virtual volunteering scenario, automate Mother’s Day completion certificates sent via SMS after volunteering has been completed. 

9. Give the maxim-mom with something you can both enjoy all year 

Mother's Day Membership Subscription SMS Alert

Like we say with International Women’s Day, there shouldn’t be just one day to celebrate women everywhere. In fact, moms especially should be celebrated all year round.  

None of us know how long COVID-19 is going to go for. So help customers celebrate mom with a gift that gives all year: a subscription or membership. Think about how you can break your product or business up into a gift series that will keep buyers coming back for more. 

This can work really well for small service businesses, not just eCommerce retailers. If you’re a personal trainer with a number of clients, consider creating memberships for mother-daughter virtual training sessions until the end of COVID-19. This helps estranged families stay in contact and gives them something to keep busy with together.  

If you’re a salon who can’t operate normally, think about creating special subscriptions with monthly samples of professional products. You can also include optional 1-on-1 tutorials and consultations. There are a lot of creative gaps business customers can fill to create something new and exciting for Mother’s Day. In turn, this can also help support their business in the long-term. 

Best Practice: SMS automations can help you maintain these subscriptions or memberships past Mother’s Day. For example, one salon we worked with used to manually keep track of customers who came in for a regular dye. After 90 days, they would phone the customer asking them if they wanted to book in for another coloring.  Save yourself time by automating this process with an SMS workflow. Integrations can identify when to send a message to customers encouraging them to book in again. Use the same process to automate deliveries and reminders to customers about when they should next color their hair. 

Final thoughts and further reading

Businesses who have been struggling for the past few months should really take advantage of this special occasion. It is not only a reason to celebrate that very special woman in our lives. It’s a way for us to get inventive about how we can utilize our products, experiences and services to see us through the next few months. How will you make this a mom-mentous day for moms everywhere? 

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