Don’t leave dads behind: 15 tips + examples for Father’s Day email campaigns

Profile photo of author Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
19min read
Email marketing
January 3, 2023
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Some holidays and seasonal events make a bigger splash in the ecommerce industry than others.

If I were to ask you which holiday is the bigger revenue driver for your brand, between Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) or International Pancake Day, I imagine you’d say BFCM (unless, of course, you’re the CEO of IHOP).

But what about holidays that are more comparable, like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? The nature of what they both celebrate (parenthood) is the same, so they’re on a more level playing field when it comes to the potential sales they could bring in, right?

Not necessarily. Read on to learn:

Why brands should consider a Father’s Day marketing strategy

In 2022, consumers spent an average of $220 on gifts for Mother’s Day, reaching over $31B, according to data collected by Statista. But they spent less for Father’s Day—only about $20B.

Of course, plenty has changed in the last year: Inflation pressures mounted throughout 2022, a recession looms, and people are pinching pennies.

According to data collected by Opinium, 40% of US adults are planning to spend less on gifts for summer holidays in 2023. This makes sense, given that almost half of US adults reported that their financial situation got worse in 2022, and nearly 30% are braced for that trend to continue.

But don’t let this get you down. Nearly 40% of mothers are planning to offset inflation by getting a headstart on shopping to score those early deals. And let’s face it: Moms probably do a fair amount of Father’s Day shopping, especially if the kids are young.

Research conducted by Klaviyo showed that top performing brands earned almost $35 per recipient, attributing an average of over $800k to Father’s Day email campaigns.

Image shows a chart indicating top performing Klaviyo customers on Father’s Day email campaigns
Source: Klaviyo

SMS campaigns were worth the effort as well, with average click rates nearly 40% and average revenue per recipient over $20.

Image shows a chart indicating top performing Klaviyo customers on Father’s Day SMS campaigns
Source: Klaviyo

All the more reason to strategize your Father’s Day marketing plans.

Father’s Day is a holiday with untapped potential. If your brand sells sporting goods, men’s fashion, or CPG, this year may be your opportunity to try something new.

Imaginative Father’s Day emails and SMS marketing may be just the ticket to land new customers and increase sales for your brand during this upcoming holiday.

Father’s Day marketing ideas: then and now

There’s a range of potential value and revenue different holidays and seasonal events may hold for your brand.

Are they long-standing holidays that have an established history in society? Are they celebrated globally? Are they events that usually involve a gift exchange of some kind?

These are all factors that affect whether shoppers are going to be making purchases leading up to the date. And often, the longer a holiday has been celebrated, the more likely shoppers will be to recognize it as a genuine day of celebration.

For example, Mother’s Day became an official US holiday in 1914, while the US government didn’t officially recognize Father’s Day until 1972. That means Father’s Day marketing has 58 years of catch up to do.

And it’s not just time that has constrained the popularity of Father’s Day and Father’s Day marketing—family dynamics have played a part, too, in terms of both the perceived role fathers play in a family and the buying habits of consumers.

While stereotypical Father’s Day gifts are predominately functional (such as power tools or golf clubs), mothers tend to receive more symbolic and emotional gifts (such as flowers or cards) on their respective holiday.

Typically, more discretionary dollars are available for symbolic gifts (you can’t have too many flowers) than functional ones (you don’t need more than one leaf blower), according to Fast Company.

But times are changing. And family dynamics and consumer buying habits are coming along for the ride.

As roles in raising the family versus providing an income become less gendered, you can expect to see Father’s Day take on more prevalence
Adam Ferrier
author of The Advertising Effect: How to Change Behavior

In other words, if your brand is focused on a male or male-identifying customer demographic or your products aren’t gender-specific, you may have an opportunity to rethink how you’ve tackled Father’s Day marketing in the past.

If it’s fitting for your brand to do so, try a Father’s Day marketing campaign that puts a creative and personalized spin on your messaging.

For example, you can use the data you have about your customers to craft relevant, 1:1 experiences in your Father’s Day email communications.

Whether that means relevant product recommendations for gifts based on a customer’s past-purchase history or exclusive holiday deals offered to your VIP customers, personalized Father’s Day marketing can encourage your customers to spend their Father’s Day gift dollars with your brand.

Take an empathetic approach to your Father’s Day email marketing campaigns

Father’s Day marketing strategies come and go, but communicating with empathy isn’t going out of style any time soon.

The more you can pull back the corporate curtain and show your customers that real people sit behind your business, the greater the opportunity you’ll have to form truly strong customer relationships.

Just like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day may be a holiday that stirs up feelings of loss and distress, and Father’s Day marketing communications may be triggering for some of your customers.

A Father’s Day opt-out campaign allows you to recognize the difficult emotions some of your customers feel during this time of year and acknowledge them as people, not just as a potential source of sales for your brand.

Here’s an example of a Father’s Day opt-out campaign from Free Fly Apparel.

Image shows an email from Free Fly Apparel
Source: Free Fly Apparel

With the simple acknowledgement that Father’s Day isn’t a celebratory holiday for everyone, Free Fly Apparel shows kindness and support to their customers who need it most.

In addition to a Father’s Day opt-out email campaign, some brands also provide their customers with the option to opt out of Father’s Day communications on their website.

Image shows an email from Jeni’s
Source: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

If someone misses the opt-out email from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, they can still opt out on their site. Jeni’s ensures that those who would prefer not to receive Father’s Day messages have plenty of opportunities to withdraw from the email list.

It’s possible to design your Father’s Day marketing content in a way that not only drives sales, but also allows your brand to communicate with an authentic and empathetic tone.

Email + SMS examples to jumpstart your Father’s Day marketing ideas

Gone are the days where you could only say “Happy Father’s Day” with a new sander or power drill. Dads, just like most people, have a kaleidoscope of interests that go beyond a single stereotype.

Given the recent shift away from the traditional (and outdated) views on the roles fathers and mothers play within a family and the acknowledgement that dads can enjoy receiving gifts other than home improvement tools, a variety of brands are taking part in Father’s Day marketing and creating email campaigns that relate to all kinds of dads, fathers-to-be, or father figures.

Here are some email examples from brands that have knocked Father’s Day marketing out of the park:

1. Baboon to the Moon relies on humor

Subject line: DAD JOKES

Image shows an email from Baboon to the Moon
Babboon to the Moon

Who doesn’t love a good dad joke? Baboon to the Moon puts the jokes front and center and uses humor as a hook in their Father’s Day email.

The lighthearted copy sparks readers’ interest and the clear call to action (CTA) encourages them to shop products curated specifically for the holiday.

And if, like me, you’re not an only child, Baboon’s “Be The Favorite Child” headline is an irresistible rallying cry.

2. RIMOWA speaks to a global audience

Subject line: For all the dads around the world

Image shows an email from RIMOWA
Source: RIMOWA

Luggage probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine the ideal Father’s Day gift. But luggage brand Rimowa won’t let that put a damper on their Father’s Day marketing plans.

Their Father’s Day email argues that durable luggage is actually the perfect present for dads by cleverly evoking the journeying spirit of fatherhood. As Rimowa communicates in this email, travel is much like life in the sense that it’s usually best to be as prepared as possible.

3. Chubbies keeps it conversational

Subject line: Don’t you wish your email

Preview text: was hot like me? Don’t you wish your email was a freak like me? Don’t you?

Image shows an email from Chubbies
Source: Chubbies

Chubbies combines cute baby apparel and conversational banter to whip up a Father’s Day email that’s on-brand for a company that thrives on entertaining content.

Swim trunks are a practical gift for Father’s Day since it’s a holiday celebrated during the summer months, but Chubbies ups the ante by advertising matching tiny trunks for babies.

Instagram-worthy posts, throngs of people trying to take your picture, and oodles of compliments await you if you shop with Chubbies on Father’s Day—according to them.

Moral of the story? Have fun with your Father’s Day emails and your customers will, too.

4. Function of Beauty uses inclusive copy

Subject line: Let’s Celebrate Dad! Last chance to get 10% Off

Image shows an email from Function of Beauty
Source: Function of Beauty

It may surprise you to see a beauty brand on this collection of Father’s Day emails, but that’s precisely why I’ve included it.

If your brand sells products you think wouldn’t typically suit dads, I challenge you to change that line of thinking! Function of Beauty exemplifies this perspective shift and acknowledges that hair goals know no gender in their Father’s Day email campaign.

Self-care can be just as important for dads as it is for moms. Function of Beauty wants readers to give the gift of glossy locks this Father’s Day. The special men in their lives will appreciate it—and so will their split ends.

5. American Giant provides a variety of apparel options

Subject line: Gifts for the dads who have everything

Image shows an email from American Giant
Source: American Giant

Dads sometimes seem larger than life. Like moms, they can wear a lot of different hats in the family—chef, coach, role model, or bedtime story teller (to name a few).

American Giant uses their Father’s Day email copy to encourage subscribers to shop their gift guide, using messaging that ties back to their brand name and their products.

Since dads and father-like figures often suit up for a lot of different roles, American Giant wants them to have enough outfits to dress each part.

6. Pair of Thieves uses an unconventional email layout

Subject line: You Are Not Dad’s Favorite🥈…yet

Image shows an email from Pair of Thieves
Source: Pair of Thieves

Pair of Thieves uses their Father’s Day email to lovingly poke fun at dads and their attempts to stay current with the latest style and social media trends.

The text thread at the top of the email is a perfect segue into the gift guide Pair of Thieves put together for the holiday. Dad wardrobes may be a different story, but dad jokes can endure across generations.

7. Beardbrand connects to their community

Subject line: Shoutout to all the dads

Image shows an email from Beardbrand
Source: Beardbrand

In their email love letter to dads, Beardbrand takes a step back from product promotion and uses Father’s Day to connect with their community.

The holiday doesn’t have to be all about selling—you can use your Father’s Day email to build brand awareness and let your customers get to know the people behind your brand, rather than the products.

Beardbrand wraps up their Father’s Day email with a picture of founder Eric Bandholz, his epic beard, and his daughter for an added personal touch.

8. NueBar celebrates dads of all kinds

Subject line: 15% OFF Father’s Day Starter Packs. 10% OFF Gift Cards.

Image shows an email from Nuebar
Source: Nuebar

NueBar injects their Father’s Day email with a dose of environmental sustainability. This eco-friendly brand advertises that celebrating dads can also mean good things for the planet.

As more shoppers become conscious consumers—finding brands that align with their values and making purchasing decisions that drive a positive social, economic, or environmental impact—seeing a brand’s commitment to plastic-free products may be the deciding factor in a customer’s potential Father’s Day purchase.

NueBar also recognizes that all dads are different. The products they highlight in their Father’s Day email cater to a diversity of hair types and soap preferences, which widens the pool of subscribers who may shop with the brand.

9. Hive Brands considers your chosen family

Subject line: Did you hear about our Father’s Day collection?

Preview text: It’s pretty “pop”-ular

Image shows an email from Hive Brands
Source: Klaviyo Showcase/Hive Brands

With a sensitivity similar to brands that give customers the opportunity to opt out of Father’s Day messaging, Hive Brands gets to the heart of complications around fatherhood in the very first paragraph.

The sustainable groceries brand acknowledges that you may be buying for your “dad by birth, dad by choice, fatherly friend, or resident bad joke teller.”

Hive keeps it light, too. They acknowledge some people have chosen fathers, and make a classic “dad joke” dig in the same sentence.

Then, they get down to business—literally. Hive Brands showcases their products using clever wordplay and beautiful, clear images thoughtfully spaced out in the email.

It’s easy for the reader to digest quickly, see what might appeal to the father figure in their life, and get to the CTA button at the bottom.

10. Natural Pigments rescues the procrastinators (via SMS)

Image shows an SMS text from Natural Pigments
Source: Klaviyo Showcase/Natural Pigments

Natural Pigments specializes in supplying rare and hard-to-find artists’ materials. They know that children—even adult children—aren’t always the best at getting gifts for their parents on time.

So, they meet their last-minute customers where they are, with a well-timed text message—just 3 days before Father’s Day—to folks who have opted in to SMS marketing.

Natural Pigments keeps it short and sweet, alerting subscribers to a gift guide. They also suggest a gift card—something that there’s still ample time to deliver, if sent electronically.

The link is visible without scrolling, making it easy for customers to find their way to Natural Pigments’ site.

11. Cometeer invests in beautiful imagery

Image shows an email from Natural Pigments
Image shows an email from Natural Pigments
Image shows an email from Natural Pigments
Source: Really Good Emails/Cometeer

Cometeer’s Father’s Day email has a lot to admire: a succinct headline, a CTA button above the fold, and short, smart copy, to name a few.

But the images that the coffee subscription company includes in this Father’s Day email are particularly stunning—sharp, mod photography and original, visually appealing backgrounds in ombre that give off a dreamy, aspirational feeling.

People who love coffee really love coffee. The folks at Cometeer definitely know this, and know how to make their audience feel seen and satisfied. This email holds my attention all the way to the second CTA button at the bottom and makes me want to see more.

12. Tackle Club gives shoppers ideas—and a push

Subject line: Father’s Day is approaching

Image shows an email from Tackle Club
Source: Klaviyo Showcase/Tackle Club

Tackle Club, an Australian brand that sells fishing gear, sent this email about a month before Australian Father’s Day. They showcase 9 separate gift boxes, with clear images and succinct descriptions, along with an individual CTA button for each one.

That’s a great user experience for the customer: They don’t even have to leave the email to get their dad the perfect gift for the special day.

Even better? Up top, Tackle Club updates their subscribers about an upcoming closure and shares a reminder about national postal delays, giving customers a friendly push to get their order in on time for the holiday.

13. Match gives a never-before-seen offer

Subject line: Celebrate Dad with a free Berti knife

Image shows an email from Match, including shots from product page
Source: Klaviyo Showcase/Match

The only thing better than a perfect gift for Dad is a free perfect gift for Dad.

That’s exactly what Match, a home decor company that specializes in Italian pewter, offers their subscribers: a free paring knife with the purchase of a set of handmade Italian knives. Who doesn’t need a paring knife, or to have an extra on hand?

The copy highlights that this is the first time Match has ever included a free gift, marking the occasion as special, and likely making the subscriber glad they signed up to get emails.

Both the product Match is hoping to sell and the free paring knife are displayed prominently and beautifully in the hero image. The CTA button is above the fold and holiday-specific.

14. Kick Ash Basket offers a quirky—and personal—discount

Subject line: Sizzle 🔥& Save 💰: FLASH SALE – 18.7% Off & Free Shipping Site Wide:

Preview text: Give the Best Father’s Day Gift– A Better Cook Every Time!

Image shows an email from Kick-Ash Basket, in digital marketing
Source: Klaviyo Showcase/Kick-Ash Basket

Kick Ash Basket, a company that sells charcoal grill accessories and baskets, doesn’t offer just any discount. They’re not offering 10%, which might get your attention, or 20%, which might get you to buy something you may have otherwise been on the fence about.

This discount is 18.7%.

A percentage that, if you’re like me, will make you look twice. Out of sheer curiosity, I read the beginning of the email.

The 18.7% represents the amount of years that Chad Romzek, Kick Ash Basket’s founder, has been a dad.

As a reader, I find it charming, personal, and memorable. The anecdote explaining the percentage is accompanied by what looks like a family selfie of the founder, his wife, and children eating outdoors.

Below are clear pictures of Kick Ash’s products, action-oriented CTA buttons on each one, and even a dad joke—”heat resistant gloves allow Dad to handle hot things safely! (Like your momma!)”

Your Father’s Day emails are competing for inbox real estate. An original, memorable percentage like Kick Ash’s can help them stand out.

15. Skwosh pushes you to buy for the kids, too

Subject line: 📦 Let’s take a load off with FREE express shipping.

Preview text: Guaranteed Good Times On Time ⏰ Hurry! Only available for the next 24Hrs.

Image shows an email from Skwosh, with father's day gift ideas, post-pandemic.
Source: Klaviyo Showcase

Skwosh, an Australian brand that sells resort wear for men, women, and kids, offers free express shipping on orders over a certain amount, but they also advertise kids’ clothing right alongside the menswear.

Let’s say you’re the partner of a dad, shopping for gifts he can open “from the kids”—assuming they’re too young to buy or make any Father’s Day gifts. Skwosh shows you how to get Dad and the little one matching bathing suits.

You’re already there shopping for that special dad—why not get something for the kids, too?

It’s a smart up-sell strategy.

Once you’ve got your subscriber’s attention—meaning, once they’ve opened the email—make sure you get the right products in their view. You may sell much more than gifts for dads this season.

Make a big splash with your Father’s Day marketing campaign

What’s happened in the past doesn’t have to dictate how you do something in the future. Just because there hasn’t been as great an emphasis placed on Father’s Day email marketing campaigns historically doesn’t mean your brand has to follow the status quo.

Father’s Day is becoming an increasingly popular holiday as shoppers realize that dads and moms alike deserve a little token of thanks for all that they do.

No matter what your brand sells, you, too, can create Father’s Day emails that engage your audience and encourage your customers to show dads, grandads, uncles, brothers, or the special person in their life that they appreciate everything fathers bring to the table.

Ready to start building your Father’s Day emails? Check more high-performing examples you can use as a template in Klaviyo’s Showcase.

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Emily Riedy
Emily Riedy
Content marketing manager
Emily Riedy is a content marketing manager at Klaviyo where she works to publish content to educate and inspire online businesses owners and email marketers. Owned marketing channels are a means to building a substantial customer base for the long-term, and the content Emily is most passionate about helps business operators create strong business foundations in owned marketing principles. Before Klaviyo, Emily worked at a paid ads agency helping businesses transform their approach to digital advertising. When she's not strategizing marketing content, she is running around the streets of Boston training for whatever race is next up on the docket. She lives in the South End with her 2 year-old basenji Fig and frequents (probably too regularly) the local Spanish tapas spot.