Don’t Leave Dads Behind: 9 Tips + Examples for Father’s Day Emails

father's day header image

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. 

Analysts estimated Mother’s Day spending to reach a record high of 26.7 billion dollars in 2020, according to the National Retail Foundation, while they estimated consumers to have only spent 17 billion dollars on Father’s Day in 2020. That’s a large disparity, especially between two relatively similar holidays.   

But those numbers shouldn’t quell your Father’s Day marketing plans. Just the opposite—they indicate that Father’s Day is a holiday that has untapped potential. If your brand caters to a male audience or merely wants to experiment with Father’s Day messaging, this year may be your opportunity to try something new.   

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

Keep reading to learn about: 

Father’s Day marketing: 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, affecting 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, there are more discretionary dollars 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. 

Father’s Day spending is on the rise—making a jump from nine billion dollars in 2009 to 17 billion dollars in 2020, according to the National Retail Foundation—which means more shoppers are giving dads their moment in the sun and embracing a holiday that celebrates their functional and emotional contribution to their families. 

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 at all.

“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,” says Adam Ferrier, author of The Advertising Effect: How to Change Behavior. 

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, one-to-one experiences in your Father’s Day email communications—like relevant product recommendations for gifts based on a customer’s past-purchase history or exclusive holiday deals offered to your VIP customers—that ideally help encourage your customers to spend their Father’s Day gift dollars with your brand.    

Take an empathetic approach to Father’s Day marketing

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

If 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 possibly felt by some of your customers during this time of year and acknowledge them as people, not just as a potential source of sales for your brand.  

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

flyfree apparel mother's and father's day opt out email

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 an 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.

jeni's father's day opt out

If someone misses Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream opt-out email, having the ability to also opt out on their site ensures that those who would prefer not to receive Father’s Day messages have plenty of opportunities to withdraw themselves from Jeni’s 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 examples to jumpstart your Father’s Day marketing campaign

Gone are the days where you could only say “Happy Father’s Day” with a new sander or power drill. Dad’s, 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 things 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

Subject line: DAD JOKES

baboon to the moon father's day email

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 light-hearted 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

Subject line: For all the dads around the world

rimowa father's day email

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 

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?

chubbies father's day email

Chubbies combines cute baby apparel and conversational banter to whip up a very on-brand Father’s Day email 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 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 

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

function of beauty father's day email

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 that 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 

Subject line: Gifts for the dad who have everything

american giant father's day email

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 

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

pair of thieves father's day emails

pair of thieves father's day emails

pair of thieves father's day email

Pair of Thieves uses their Father’s Day email to light-heartedly 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 jokes can endure across generations, but dad wardrobes may be a different story.   

7 | Beardbrand 

Subject line: Shoutout to all the dads 

beardbrand father's day email

In their email love-note 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 (and his epic beard), and his daughter for an added personal touch. 

8 | NueBar

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

nuebar father's day emails

nuebar father's day emails

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 their potential Father’s Day purchase.

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

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. 

Whether you’re a beauty, apparel, or hardware brand, 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 out how these pre-built templates can help!  

Measure the success of your holiday email campaigns year after year.

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