Klaviyo’s Head of Marketing Shares 5 Strategies to Help You Prepare for Mother’s Day

mothers day campaign strategies

Meet Kady Srinivasan, head of marketing at Klaviyo. 

Kady comes off of the heels of running ecommerce marketing for Owlet, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) smart baby monitor company, which she helped to grow from 50 million dollars to over 100 million dollars during the pandemic.

Prior to that, Kady ran marketing for Dropbox and Electronic Arts, plus has held a number of other stints in consumer packaged goods (CPGs).

Kady is also a big believer that you can use seasonal events to create unique and outstanding customer experiences, or magical marketing moments, which means we’ve been chatting a lot about Mother’s Day lately.

“Seasonal events are such a great way to make your brand more visible and build on the brand equity that you already have. But it’s also about focusing on the content you create for your existing customers,” said Kady. 

Consider these five pieces of advice from Kady as you plan your Mother’s Day marketing campaigns:

1 | Define your brand values

Over the past year, the idea of communicating with empathy in your marketing has been more prevalent than ever before. But how can you create Mother’s Day messaging with the right touch of sensitivity and compassion?

“If you’re celebrating these holidays, the content you create has to be authentic to your brand. For Owlet, we were all about recognizing uniqueness in individuals, so we used that as a way to celebrate Mother’s Day,” said Kady.

“Instead of saying, ‘Happy Mother’s Day, here’s 15 percent off,’ we said, ‘Let’s celebrate all the different paths to motherhood, both traditional and nontraditional. Let’s celebrate the uniqueness of women who become mothers. It became a way to amplify our brand while also conveying an important social message to our audience,” she added.

"Instead of saying, ‘Happy Mother's Day, here's 15 percent off,’ we said, ‘Let's celebrate all the different paths to motherhood, both traditional and nontraditional. Let's celebrate the uniqueness of women who become mothers."

Kady Srinivasan, SVP of marketing, Klaviyo

Kady suggested taking a step back to consider your brand values and your mission. Then, you can use this to inform the messages you relay to your customers and shape the way you create content around these events.

“If you stand for inclusion, maybe this year you want to celebrate mothers in all walks of life—all forms, shapes, ages. It’s something that’s positive and uplifting and should be celebrated, and it stands true to your brand’s values,” said Kady.

“Of course, it’s important to be sensitive in the content you write and you may want to consider offering subscribers the option to opt out of Mother’s Day marketing entirely, but if you’re coming from a place of authenticity about who you are as a company and you’re backing your mission, consumers can still be inspired by what your brand is saying even if they choose not to celebrate themselves,” she added.

2 | Consider what resonates with consumers in 2021

During the height of the pandemic, marketers had to shift the way they communicated—messaging was all about practicing social distancing, staying safe, and relishing (or at least trying to relish) the small joys of spending time inside.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and consumers are beginning to plan for life post-pandemic, so consider how you can continue to keep your messaging as timely and relevant as possible as the world changes. 

“Pre-pandemic, many people thought of Mother’s Day as another day—there was celebration, but it was also somewhat of a ‘Hallmark holiday.’ During the pandemic, there were many people who couldn’t see their moms in-person or celebrate Mother’s Day how they wanted to with their parents, so coming out of the pandemic now, there’s going to be a deeper recognition of the day and sense of celebration,” said Kady.

Consumer behavior has changed, which affects what experiences and messages your customers want to interact with. Keep your marketing practical and relatable rather than extravagant by including sentiments of gratitude for the small joys in life.  

“One of the big lessons the pandemic taught people is how simple your life can be—people didn’t necessarily need as many things in their everyday lives anymore. Coming out of the pandemic, a lot of customers are still in that mindset of getting back to their roots. They want things to be simple. They want brand interactions to feel authentic according to their experiences,” said Kady.

"Coming out of the pandemic, a lot of customers are still in that mindset of getting back to their roots. They want things to be simple. They want brand interactions to feel authentic according to their experiences."

Kady Srinivasan, SVP of marketing, Klaviyo

“People are going to hold on to that philosophy of simplicity for a while. They’re trading in expensive gifts for ones that represent gratitude for the people in their lives. Navigating that landscape of complex emotion is going to be critical for a lot of brands,” she added.

More than ever, consumers are looking for authenticity and honesty from the brands they shop with, so leverage emotional connections to build deeper relationships with your customers.

3 | It’s never too early to plan and promote

When it comes to creating marketing campaigns around seasonal holidays like Mother’s Day, the earlier you get started, the better. Not to mention, the competition is heating up as brands that were forced to keep a low profile with their marketing budgets amid the pandemic emerge back out onto the digital landscape.

“Be prepared to wade into a really noisy market, which means it’s better to start planning sooner than later,” said Kady.

“Your message shouldn’t be a departure from what you’re already doing with your brand, it should be a different spin on the same message. So work on your messaging even as early as a month or more before Mother’s Day so you can start getting the word out,” she added.

"Your message shouldn’t be a departure from what you’re already doing with your brand, it should be a different spin on the same message. So work on your messaging even as early as a month or more before Mother’s Day so you can start getting the word out."

Kady Srinivasan, SVP of marketing, Klaviyo

For example, last year, DTC jewelry brand Catbird encouraged their subscribers to start thinking about Mother’s Day with a first email promotion going out on April 24th—more than two weeks before Mother’s Day—in order to ensure customers that purchases would arrive on time. 

Because Catbird offers many made-to-order items, and on top of that, people were experiencing shipping delays, it was essential that their team didn’t wait until the last minute until they started to drive messaging around the holiday.

Over the course of 13 days, Catbird sent out six emails to remain top-of-mind for subscribers and ensure that customers had all the information they needed to make their purchases for the mom or mother-figure in their life with plenty of time to spare.

4 | Create buzz with a discount detour

Holidays and seasonal events are an excellent reason for brands to take advantage of strategies they might not typically try, such as contests or giveaways, which can also be a great way to create engagement around your brand without promoting a discount or sale.

“If they’re done tastefully, they can go a long way in creating buzz around the type of messaging you’re trying to create for your brand,” said Kady.

Last year, Kady’s team at Owlet experimented with a giveaway that collected user-generated content (UGC).

“When we asked customers to tell us about their unique journey with motherhood, they had the opportunity to win a free Owlet sock, which is worth $300. You’d be surprised how many people wrote in, including many people who were already a customer of ours and who already had a smart sock, but they still wanted to share their story,” said Kady.

“When you can invite people into your brand, into your messaging, and into the celebration, it’s a pretty spectacular way to interact with and engage your community,” she said.

"When you can invite people into your brand, into your messaging, and into the celebration, it’s a pretty spectacular way to interact with and engage your community."

Kady Srinivasan, SVP of marketing, Klaviyo

Additionally, Kady suggested that Mother’s Day might be a good time to focus on your product—launch a new item, promote a specific collection, or create a bundle of your best-selling merchandise.

“Depending on how much time you have, consider creating specific products or product bundles as part of your Mother’s Day promotion. I’ve also seen brands give out free gifts or something a little extra with each purchase. It’s a nice gesture, and those kinds of things go a long way with shoppers,” she said.

Whatever promotion, giveaway, or contest you choose, ensure your campaign aligns with your brand and attracts people that will be a fit for the products you offer year round. 

5 | Start from the bottom of your funnel

When you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner, increasing sales and customers is usually priority number one, which can make it difficult to focus on anything other than acquisition. 

But Kady strongly advocates for “flipping the funnel” and ensuring your customer experience is solid before you invest your money in top-of-the-funnel campaigns.

“Start by making sure your bottom-of-the-funnel tactics are squared away. Most people begin by thinking about what they can do to create top-of-the-funnel awareness, but they don’t realize that if your funnel is leaky and you’re losing a bunch of people along the way, there’s no point,” Kady said.

"Start by making sure your bottom-of-the-funnel tactics are squared away. Most people begin by thinking about what they can do to create top-of-the-funnel awareness, but they don't realize that if your funnel is leaky and you're losing a bunch of people along the way, there's no point."

Kady Srinivasan, SVP of marketing, Klaviyo

“Figure out your backend first—get your email and text message marketing right, get your onsite experience right. Then, when you spend money on Facebook or Google to push people into the funnel, you can contact them, you create effective customer experiences, and you can make the most of every dollar you spent at the top of the funnel,” she added.

Create awareness campaigns that drive new people to your website, but focus on the elements that will lead them to remember your brand positively and make a purchase.

Does your DTC website reflect the messaging you’re sharing across other channels? Do you have a signup form to help you capture new shoppers’ information? Are you automations and segments set up to maximize sales and increase retention? 

It’s easy to overlook these details when you’re focused on making the copy or design of your top-of-funnel campaigns extraordinary, but the payoff of a fantastic customer experience will be well worth the extra time and effort.

Create exceptional customer experiences for Mother’s Day and beyond 

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the most valuable skill you can have as a marketer is the ability to be agile. 

The world today is different than it was a year ago, not to mention two or three years, which means your marketing campaigns for seasonal events and holidays like Mother’s Day will look different too.

If you stay true to your brand values while incorporating Kady’s five tips, you’ll craft marketing campaigns that will resonate with your customers and set you up for success this Mother’s Day and beyond.

Join Klaviyo and Octane AI on April 15th at 1:00 PM PDT/4:00 PM EDT for “Commerce Conversations: The Mother’s Day DTC Episode” on Commerce Club.

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