Emailing: Does Your Message Live Up To The Medium?

Moms may be pressed for time, but they still fit a lot of communication into their busy schedules. Not only are they sending plenty of bite-size texts and tweets throughout the day, they’re writing and reading emails … a lot!

According to our soon-to-be-released 21st Century Mom 2013 Social Mom Report, email still plays a big part in the lives of moms. For 78% of them, it’s the first thing they pull up on the screen in the morning – before Facebook (57%) or sending a text message (48%). And after that first morning check, 20% of moms use email hourly.

Now that mobile technology makes it possible to email anytime, anywhere, it’s more ubiquitous than ever – especially among moms, who are 49% more likely than the general population to own a smartphone. No wonder 56% of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budgets this year (while only 52% plan to increase their social efforts and 40% will increase their search budget). So the question on everyone’s mind is: How can we make sure we’re doing email right?

That question is especially important for anyone marketing to moms. The time constraints of motherhood mean women have to streamline their screen time. If your message doesn’t feel relevant to this exact moment in her life, she will dismiss you faster than you can say “unsubscribe.” But if you get it right, she’ll respond – sometimes by clicking, sometimes by sharing with her friends, and sometimes by sending you a flattering message.

Here are a few excerpts from notes we’ve received from our own readers, which also illustrate the top three email strategies marketers can put to work for their own brands:

1. “I'm starting to think you're psychic.” 
Moms tell us again and again that we’re reading their minds. That’s because every email we send is carefully tailored to her life stage – down to the week. We deliver the highest-quality content that relates to her current mindset, so she opens each email knowing she’s going to read something relevant to that exact moment in her life. Promotional emails work the same way: If you offer a baby food discount to the mom of a five-year-old, she’ll just hit “delete.” So if you want Mom’s undivided attention, know your reader’s current needs and challenges, then use that knowledge to offer her meaningful and relevant solutions.

2. “I never thought anything on the Internet could be preferable to a book!” 
Brands are becoming publishers. Marketers who deliver content that provides real value are creating a meaningful bond with their readers. No platform? No problem: Smart marketers partner with multi-platform publishers to integrate their message into existing newsletters or email campaigns. In our case, readers say they welcome marketing messages from our partners. So remember: Content is king. If you want to engage with moms, think creatively about integrating your message into high-quality editorial from a publisher she trusts.

3. “I get your weekly newsletter about my baby – love it!  And I use your app to track milestones on my iPhone.”
If your emails are targeted and include relevant, high-value content, they’ll make an impression on your reader. And as any advertiser will tell you, impressions count. Click-throughs are great, but they’re no longer the ultimate goal. Today the smart marketing money is on effective, integrated branding campaigns that build engagement and loyalty over time, over many screens. So if you want to make a real impression on moms, build email into your overall marketing mix and think beyond the click. 

A recent survey from the Center for Media Research showed that 70% of advertisers believe email marketing works harder than social media at building customer loyalty and retention. But believing in email isn’t enough – it takes a real commitment to understanding your customer’s life stage, developing high-quality content, and integrating your message into a broader campaign, across multiple platforms. Follow those strategies, and moms won’t just read your emails – they’ll respond.



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