Bereaved Consumers Given Chance To Opt Out Of Mother's Day Emails

Brands are showing emotional intelligence as they conduct their Mother’s Day campaigns — by letting people opt out during this painful time of year for many. 

Firms such as Passion Planner, Open Table, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Etsy and Bloom & Wild, are asking consumers up front if they would rather not receive Mother’s Day-themed emails, according to the Washington Post. And many people appreciate the consideration. 

This issue has its origins in the direct-mail business, when parents sometimes received a baby-themed mailer a day or two after their baby had died. 

The only way to avoid that in the old days was to match a firm’s mailing list against a so-called “deceased file.” But it was far from reliable, given the timing of analog mailings and the sloppiness of the lists.   



Even in the era of real-time marketing, it is not always possible to avoid sending an unwanted email. Kate Spencer, author of “The Dead Moms Club,” received a barrage of emails almost immediately after her mother’s demise from pancreatic cancer in 2007, according to the Post. 

One way around it is to send emails up front asking shoppers if they would like to opt out, and many firms are doing that. One downside is that consumers may be overwhelmed by the plethora of “opt-out” emails coming in. 

This debate is taking place as the first post-pandemic Mother’s Day is about to be celebrated and consumers are primed to spend $245 per person, experts say. Countless Americans have lost parents or other loved ones to COVID-19.

With retailers facing “supply chain shortages and fierce competition from the blurred lines between brick-and-mortar, eCommerce and DTC, brands increasingly realize the critical element of communicating with customers in a personalized and authentic way,” says Michael Osborne, president of Wunderkind. 

This personalized messaging strategy extends to "consumers' preferred engagement channels like mail and text and frequency and tone,” Osborne adds.  

Osborne hopes that brands “will use this moment as a catalyst for ongoing efforts to infuse greater personalization and consideration into the brand-customer relationship.” 

He concludes: “Giving people the ability to opt-out of a brand's promotional holiday messaging gives consumers a choice, for example, which may increase brand loyalty and retention in the long run.”

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