As we approach the summer months, we’re well into the spree of public holidays and commemorative days that crop up annually – all of which offer email marketers great opportunities to create tailored and relevant campaigns.

Father’s Day is certainly no exception, and using insight to inform your seasonal email marketing campaign is a guaranteed way to ensure that your mail stands out in the inbox.

Using data and insight from previous email marketing campaigns, as well as analysing online trends and search terms, we’ve pulled together the following tips to help marketers make the most of events such as Father’s Day and really capitalise on the opportunities that present themselves at such times of year.

Learning from experience – using year-on-year data to time your campaigns

As you might expect, our Experian CheetahMail email marketing databases show that emails with a focus on Father’s Day experienced high engagement rates in the two weekends prior to Father’s Day. But marketers shouldn’t worry about whether they have missed the boat.

Interestingly, the day before Father’s Day also saw a lift in engagement figures, with increases in both open and click-through rates. For brands that sell products that do not require delivery – for example gifts that can be printed such as tickets and days away – there is still a great opportunity to capitalise on customers who are looking for gift inspiration. Timing is everything and if your product offering lends itself well to these sorts of last minute gift ideas, make sure you build an email advertising these types of gifts into your strategy to be issued the day before.

bank holiday weekend buying

Transaction rates – when do people buy?

Again, the two weekends in the run-up to Father’s Day 2011 were key times for increased transaction rates. But as we search for those last minute gifts, the week prior to Father’s Day also saw good lifts in transaction rates. Make sure to target the week prior to any main holiday or commemorative day to make the most of the last-minute shoppers.

bank holiday weekend transactions

Email as the driver – online share and traffic from email

Corresponding with email engagement levels, online traffic driven by emails also peaks in the days leading up to Father’s Day. Online data from Experian Hitwise found a direct correlation between peaks in online visits to gift retailers and peaks in traffic from email sites. Email is a great driver for online traffic so use your campaigns to engage with your consumers and incentivise a trip to your site.

Using insight to populate your emails – what can online search tell us?

Experian Hitwise data reveals that the most searched terms related to Father’s Day are related to the date 2012 (47%) and when Father’s Day actually is (12%). Adding the date of Father’s Day to your subject line can help you to achieve increased engagement levels, along with customers retaining your email in the inbox rather than deleting them.

Customers are always on the lookout for gift ideas – the same analysis revealed that 12.6% of all search terms related to Father’s Day are linked to gifts. Having your email content focused on gift ideas is the best way to involve customers – particularly if you’re looking to target the last-minute buyers.

What’s hot – the most popular gifts to highlight in your Father’s Day emails

Combining insight from previous email marketing campaigns with analysis of online search behaviour of the most popular gifts at this time of year can really help retailers and email marketers target their offerings and content.

Searches for ‘cool gadgets’ have seen an uplift in the build up to Father’s Day, increasing by 1.68% in the four weeks prior to the day. The top ten key searches for Father’s Day include:

Search Term% point increase
4wks/ending 02-06-12
compared to 07-04-12
Cool gadgets1.68%
Personalised mugs1.56%
VW tent1.45%
iPhone 4 case1.38%
Letter cufflinks1.13%
Candy floss machine1.06%
Personalised cufflinks1.04%
Picture engraved keyrings1.03%
Men’s jewellery1.00%

Content remains king, so use what you know about the consumers you are trying to engage to deliver gift ideas that you know they want.

Looking beyond the day – when else can I leverage interest?

Opportunities exist at other times of the year to engage consumers, particularly in August/September time when many UK based Australians are searching for their Father’s Day dates and gifts, and in March after Mother’s Day, when consumers are double checking the date for Father’s Day.

Holiday campaigns such as Father’s Day can be very beneficial to marketers, and by using digital insight to structure and inform your emails in the correct way, you can ensure that you are providing your customers with the right information at the right time to maximise on seasonal demand.

Helen Taylor

Helen Taylor


Helen Taylor is a Data Analyst for Experian CheetahMail.