Don’t Leave Out Dads when Email Marketing to Parents

dad_babyRecently, dads responded in anger to a Huggies ad campaign in which clueless, gorilla-manchildren clumsily botched every attempt to care for their babies. A 1,300-strong Facebook campaign and petition responded, saying that modern Dads change diapers and take care of their babies just as competently as moms do.

Modern children’s retailers take note: they must market to moms and dads as equals. While women have more general purchasing power, men make more online purchases than women do (as found in many studies, including this one). Women are also more skeptical about the safety of shopping online and giving websites their personal information, while men shop on websites more freely. So, a targeted email campaign aimed at dads may have a high conversion rate.

It’s best to segment your list to better target the consumer, specifically, by age of child:

Infants and Toddlers

A recent Experian study of the new, affluent parents (earning over $100k per year) of infants and pre-schoolers show parents who are plugged in to social media and pop culture, invested in finding the best products to engage their children, and almost universally check email on smartphones.

To tap into this market, remember that parents of infants and toddlers are constantly on the go. They don’t have much time to read, so keep your emails short and scannable. Use bullet points, headers, and graphics that allow the main point of the email to pop out easily. If you send newsletters, use a two-column format to space out information so the strongest points are above the fold.

Kindergarten to Sixth grade

To a parent, their child is special and unique, but elementary school is a difficult system that challenges every kid. Show that your company recognizes their child’s unique talents by employing a positive, supportive tone.

Gen X parents with school-age kids are looking for simple solutions to make their lives easier. While Milennial-age parents with infants and toddlers may respond to a more emotional ad campaign, Gen X parents look for practicality, coupons (women moreso than men), durability, and problem solving. Both moms and dad like innovation, but only if it works and the price is right.

In email, use bullet points to highlight convincing aspects for why your products work. Use landing pages with product demos and lots of product description, including info for parents with allergy concerns.

Middle school

Kids 11 to 15 are starting to be independent and challenging their parents by striking out in the world on their own. They probably have their own cell phones, but in a recent study, 90% of parents agreed that they didn’t like the idea of advertisers collecting data on their kids (it’s illegal to collect data on kids under 13).

Use your marketing email software to separate parents of kids in middle school from high school, as their needs and interests are very different.

Remember that the kids themselves are involved in social media — but not the way Mom and Dad use it. Teens are fleeing from Facebook, but teen girls enjoy the inspirational quotes and trendy photography of Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. Teen boys are found debating hot topics on the insular discussion site Reddit.

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