Covid-19: Mother’s Day marketing tips for small businesses

Many customers will be eager to support their favourite small businesses, especially now.

Mother’s Day is traditionally one of the biggest days of the year for small businesses such as specialist retailers, restaurants, nail salons, spas and florists.

With South Africa in the midst of a national lockdown to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, it cannot be business as usual this year.

The good news, however, is that many customers are looking for ways to spoil their mothers and show them they care at a time when they must keep their physical distance from them.

Many customers will be eager to support their favourite small businesses, especially now.

Here are a few ways to market Mother’s Day promotions, and get further connected with customers, during this unprecedented time:

  • If you have built an email database, a newsletter announcing your promotions, gift ideas and specials for Mother’s Day can be a great place to start.
  • It’s not too late to send an email now, but make sure that you have a compelling message to offer your customers.

Here are some practices to help create compelling marketing mailers:

  • Write a sharp and attention-grabbing subject line.
  • A subject line that stands out and accurately portrays the content of your mail is key to getting people to open your email.
  • Use strong, action words, focus on urgency as it’s tied to a specific date, and show the customer what’s in it for them, accurately.
  • For example: “Last Day of our Mother’s Day Sale!” or “Spoil Mom with a gift card”.

Focus on the call to action:

  • Put your important calls to action higher up in the message and focus on a bold, simple offer.
  • Don’t use too many calls to action, rather focus on one or two that are really powerful.
  • For example: “Order today for a 10% discount” or “Buy today and we’ll ship in time for Mother’s Day’.

Clean design and consistent branding:

  • It can be nice to use a tasteful Mother’s Day theme for the design of your email, but ensure it’s consistent with your branding.
  • It should also look good on a smartphone screen.

Consider value-added-content:

  • Instead of simply selling, you can also use your emails to entertain or inform.
  • You could, for instance, write a short article about traditional flowers for Mother’s Day and how the tradition of giving flowers came about.

Find ways to package your products and services to sell them online:

If your business is in a sector that may not operate during the lockdown, you might need to think of creative ways to drum up Mother’s Day sales on digital channels such as your website or your company’s Facebook page.

Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to offer gift vouchers for redemption after the lockdown (you can simply email a voucher to the customer) or to let people order now for when you may start to ship products again.

If you’re in the personal services business, you could also consider ways to offer a digital service.

A personal trainer could offer exercise sessions via video conferencing or a beautician could put together a video course featuring their top beauty tips.

Think creatively about how digitising your services can help you to keep your business open while we are in lockdown.

Start a social media conversation:

  • More people are spending increased time online during the lockdown, so social media is even more relevant than usual in creating engagement with your customers.
  • This year, keep it fun, fluid and conversational.
  • Daily deals, flash sales, polls and user-generated content can be great ways to drive engagement.
  • Prepare visual content ahead of the time, like attractive product shots to go with deal promos, for example.
  • Watch the conversation and hop on board the hashtags and memes if they are relevant for your business.

It’s not the usual Mother’s Day, make it special in new ways:

This year, staying at home and foregoing the usual family get-together is the best present that most people can give their mothers.

As such, it’s even more important at this difficult time for companies to be warm, authentic and sensitive in their communications with their customers.

These are unusual circumstances, so acknowledge that in your customer communications and focus on adding value rather than on the hard sale.

You might want to try something different to help your customers and their mothers feel special.

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