Ariel Horton
Ariel Horton is a Lifestyle and Leisure Analyst, responsible for conducting research, analyzing data, and writing full syndicated reports related to family research as well as identifying and evaluating economic, consumer and social industry trends.

Being a parent is a hard, but important job. According to Mintel research on marketing to moms, seven in 10 moms say parenting is the most important thing they do. The endless work and unconditional love moms put into parenting are what inspires us to celebrate moms every May. However, Mother’s Day is not a celebration for everyone. For moms and children who have a strained relationship, or for those who have lost mothers or children, Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder. Brands are recognizing that this holiday can be a triggering event for some, so this year many are offering their subscribers a way to specifically opt-out of Mother’s Day communication.

A painful reminder of loss

Mintel research on marketing to moms discusses how pregnancy loss and the trying to conceive community (TTC) have long been taboo topics. Because these life experiences haven’t been shared openly, many women turn to online groups for support. In fact, mom meet-up platforms like Peanut have specific TTC groups where women can share their stories and learn from one another.
Over the last several years, however, more attention is being paid to women’s fertility struggles. In 2020, celebrity mom Chrissy Teigen shared on Instagram the intimate and very personal journey she went through trying to get pregnant and miscarrying her son Jack. The same year, Meghan Markle wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times describing her emotional experience of miscarrying her baby in July. With hugely influential women speaking candidly about their loss, a spotlight has been brought to the topic.

One in eight women who try to get pregnant have trouble conceiving and one in four women who get pregnant experience a miscarriage, showing that a large community of women experience this pain (“Getting pregnant can be tricky business” Fertility Answers, 2020; “Pregnancy Loss: 1 in 4” Winnie Palmer Hospital, October 2018). Offering women ways to opt-out of Mother’s Day emails is like extending a hand and joining the community as a safe place.

Unfortunately, loss extends even further to those who have lost parents. Especially after a year that has been marked by the loss of loved ones, emails about Mother’s Day can be triggering for those who no longer have their mom with them. The relationships they see depicted in ads for Mother’s Day are a reminder of what they no longer have, and that their life will never be the same. Offering these consumers a way to opt-out is a form of empathy that they will be grateful for.

Putting wellbeing first

Moms should be celebrated as the superhumans they are, but it’s important to be mindful of other consumers’ wellbeing. Brands that have sent an opt-out email option for Mother’s Day include Etsy, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Our Place, Parachute Home, Saie Beauty and Shoprunner.

This is a considerate step towards recognizing and adapting to consumers’ psychological wellbeing. When done in an authentic and sincere way, this type of customization makes consumers feel like they are receiving a more personal and empathetic experience from brands.

Don’t forget about Father’s Day

While Mother’s Day may feel like it is more sensitive, brands that are offering or thinking about offering opt-out email options for Mother’s Day should also do so for Father’s Day. This holiday can be just as triggering for men and women. Similar to Mother’s Day, consumers will appreciate the thoughtfulness behind this empathetic effort. Offering these as separate opt-outs is the best tactic – lumping Father’s Day and Mother’s Day together into one opt-out communication can feel less personalized.