Survey: Moms Want Relevance, Value From E-Mailers

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E-mail marketers looking to treat mothers as soft touches need not bother: These women are just like the rest of the online universe, seeking relevance and value as well as deals.

An online survey from EmailLabs and Lucid Marketing conducted May 18-31 shows that this audience is e-mail savvy. The survey reflected the responses of 695 moms regarding their interactions with e-mails from online retailers.

"Moms will reward retailers if you can get into that inner circle and then convey value and make life easier for them -- offer discounts, show pictures, calculate shipping," said Loren McDonald, vice president of marketing at EmailLabs, Menlo Park, CA.

The survey found 56 percent of moms determine which e-mails to open based on both "from" name and subject line. When asked why they register for e-mail newsletters, 41 percent answered "to receive information that is relevant to me."

Other key findings emerged related to relevance and value. First, when browsing e-commerce sites, 39 percent of moms subscribe only if their e-mail address is requested as part of the buying or registration process.

Next, when visiting new e-commerce sites and asked whether they were likely to subscribe to the newsletter, 53 percent said it depended on the perceived value of the e-mail.

"A brand needs to communicate that they're going to deliver value to the mom, or they're not going to give up that e-mail address," said Kevin Burke, president of Lucid Marketing, Allentown, NJ.

Coupons were the No. 1 item moms sought from retailers' newsletters. Seventy-two percent preferred discounted prices, and 60 percent liked free shipping. Also, 48 percent of respondents preferred an offer for an actual dollar amount compared with a percentage-off savings.

Product pricing and photographs, at 62 percent and 61 percent, respectively, were cited as reasons for clicking through to a purchase. Forty-two percent said brand name would help them click through, and 43 percent cited delivery information.

"These moms will make the purchase decision if you provide all the details in the e-mail," McDonald said.

The survey also observed the behavior of moms with one child versus those with many, and full-time moms compared with working moms. Moms with one child are a tougher audience. For example, moms with one child are 40 percent likelier to ignore all online retailers' subscription offers. But moms with many kids are 37 percent more inclined to subscribe.

Also, 40 percent of moms with one child were less likely to find value in e-mail newsletters while mothers with many kids were 50 percent likelier to find retailers' newsletters very valuable.

Stay-at-home moms were 106 percent more likely to check their e-mails throughout the week than working moms. And such full-time mothers are 43 percent likelier to subscribe to online newsletters, though working moms are 71 percent more inclined toward daily newsletters.

Overall, moms are sophisticated with e-mail, the survey concluded. Forty-four percent of respondents had two e-mail accounts, and 74 percent of them have their own accounts not shared with family members.

In addition, 57 percent of moms check their e-mail more than twice daily, and 53 percent check their accounts only during the week. Also, 60 percent have a spam filter while 79 percent manually delete unwanted messages.

Many retailers observe the do's and don'ts of e-mail marketing to moms. Moms are estimated to account for $1.6 trillion in annual U.S. household spending versus $400 billion for adult men and children, said Maria Bailey, author of "Marketing to Moms."

But some retailers still don't get it.

"They don't spend enough time designing the opt-in pages," McDonald said. "A lot of companies hide the form or trick you into receiving e-mails. These moms don't like that. A lot of companies are doing a poor job of starting the relationship."

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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