The Mother of All Holidays: Strategies for Mother’s Day Search Ad Success

You know the saying “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” For advertisers, it’s more than a truism, it’s a call to action. Why? Because Mother’s Day happens to be the third-largest retail holiday. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers spent nearly $20 billion in 2014 on flowers, cards, jewelry, and more. That’s $163 per shopper. Lucky mom!

Making mom happy results in a big day for retailers. And 2015 is shaping up to be just as big, if not bigger.


Mother’s Day has a broad appeal, with grandmothers, friends, daughters, and wives included in the gift-receiving. So as an advertiser planning a strategy to capture the Mother’s Day spend, it pays to be prepared.

Beyond Flowers and Gift Cards

When it comes to searching for the perfect gift for mom, cards, gift cards, flowers, and dinners are the most popular. While cut flowers are still a perennial favorite, experiences like brunch, dinner, or spa days are also in the mix. And with moms getting more and more tech-savvy, so are their gifts. In fact, according to the NRF, around 13 percent of those buying gifts this year plan to buy consumer electronics, at an average of $109 per person.

Given the broad array of potential searches, it pays to know what drives the highest ROI. So we have come up with some key insights and the best ad combinations to drive the highest click-through rates.

Make sure you use “Mother’s Day” in the ad title, but also ensure that for gifting keywords you use delivery dates in your ad copy.


Time Is of the Essence

Just as each mother is different, different gifts demand different strategies. But don’t forget: timing is everything.

For tech gifts, start your campaign a month in advance to catch the shoppers who are researching consumer electronics. These gifts take a longer time to buy, are more research-intensive, and are generally more expensive.

While search volume initially peaks in mid-April, click-through rates peak two weeks before Mother’s Day. So it’s essential that your ads are already up and running at least two weeks before the big day.


But you should also consider your vertical, as volumes and peak times vary broadly. For instance, flower-related searches had a longer peak, from May 5 to May 10. And on May 10, it was already trending down, indicating that booking flower deliveries online generally happen at least two days before Mother’s Day. Jewelry searches also peaked on the weekdays before actual Mother’s Day, and also had a small peak the Monday after Mother’s Day. (Looks like a few people forgot mom – whoops. Mama ain’t happy…)

General “gifts”-related queries don’t have a peak on the next Monday, but the trend is similar to “jewelry” searches. “Quote,” “Poem,” and “Cards” all peaked on Mother’s Day, meaning that although gifts are purchased before Mother’s Day, people often wait to purchase and write their cards on the day of.

Great Search Campaigns Mean Happy Moms, Happy Customers

The easiest way to make the most of Mother’s Day? Don’t wait. Get started with your Mother’s Day campaign in the coming weeks to make sure you’re capturing all possible searchers. You should also consider the optimal week to launch your campaign, and what your device strategy should be, depending on what you sell.

Just remember that Mother’s Day is a big holiday, for which it is worth having a solid strategy in place. In fact, we won’t see the likes of another big-spend day like this until winter. Sorry, dads.

Homepage image via Shutterstock.

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