International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8. The foundational event for the day was a 1908 march in New York to raise awareness for demands for better working conditions and voting rights for women. Many brands make a point of addressing International Women’s Day to celebrate the accomplishments of women in general or the women at the company in particular. There are many ways to effectively engage and convert customers when evoking the celebration of women in March.
A year later on the date of February 28, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed in the United States. The next year, it started spreading to additional countries and so it was renamed International Women’s Day. The date of March 8 was actually set by Russia because it was the first country to designate International Women’s Day as an official holiday in 1913.
In 2011 President Barack Obama designated the entire month of March as “Women’s History Month.” Having the entire month gives a lot more time for organizations and businesses to share communication and promotions around that theme.
As a result of the adoption of Women’s History Month in the United States where International Women’s Day has not become an official holiday, women-centered marketing extends for the whole month here with less attention paid to March 8 in particular. Outside the United States, however, International Women’s Day has been made an official holiday by a score of countries, it does garner more attention.
International Women’s Day (IWD) Marketing
Many brands make a point of addressing International Women’s Day to celebrate the accomplishments of women in general or the women at the company in particular. They also sometimes partner with nonprofit organizations specifically geared toward advancing women’s causes.
Application for email and SMS/MMS marketing
As for any occasion, marketers can use the day as a reason to offer discounts in general or for items targeted for women in particular. As usual, follow best practices for promotions centered around a themed holiday. For this occasion, consider these points:
- Subject lines in emails and SMS/MMS should reference the occasion and can include the hashtag #IWD, #IWD2021, or a reference to the month shown with #WHM2021 in the United States.
- Offer promotions should be time-sensitive to incentivize participation or purchase
- Offer a friendly reminder follow-up email or text about the promotion expiring if there was no response to the first one.
- Offer product recommendations with a CTA to click a link to relevant products or a specially designated landing page.
- Feature women’s stories from your company or elsewhere to connect with and inspire customers.
Sample subject lines or texts
- This weekend only, get FREE SHIPPING for International Women’s Day!
- March 8th Day Sale – 20% OFF Storewide – One Day Only; #IWD
- We’ll donate half of all proceeds from a purchase on IWD to organizations to help women
- Treat yourself on #IWD 🌹 Get 30% off our special collection celebrating women!
- Celebrate #InternationalWomensDay with free shipping!
- It’s International Women’s Day. We’re giving you 25% off!
- Here’s a special gift for #IWD
- Last day to save 15% Storewide in celebration of International Women’s Day #IWD2021
- WE CAN DO IT! Riveting specials for Women’s History Month.
- VOTES FOR WOMEN: Nominate an inspirational woman for our #IWDgiveaway!
- Women are still making history! Nominate one to win our contest today. #WHM2021
- Purchase for a cause in honor of Women’s History Month #WHM2021
Beyond standard marketing and promotions like other sales, brands often take this opportunity to demonstrate their support for women and the causes that help them advance. You can take cues from what some major brands have done for March if it fits with your own eCommerce plans.
Raising consciousness and funds for a cause
PayPal did that with a promise to donate matching funds to a designated list of charities you can see on its International Women’s Month page. Notice that it conflated the international Women’s Day concept with the duration extended for American celebration of women to arrive at “International Women’s Month.” It does make sense for the brand to get the greater mileage of a month out of a campaign.
Brooklinen combined fundraising with a celebration of women within the company.
For last year’s International Women’s Day, Brooklinen set up a special landing page that included a video, profiles of women in tech, and an introductory text on the theme of taking control:
Empowering women in tech through support, education, and sisterhood.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
It also stressed the theme of “empowering women today and every day” in describing its support of the Women Take Tech initiative to offer scholarships to women pursuing training for tech careers. All proceeds from purchases of the brooklinen “Take Ctrl” tees were to go toward that cause.
The call to action there is: “Shop now and support a brighter future for women, everywhere.”
Promote targeted products
If you use an MMS or an email, you can incorporate a picture of a featured product recommended for purchase for the occasion. The eCommerce featured below to put this product in a tweet to market it as a gift that can be purchased by anyone to give to any woman.
You can also offer a whole array of products on a landing page like Modcloth does under the extension shop/female-founded. it includes not just clothes and accessories but even thematically relevant books like She Votes: How U.S. Women Won Suffrage.
Remember: recommendations boost sales and revenue. Shoppers who respond to a recommendation show a conversion rate of 70% higher per session than shoppers who don’t work off a recommendation, according to eMarketer.
The average order value (AOV) is also boosted by recommendation. As per Salesforce: “Purchases, where a recommendation was clicked, saw a 10% higher AOV, and the per-visit spend of a shopper who clicks a recommendation is five times higher.”
Increase engagement with a contest
No matter what you sell and who your target audience is, you can capitalize on International Women’s Day or Women’s History Month by offering recognition and a prize for outstanding women in your customers’ lives. This plays out particularly well if you want to carry over the campaign to social media where you can share the results.
Both men and women would be incentivized to join in and say why they consider their mother/wife/sister/daughter/aunt/neighbor worthy of recognition. Sharing these stories is also a way to engage the interest of your subscribers. Drive even more interest and engagement by letting your customers vote on the winners.
The advantage of making this for Women’s History Month over international Women’s Day is that you can allow until the end of the month for the entries and voting to process.
Shout out to women at your company
Whether you’re celebrating International Women’s Day or Women’s History Month, March is the perfect time to introduce your customers to the women who make your business function and tell their stories. That allows your customers to feel more connected, which fosters greater brand loyalty.
This can work for any kind of business — even if what you produce is not automatically associated with women. See the example below from an energy company that has made a point of including women in its leadership positions.
You can even take this a step further by not just showcasing female employees but letting them speak about their own favorite products. It’s a great way to do a kind of soft sell on particular items that are used by people your customers can identify with. That applies to just about any kind of product in retail, everything from cosmetics to office equipment, and even pet care supplies.
If you leverage the communication abilities you get with Remarkety, you can capitalize on the occasion of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month to engage your customers and generate more sales.