To all retail business owners: how to be more caring for all women on Mother’s Day in 2021

To all retail business owners

It is as the creator of femmesansenfant.com, a website created in 2012 to talk about the experiences of women who are childless by circumstance and childfree, that I dare to take up my pen today. To raise your awareness, to let you know or discover a reality that few people are aware of or publicly acknowledge.

Soon, on the second Sunday of May, it will be time to celebrate Mother’s Day again.

If for many women this holiday is an opportunity to be celebrated, recognized and spoiled by their family, for others, it is a day of pain and sadness:

-for those who dreamed of being a mother and who will never be one due to infertility

-for those who dreamed of being a mother and do not have the resources to adopt

-for those who dreamed of being a mother and did not meet the right partner in time

-for those who had a mother who was psychologically or physically abusive and unfit to take care of them

-for those who have just lost a child through miscarriage or a fatal illness

-for those who have been abandoned by their mothers

-for those whose mothers died of natural, accidental or criminal causes

Did you know that many women shun social networks during the days surrounding this holiday? This is the reality for a growing number of women around the world.

My goal as the creator of femmesansenfant.com is:

To say out loud what the majority of these women keep quiet, through sadness, grief or shame and so as not to disturb, offend or even exist. But in order to be heard and understood, one must dare to name.

So here is my request:

To consider the mental health of your childless female clientele, now constituting 1 in 5 women aged 45 and over, I invite you to give women the opportunity to not receive (or opt out of) your Mother’s Day email advertising. .

Giving them the chance to specifically unsubscribe from these Mother’s Day related emails is:

-choosing to take care of their mental health

-honouring and recognizing their limitations and being sensitive to them.

Since 2019 a growing number of  European companies have been bold enough to offer this opportunity to women. Bloom & Wild (part of the Thoughtful Marketing Movement) is a pioneer in this area. Here is what this company published on its website:

“…We’ve made our experience better for anyone who doesn’t want reminders about sensitive occasions…”

“…Just like last year, anyone who has opted-out of Mother’s Day reminders won’t get any emails about it. But from the end of February this year, you won’t see any mention of it on our website either. This includes our homepage, our menus and even our products when you’re logged into your account. And if your Facebook, Instagram or Gmail accounts use the same email address you opt-out with, you won’t see any Mother’s Day ads there either.

We’re also launching a new preferences section in your account, which makes it easier for you to opt-out of Mother’s Day reminders at any time, without having to wait for us to ask you. Over the next few weeks, we’ll also be adding other sensitive occasions for you to manage in your account here.

“…We believe in doing business thoughtfully. Because treating customers with the same care you would give your own friends and family is the right thing to do…”

Shortly after,  M & S Food, Jarold Norwich and Moonpig UK joined the movement.

To my amazement, on April 3, 2021,  Pandora  jewellery chain decided  to do the same! Here is the message that the company sent to its customers:

“…While Mother’s Day can be a wonderful time for some people, we know that for others, it can be a little difficult. That’s why we’re doing things differently and giving you the option to unsubscribe from our Mother’s Day emails…”

Asda, Superdrug and Thortful have also joined the movement this year.

So who will be the next companies to follow suit?

Who knows, maybe it will be your company that will start the trend? Who will put forward a more human and empathetic marketing?

Your customers will be deeply grateful and probably even more loyal!

Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle

femmesansenfant.com

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Editing: Helen Louise Jones