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Father’s Day may generate less guilt than its gender counterpart, but it creates just as much marketing email, along with positive trends in both inbox performance and read rates.

We analyzed Father’s Day themed emails (those with several variations of the words “Father” or “Dad” in their subject lines) for eight representative industries which leverage Father’s Day as a promotional event.  We looked at the thirty days ending on Father’s Day 2017, as compared with the similar period last year.  Key metrics show campaign activity, inbox performance and reader engagement. 


  • For the total group, campaign volumes increased by over 50% year-over-year, with the largest increase by far coming from the Online Shopping Sector.  The Retail and Department Store group was the only one showing a decrease.
  • By sector, the largest campaign volumes were generated by the Online Shopping, Apparel / Accessories, and Sporting Goods sectors.

  • For the first time in over a year, we see event-related email whose inbox performance actually improved year-over-year for the comparable periods.  The number of campaigns with better than 90% inbox performance increased by four percentage points.  We don’t know what caused this trend reversal, but we’re happy to see it, and hope that it continues as we analyze future events.
  • Read rates for Father’s Day themed emails also improved, extending a positive trend we’ve been seeing in read rates for specific events for at least the past six months. The amount of campaigns achieving better than 20% read rates increased by five percentage points.

The table below contains examples of top-performing Father’s Day emails.

  • Subject lines overall are highly likely to be price-promotional.  Father’s Day, after all, falls near the end of the retail Spring season.  That’s clearance time.
  • Mailing quantities, for the most part, reflect mailings aimed at relatively small audience targets as a percentage of the brands’ overall mailing file.
  • Amazon is — as usual — a top scorer below, offering what is doubtlessly a finely targeted, category-specific, gift guide.
  • Golf-related gifts figure prominently in these top performers, and others not shown.
  • Two of these best-performing campaigns are food-related, reflecting the bizarre notion that some dads can actually cook.

Next up?  July 4th, less than two weeks away.  See you then!