How to Market to Moms with a Web Company: Part Six


So what doesn’t work when marketing to moms?

I have found that moms are severely allergic or just impervious to: cold calls, email spam, text message marketing, some kinds of direct mail and directly annoying bloggers (with a caveat.) Online banners, print and social media also have some quirks that are useful to know.

The reason cold calls, email spamming and text messages are a problem for moms is simple: trust. Anything intrusive makes her instantly suspicious. She’ll avoid you if you try it. With direct mail, you might have some success, but I think that the things that catch her eye most are very high-level design, engaging print (like a catalogue) or an excellent deal. My note on bloggers above is not to avoid mom bloggers. Just the opposite. You need them very, very much to be your friends. But to do that, you have to generate her trust, and so again, it’s a tricky situation that you have to navigate. You have to win her trust and befriend her without her thinking that it’s just to be in her blog. You literally have to take off your business hat and just resign yourself to what will likely be an awesome friendship with or without benefits.

Sometimes, with the best of intentions, a beautiful, trustworthy ad might get a negative association because of what it is near. If you have a display ad on a page with blinking ads or ads full of GIFs or worse, she will disregard you, usually, due to your proximity to something that is typically considered tacky or unsavory. (Also, if you offer advertising on your site, make sure to be very specific with Google Adwords, or whoever you are using, as to the type of banner ads you will display, lest you turn her off your whole site completely.) The same works for print ads. And with social media, it goes without saying that you need to make sure that not only is your business account professional, but that your personal account is too. You’re putting out an overall impression, and a play-by-play of your latest bender at a party is unlikely to win you customers.

So this is the playbook. Best of luck! I hope that it’s helpful and please let me know your own thoughts on what I’ve put here. See you around, or look me up in the reserved section of 1871 next time you’re there.

Genevieve Thiers is the founder of and a co-founder of and She lives in Chicago, IL.

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