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Baby Product Retailers and Manufacturers Must Not Forget About Loss Moms

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Well-known baby product retailers and manufacturers are often very large companies worth billions of dollars, and their marketing budgets are often in the million-dollar range each year. It’s no secret within the marketing industry: there have been mantras given about data for years and years. How important is data to a marketer? Data is king! If customer data is one of the most important elements for a marketer, why are these large companies, with large amounts of money available to spend, constantly missing the mark for women who have experienced a miscarriage?

Women who enter a new pregnancy are often giddy and excited right from the beginning. Apps are downloaded, information is entered online, and new baby-related items are being purchased. Much of the time their information is being shared with retailers and manufacturers, but when you’re happily and healthily pregnant, those promotional items like baby formula samples and coupons are exciting to receive. They are stockpiled in the future nursery and looked at with a smile because it means something great is about to happen. The reality is, many of these companies know a woman is pregnant before some of their closest family and friends are aware of their growing family.

But what happens when that tiny baby is tragically miscarried? These companies are missing out on an extremely important detail, and the promotional items keep coming. Receiving something in the mail shortly before a would-have-been due date with a message like, “You’re almost there!” can be debilitating.

What is stopping these retailers from offering an easy way to opt-out? After clicking through many websites after my own miscarriages, I found that while opting out of emails is relatively easy, finding a way to stop the direct mail campaigns can be not only a challenge but often an added hardship for a mother who is already grieving. The two most common options for opting out of these marketing campaigns is navigating through a website built for a pregnant woman or a woman with children who already exist to find customer support contact information. The next step entails writing an email or placing a physical phone call to make the request. Sure, it doesn’t sound hard, but when you multiply that be five, 10 or even 15, it becomes a chore anyone would shy away from.

I first wondered if I was the only person to experience the anger felt as each package arrived at my door, but after doing some pretty simple internet searches I learned I definitely wasn’t alone. You can read other women’s experiences here, here, here, here, and here. And trust me, there are hundreds more where those came from.

So, what can these retailers and manufacturers do?

1. Find an easier way for loss moms to unsubscribe. Bonus points for partnering with a company like mine, PostPardon, that offers one single form for loss moms to unsubscribe from multiple companies at once with one simple form.
Use that information carefully. Women who share the news of a miscarriage with a global company deserve respect. If they’re still willing to receive information, you could consider a sympathy campaign, but if they’d prefer to completely opt-out, you should remove them from all campaigns immediately.

2. Form a better connection with your data sources. If you’re receiving consumer data from pregnancy tracker apps, many women choose to go through the process of notifying the app that they have had a miscarriage. You should look into opportunities to sync those updates with your existing database.

3. Remember that just because we’re opting out now, it doesn’t mean we won’t be future customers. The truth is that while up to 25 percent of pregnant women will experience a miscarriage, the odds are good for most of those women that they will eventually have a successful pregnancy. By allowing us to easily remove ourselves from campaigns that will create a negative connotation with your brand, you’re increasing the chances that we’ll be happy to come back if we get the chance to have a baby.

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Thinkstock photo by dragana991

Originally published: May 10, 2017
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