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Why Aren't You Doing Anything for May Day?

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On May Day, when I was a kid, I used to help my mom load up our old Chevy Blazer with May Baskets. We’d drive around to the houses of various friends and neighbors, usually in a late spring Colorado snowstorm, and leave the baskets of flowers on their porches.

It’s always been one of my favorite traditions — and one that most people, including myself, don’t follow anymore. (To be fair, most people probably didn’t do it in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, when I helped my mom, either. But to a 6 year old, if your parents are doing something, everyone must be doing it. Parents are the arbiters of cool until you’re 12, and then they become the opposite.)

In fact, most things associated with May Day have fallen out of tradition these days — a fact that baffles me given that every other holiday is now being over-hyped in the extreme. Even minor, solemn holidays, like Veteran’s Day, have become another excuse for a mattress sale.

Somewhere along the way, May Day got lost in the run-up to Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, graduation and Memorial Day. I haven’t seen a single May Day-related promotion this year — or maybe ever — and that seems like a lost opportunity for at least one industry. (1-800-FLOWERS, I’m looking at you.)

But maybe that lost opportunity is something life insurance agents can capitalize on. If you’re running promotions — direct mail, phone solicitations, advertisements — tied to any of the big holidays, you’re likely getting lost in the noise. If someone selling insurance reached out to me at anytime in the harried month of December, I would ignore him, guaranteed.

Though, if that same agent were to leave a basket of flowers on my porch with his card and some sales materials on May 1, he’d, at the very least, have my attention. (He could even tie the promotion into the fact that the term “may day” comes from the French m’aidez, which literally means “help me.” And isn’t that what insurance agents do?)

Half-baked sales ideas of a non-salesperson journalist aside, my general point here is that by focusing on overlooked holidays, like May Day, you could reap the benefits of grabbing prospects’ attention with a seasonal hook — without all of the competition for mind space.

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So run out and grab some flowers — quick! Or at least grab a calendar and start thinking about those times of the year when you can capitalize on a holiday that bigger businesses aren’t already cashing in on.

And if you’re doing anything like this already, tell me about it in the comments section. With no May Day sales to shop, I have plenty of time to respond.

For more from Corey Dahl, see:

The Diversity Diversion

Life Insurance: Hurt By a Me-First Culture?

Buffet Economics