by Anna Wybieralska Feb 11, 2020

Take advantage of the first big gift-giving event of the year. Start your Valentine's Day email marketing campaigns today.

While I'm sure you've barely had a chance to catch your breath since the holiday season, Valentine's Day is approaching fast. Most email marketers should be able to find an angle to connect their business, products or services to the message of Valentine's Day. 

Since this is the first big gift-giving event of the year, you don't want to miss the opportunity to reach out to your contacts and wow them with a suitable offer for this day. Today we’ll share with you some Valentine's Day ideas for marketing campaigns and tactics you can implement in your emails.

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Tips for a successful Valentine’s Day email campaign

No email campaign can be done well without preparation. That is why it’s important to stay on top of the news and find that marketing sweet spot that will elevate your seasonal advertisements. Below you will find some helpful tips to plan your email campaign, create compelling content and ideas for the design. We also give some great already existing examples of Valentine’s Day email campaigns done well.

Don’t plan too far ahead

Valentine's Day can truly sneak up on you. Suddenly it is the middle of February and you didn't even notice until the very last moment. But don’t worry, because if you feel this way, you can bet that your customers think the same.

Most consumers start their Valentine’s shopping a week before the holiday occurs, and some of them leave it to the last moment, especially in regard to buying perishable goods. Flowers, chocolates or other food treats need to be purchased close to the final date to ensure their quality. That’s why there is no reason to advertise them at the very beginning of February since most people are not even looking for them so early. However, the story is a bit different when it comes to experiences. Some people are planning a little getaway or a fancy dinner, and they will plan those ahead of time to get the best table or the nicest hotel room. It’s worth it to promote this type of gift earlier so customers can make the necessary arrangements.

Ultimately, it all depends on the type of business you have and what products or services you offer. But the good news is - you don’t need to stress over Valentine’s Day in January. There is more than enough time to create your email campaign right before Valentine’s Day rolls in.

Remember about mobile

So, maybe we’re boring - repeating the same thing over and over again. But designing emails for mobile is currently a crucial element of a successful email campaign. According to Statista, over 61% of retail site visits worldwide are generated from smartphones and around 45% of online shopping orders were thanks to mobile as well. It means that ignoring mobile and tablet optimization can be a costly mistake.

If that didn’t convince you, look at it from a consumer perspective. How many times did you remember about Valentine’s Day gifts while grocery shopping or commuting to work? And what do you do in this situation? You take out your mobile, either to set yourself a reminder to buy something, or you frantically search for the Valentine’s Day gift idea to buy quickly

Now imagine that most of the people are in the exact same position and they could be your customers if you just send a well-optimized email on the subject.

Segment your list

Remember, your list quality is going to affect delivery a lot so you want all that time and effort put into creating beautiful emails to be seen. If you've been practicing good list management year-round, then you shouldn't have to put out too much extra effort to make sure your list is up to date now. However, there are some additional segments you can use to your advantage on Valentine’s Day.

The most two important factors? Age and gender.

Segmenting by gender can give you surprisingly good results as men actually tend to shop more during Valentine’s Day. Over 73% of men declared that they will buy a gift and around 35% of them will be purchasing for multiple partners. It means that sending a separate email campaign to your male audience on your list can be beneficial for the number of sales.

Another way to utilize segmentation is by using age. Just look at the graph below from eMarketer. Target email campaigns to a certain age group and send them appropriate options to choose from. Change the design of email accordingly and you created yourself a marketing campaign that will be successful.

valentine email ideas

Go cliché...

Valentine’s Day is the one day where you can flaunt your love all around using hearts, flowers and hues of red and pink. Using classical design in your emails is safe and effective.

The colors red and pink in your email will definitely give it this holiday vibe that will be immediately recognized by subscribers. However, keep in mind that this color theme will be used by various other companies, so your email might not necessarily stand out as much as you would like it to. Therefore, it’s worth it to add complementary colors like yellows and blues. Green is also a good one but using it can just look like Christmas, so it’s best to avoid it. 

Design emails utilizing concepts you know from childhood. Have you ever made Valentine's Day card at school? What type of sweets did you usually give or what type of flowers did you get? Incorporate these memories in your email visuals for an extra nostalgic look.

When it comes to the content of the email, don’t be afraid to go cheesy to promote your brand. Traditional lines like being “shot by the cupid arrow” or “love at first sight” are great to sell a product. Using puns in email can also be beneficial. For example, if you have a charity with a whale-protecting goal, add something silly like “Whale you be my Valentine?” to invite the customer to donate. With puns, the possibilities are endless and it will be remembered by subscribers.

...but not too much

Not everyone is a fan of Valentine’s Day. Some people tend to boycott the holiday buying anti-Valentine gifts to show just how much they hate it. That can be an opportunity for you if your products or services are hard to associate with Love Day. 
Skip the cheesy subject lines and ditch the romantic colors to make your email look completely different than the rest. You can even mention in the email itself why you’ve decided to do so. Highlight another aspect of Valentine’s Day that is avoided by others - as Mouth did with their “Break-up” email below. Want something even more memorable? A zoo in Texas is offering to name a cockroach after your ex and feed it to a meerkat on Valentine’s Day. Last year it turned out to be a huge success and it seems that this year the demand is even bigger!

valentines day email marketing

Valentine's day email - know your customers

In order to send a successful email campaign, you need to know who the recipients are and what email will have the most impact. That’s why we decided to give you a little inspiration for Valentine’s Day. We broke the customers into 5 different groups and established the types of emails that will generate a positive reaction. Hopefully, it will give you an idea for a creative email, if you don’t have one already in mind.

For the negotiators

There are people who will do almost anything to get a good deal no matter the upcoming holiday. They will search throughout the Internet to get the best and the cheapest offer. They often will be enticed by big discounts as well.

In order to land such a customer, you should create a sense of urgency and a really good deal that they won’t be able to refuse. Sending an email with a 2-for-1 deal, no matter if it’s related to a product or experience is a good move as well as sending a complimentary voucher. Finish the email off with a timer showing that the offer is limited and the negotiator should hurriedly add it to cart.

If the customer won’t click on the deal, you can set up an automation feature to send another email in a few days with an even better offer.

For the givers

There are people who are counting the days to Valentine’s Day. They are true fans looking to find a perfect gift for their dog, friend or significant one. Some simply want to shower others with love and this holiday is a perfect excuse for it. Use this to your advantage and create a Valentine’s Day email campaign that focuses on sharing and giving.

Send them a sweet Valentine’s Day card with best wishes and a 10% discount for your products. A simple gesture like this will steal the heart of a giver. If you want to possibly double your traffic, create a campaign where customers can “share the love”. Set up a discount that a recipient can share with another person or give them a referral link to save their money. It’s a free advertisement and possibly an additional customer for you.

For the forgetful ones 

Living in our fast-paced world we can easily forget about anniversaries, birthdays and Valentine’s Day. There are people that don’t care that much about this holiday and there are some that simply forget. Now, to avoid the possible fight, they’re frantically searching for a present.

For those customers, you can set up a last-minute email campaign featuring the most popular Valentine’s Day products and offer prime shipping to ensure that the item will arrive before the holiday. To create urgency, use AMP or NiftyImages to include a timer in the email that will tell the customer how much time they have left for the package to leave the shipping center on the same day.

For the undecided

There are some people who know exactly what to give that special someone. There are others who struggle with finding something that they think their partner will like, and some simply take a long time to make up their mind.

For such cases, creating a strictly sales-oriented email campaign might not get the results you expect. The solution is to include educational content or interactive elements within your email. Instead of pushing a sale, create a Valentine’s Day newsletter filled with wishes, love and a reminder that the time for gift-giving is close. An undecided person won’t be interested in a list of products as they are not sure what is on their mind. A creative way to handle such customers is by creating a would you rather game or a quiz that will ultimately lead to a preferred present idea (also conveniently available on your website). 

Finally, instead of suggesting a physical gift, propose a prepaid card with a special Valentine’s Day design. It’s a convenient, simple option for someone who can’t make up their mind.

For the singles

Not everyone holds Valentine’s Day close to their heart. - especially the ones who don’t have a date or significant other to celebrate with. The “singles” market is very saturated, so including them in your Valentine’s Day email campaign can really change the outcome of your marketing plan.

This group doesn’t necessarily want to be reminded that they’re single, so skipping the overly sweet email design could be a way to go. Instead, include in your email sleek designs with some self-care tips and gifts for one that is not directly associated with Valentine’s Day. However, if you want to keep the holiday spirit alive, target your email campaigns towards everyone who wants to share a little love for someone else - not only romantic partners. In this campaign, include parents with children, pet owners and busy millennials to promote inclusivity in any holiday.

Looking for a little love? We might not have Cupid on our side, but we're here to help! Contact our Customer Success team.

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Anna Wybieralska

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