Updated: 30 Jan 2023
Valentine’s Day is, essentially, a whole day centred around people spending money on their significant other by finding the perfect gift or experience – it’s the stuff marketers dream of! And with less than a month to go, now’s the perfect time to start planning your business’ marketing strategy. Whether you have an online store, restaurant or eCommerce business, there are a whole number of ways you can position your product or service to appeal to customers at this time of year.
So, if you’re ready to burst your business out of your January slump, here are our top 14 Valentine’s Day marketing tips to get your seasonal campaigns rolling.
Spread Love with Valentine's Email MarketingSending a marketing communication to your email list is a great way of achieving a number of different goals your business might have. Depending on what spin you take, it could help you to build loyal relationships, promote a deal or even just boost brand awareness.
Here are a few tips to help you nail your Valentine’s Day email marketing:
• Create a clear subject line – simple, straight-to-the-point subject lines get 541% more clicks than clever or ‘punny’ ones. Add the word ‘Valentine’s’ and remember to include a heart emoji (or two)!
• Choose the right time – most V-day promotional emails are sent 6-8 days before, depending on shipping, but it’s important to consider when your customers are most likely to make a purchase.
• Connect with your customers – like with every email you send out, you need to remind customers that you value them. And there’s no better time than Valentine’s Day for that!
And for an extra added boost? Follow up with a reminder! We particularly like Birchbox’s re-mail that gently nudges those customers that might be procrastinating until the last minute…
As well as telling customers that time is running out, Birchbox have also included a couple of last-minute gift options that could push a customer to make their decision there and then.
Run a Valentine's Themed Promotional Campaign
There are loads of different love-themed offers you could run as part of your Valentine’s Day marketing strategies. Another huge trend right now is Galentine’s Day, which celebrates non-romantic love between friends and opens up another huge potential market.
You could go down the ‘couples’ route and run a special 2 for 1 offer, couple’s specials or even a competition involving winning Valentine’s Day gifts for two.
Or, why not play on the date? Valentine’s Day is always on the 14th of February, meaning ‘14’ is a pretty significant number. Offer 14% off or run a deal on your top 14 products.
One of our favourite Valentine’s Day campaigns was BeCharming’s Share Your Love Story contest. To boost engagement, the contest invited customers and social media followers to share their love stories for a chance to win a love-themed Pandora charm.
This is a great way of creating a buzz around your business because it’s sure to tug at emotions. Creating an emotional connection with customers is a great way to build up a base of loyal customers that will shop with you beyond the 14th of February.
Pick Your Social Media Hashtags WiselyIn this day and age, social media is a truly powerful tool. 63% of marketers find social media beneficial for building a fanbase, while 12.6% report more engagement than those without!
All it takes to create a #winning hashtag is a little bit of research. First, take a look at what your competition is doing and what works well for them. You can click directly on their hashtags to see how popular they are.
There are also online tools, such as hashtagify.me for Instagram and Twitter, that show you how popular your favourite hashtags are doing and also suggestions based on what’s already trending.
Pick and choose a few hashtags that are relevant to you, relevant to Valentine’s Day and also popular enough for people to search. It might take a bit of trial and error to figure out which tags, and also how many tags, works for you.
Plan a B2B Valentine's Day Marketing CampaignB2B business don’t have to miss out on this holiday. Although it’s wise not to overdo the love hearts and pink bows, having a section of your e-newsletter, a social media post or even a section at the bottom of an email dedicated to Valentine’s day can be a fantastic way to keep clients engaged.
Too much and you could risk annoying your customers – a lot will have only signed up to your mailing list to hear about any offers.
We recommend creating an offer to show customer appreciation. That way, there’s added value that’ll leave your customers feeling positive!
Or, why not team up with one of your B2C clients for a special Valentine’s promotion? It’s a great way to get your business’ name out there and you might even build on your existing customer base.
Send a Valentine's Day CardDirect mail is a great way of standing out this holiday. And with 48% of people not even buying their significant other a card in 2017, sending one to your customers might just put you in their good books.
As discussed in our free marketing cheat sheets, personalisation is going to be a huge trend going forward. According to econsultancy, 44% of consumers say they are likely to become repeat buyers after a personal experience. That’s why it’s crucial that, when possible, you send handwritten cards.
The note and sticker above from Stride is a perfect example of this. By coupling a friendly tone of voice with a discount code, they’ve made their mailer pretty much irresistible!
Have a Romantic GiveawayPromotional giveaways are always popular. That’s because they present two key benefits for your business:
• Capture new leads
• Engage and nurture current customers
It’s like the holy grail of marketing tactics!
If you can find a way to add a romantic twist to your giveaway, you’ve nailed your Valentine’s Day marketing. This will be easier for restaurants, cafes or businesses that offer some kind of experience. You can just ask people to enter to win a trip, a free meal for two or even matching pyjamas.
Radisson Blu asked used this ad to encourage people into joining their giveaway. All they had to do to enter was post a picture of themselves and a loved one on Twitter. What makes this so easy – for both the company and the customer – is the use of the unique hashtag used for entry. Just search for it on Twitter and you’ve got a full list of entrants!
If your business doesn’t already offer a product or experience that’s perfect for two, you can always make your own promotional merchandise. Branded t-shirts, couple’s mugs and even custom tote bags are super easy to print and affordable.
Give to Charity or VolunteerIncorporating charity or volunteer work into your marketing strategy is never a bad idea. The help greatly benefits your local community, and good PR can benefit your company.
What’s more, millennials – who most businesses would class as their target audience – love to be associated with companies that do good. Whether that means they’re environmentally friendly or involved in charity work.
Jeff Fromm, an expert on millennials, gen Z and innovation, wrote, “Millennials are more receptive to cause marketing than previous generations and are more likely to buy items associated with a cause. They also expect companies to support the social issues and causes they care about and will reward them if they do.”
Don't Forget the SinglesThere’s a reason why the day after Valentine’s Day is also known as #singlesawarenessday; not everyone is in a relationship. As well as offering amazing discounts and/or deals to couples, it’s a good idea to a more generic offer too – one that can benefit everyone. After all, you love and appreciate all of your customers. So, let them know that!
Advertise Your Offers in AdvanceInstore advertising and flyer handouts ensure that everyone knows what deals you’ve got on during the run up to the holiday. Everyone loves a sales hype, especially since there’s over a year to go until the January sales!
We recommend tweaking your branding so your marketing materials are still instantly recognisable, but are also perfect for Valentine’s Day.
We particularly like this Linen and Manchester235 Casino poster that creates a heart shape out of this business’ offerings. The important information (who, what, where, when) is in a darker font, which helps it to stand out. On the back of this double-sided poster is the ‘4 course aphrodisiac’ menu, with a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer warning that ‘Linen staff can not be held responsible for any effects this menu may have…’
Create a Gift GuideFancy an awesome cross-selling opportunity? Valentine’s Day is it!
Create Valentine’s survival kits, special combos and even gift guides to showcase which of your products are simply made for each other – and for the customer. Here are a few ideas of products that work well as part of a guide or pack:
• Valentine’s Day outfit – convince customers to buy their dress and bag with you so they’re ready for their dream date.
• Date essentials – this could include anything from a special cutlery set to a recipe kit or even aftershave.
• His and hers – try matching mugs, socks, bedding… anything!
• Last-minute gifts – write a blog or create a free download including all the best last-minute gifts (that they can buy from you, of course).
Use Valentine's Day Push NotificationsEver had a notification from an app on your phone telling you about the latest deal? That’s called a push notification and they’re great at getting a user to take a certain action.
People always have their phones with them, and your notification will pop up just like a text message notification – possibly with a vibrate or tone. They’re available on a range of platforms, including iOS, Android and Windows.
Walmart has used love heart emojis to make their push notification look extra appealing and eye-catching. This also makes the notification look even more like a message from your friend, making it more likely that the user will open it.
Offer Free DeliveryIs there anything more persuasive to prospective customers than free delivery?
If your business can’t afford to offer free delivery on every order, try setting a minimum order value threshold. For example, ‘free delivery on all orders over £50’. Make sure to set it a little bit above the average order price; this is also a great way of bumping up the average to cover the costs of offering free delivery.
Create a Seasonal Landing PageOne of the key ideas behind marketing is to make purchasing from your company as easy as possible for customers. Having all of your Valentine’s products, offers or specials all together on one convenient web page is a great way of doing this.
CyberPower PC have managed to link the theme of love to the products they sell by referencing computers in the page title, ‘Love @ First Boot’. This is a great way of incorporating Valentine’s Day into a landing page without alienating customers.
Get Interactive on Social MediaThere are plenty of features across social media that are great for quick wins if you’re looking to boost engagement over V-day. One of these, which is common to most social media sites, is polls.
You might have already used polls to get feedback on your products or to help decide on a future direction. But the reason they’re so effective is that people find them fun! So, ask some fun Valentine’s themed questions and watch the votes fly in.
Top tip: make the question and answers short and sweet – social media users will be more likely to engage with them that way!
From digital to print, there are plenty of opportunities to give your business a boost this Valentine’s Day. We love to see your finished print creations, so make sure you tag us @instantprintuk or #instantprintuk for a chance to be featured on our channel!