Seems like we’ve barely had time to put away the Christmas decorations and get past our holiday hangovers when the hearts and flowers of Valentine’s Day are papering store aisles and flooding our inboxes. Yes, February 14 is just around the corner and your email marketing better be ready.
Retailers and e-tailers know it well: Valentine’s Day is a major holiday spending event. According to both Finder.com and the National Retail Foundation (NRF), around 55% of all Americans will buy a Valentine’s Day gift. Finder forecasts 2019 Valentine’s Day spending to come in at $30 billion, while the NRF reported U.S. consumers spending an average $143.56 each on Valentine’s Day 2018. So if your product category lends itself to love, chances are you’ve already been planning.
But even if you’re not in the business of sweets, perfume, jewelry or flowers, you can still benefit by weaving Valentine’s Day vibes into your email marketing. Merchant or not, if you’ve procrastinated creating your campaigns, here are four eleventh-hour Valentine’s email marketing ideas you can easily apply. So come on, grab a bar of dark chocolate or a glass of red wine and come feel the love!
Valentine’s Email Marketing: Make It About Them
This is one holiday that’s definitely more about the object of affection than yourself, so show your customers and subscribers some love! If you’ve heard about customers who embody your company’s values, Valentine’s Day offers a perfect opportunity to put them in the spotlight or invite them to become ambassadors.
At a minimum, it’s a second chance after Thanksgiving to express gratitude for their loyalty and let them know how much you appreciate them. This campaign from Charity: Water (a non-profit bringing clean safe drinking water to people in developing countries) does a fantastic job at exactly that with a simple straightforward expression of donor love. This simple “love note” holiday theming tactic can be used by any email marketer and is an ideal play for non-profits, B2B, publishing, financial and other non-retail sectors.
Valentine’s Email Marketing: Show More Than Tell
When it’s real love, actions speak louder than words, so consider going light on copy. Plus if you’re still scrambling to come up with a Valentine’s email campaign, chances are you’re pretty short on copywriting and creative time. Let images, video or animation carry the day and remember – if you’re already in the product category for this holiday, you don’t need to say much, like this campaign from salon service Glamsquad.
Note the subject lines (where words DO matter) and excellent, appropriate use of all caps, emojis and an “alert” style to get procrastinator’s attention!
Valentine’s Email Marketing: Come to Their Rescue
Speaking of procrastinators, whether you’re in the Valentine’s gift category or not, help alleviate their anxiety. Merchants should offer last-minute gift suggestions and spell out order/ship deadlines. As at Christmas, gift cards are popular eleventh-hour options so if you offer them, promote them. Take a look at these campaigns: Vosges Chocolates (a merchant clearly in the holiday gift category) tells subscribers they have until noon on February 12th to order and includes shipping options/deadlines in the pink highlighted banner.
On the other hand, non-merchants like free radio station mobile app iHeartRadio steers clear of a promotional offer with Valentine’s Day music suggestions instead. After all, you don’t necessarily have to spend to give!
Valentine’s Email Marketing: Invite Them To Help You Spread the Love
Does your company or brand support a specific cause? Maybe you’re active in the local market or national community you serve? What better day than to ask your email audiences to help you spread the love than Valentine’s Day! I found the timing of Red Cross’ Annual Fund campaign mighty coincidental. Even though their several email campaigns sent on 2/9/18, 2/12/18 and 2/16/18 never mention Valentine’s Day, they’re certainly pulling at the heartstrings.
Remember, you don’t need to be sappy to leverage the power of love this Valentine’s Day. Be genuine, be relevant, be timely, and at a minimum you’ll strengthen that love connection with your customers and subscribers if not also enjoy a boost in sales and channel engagement.
Karen Talavera is President of Synchronicity Marketing provider of email marketing consulting, strategy, program development and training. Follow Karen on LinkedIn, Twitter (@SyncMarketing) and Facebook for daily tips and cutting-edge digital marketing advancements, developments, research and success stories.