Valentine Marketing: The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide
Heart-shaped everything is being produced and shipped as we speak (Hint: *Valentine Marketing*).
The past few weeks, graphic designers have been frantically clicking shades of pink and red, trying to discover the 2018 shade of Valentine’s.
Maybe Pantone’s color of the year, the ultraviolet shade is making headlines, even!
It is clear in this hustle and bustle, that digital managers and graphic designers around the world are gearing up for Valentine’s day.
But what is Valentine’s day in numbers?
In 2017, in the US alone, consumers spent just below $20 billion.
And this only makes us think:
How can we break through the clutter of a $20-billion-dollar industry?
What marketing ideas are there, which remain largely untapped?
We put together the ultimate guide to Valentine’s day for 2018
The Ultimate Guide to Valentine’s Email Marketing Ideas
We love statistics. It appears we love Valentine’s as well. And Valentine’s day sale.
The global economy loves Valentine’s Day.
We came across this National Retail Federation survey : it appears that Valentine’s spendings marked a slight drop from 2016 to 2017 in the US.
Back in 2017, the projected spending of $18.2 billion saw the following allocation:
- $4 billion on jewelry
- $2 billion on flowers
Here are more stats on consumers’ Valentine’s day spendings:
- Also, cards, clothes, and a romantic evening out are also a part of Valentine’s landscape. Cards make up 49.7% of consumers’ purchase intention, and the evening out is number three on the list of popular Valentine’s day choices.
- A staggering 94% was looking forward to receiving candy and chocolate, according to a WalletHub survey last year. Indeed, 49.7% of them would get their wish, as candy was also at almost half of consumers’ purchase intentions.
- What about flowers? They made number four on the list, followed by clothes, and gift cards!
- Shopping for their partners’ pets was also selected by a marked 20% of consumers asked.
Retailers are making it easier on consumers to shop for their loved ones, by increasingly offering more and more deals and Valentine’s day offers.
- Did you know that consumers are also turning to experience gifting? That is, anything from concert tickets to special events, to bird-watching or paragliding!
Our favorite Valentine’s email designs
Steal Polyvore’s style … in style!
Why we love it: Polyvore is a contemporary fashion/beauty/home etailer.
In 2017, they sent out a Valentine’s day newsletter with a twist.
Instead of displaying the latest fashions, with a zodiac sign overview their click-through rates went through the roof.
Essentially, every time users clicked on a zodiac, they were transferred to a different selection of styles.
Steal this: Look for equivalents of zodiac signs and horoscopes that are also fun and games.
For instance, have subscribers click their favorite color from a color palette. Each color will be leading to the respective webpage, filtered by color.
Another idea is to present your subscribers with a selection of celebrity styles.
By clicking on their favorite icons they will be transferred to the celebrity-inspired outfits on your eshop.
Get Asos aces up your sleeves!
Why we love it: This asos for Valentine copy is everything.
It promotes V-day across four different audiences, all at once: “recent swipe or long-term love, solo party or squad celebration”.
And we can’t help but notice the “Sale” category in red on the top right of the email.
Steal this: Send out your own invitation to your subscribers, whatever their relationship status!
Here’s an example I wrote:
“Whether you’re still together or he called Becky with the good hair,
better make sure you dress with flair.”
Tease that photoshoot just like Marc Jacobs did!
Why we love it:
You don’t need to be paying attention to understand what this is about.
Even if your subscribers read this email not particularly focused, simply browsing through their inbox instead, you can rest assured an image like so would do all the talking.
Before you send that campaign, ask your creative team to add hearts flowing out of the jeans’ pockets or floating over that shoulder bag.
Give it the best copy you can. If you are stuck, send me an email at email@example.com. I’ll be happy to jot down a thing or two for you!
Speaking of copy, language and content are very important.
Here are the main pillars to build your messages on
Get the message right.
Your copy must read equally well by almost everyone.
Ideally, something that would resonate with most of your subscribers, regardless of their relationship status, sexual orientation, and so on.
Do check with your company’s diversity manager and your employees about how they feel about the different versions of your copy and content.
This is how your brand communication can play a vital role in brand loyalty and social inclusion matters.
The aforementioned copy in the Asos newsletter does a sweet job at it!
Crack the toughest cookies out there
Not everyone is fond of Valentine’s day celebrations. Everybody knows that.
Before you send your email campaign, craft a message that gets the “Valentine’s stinks” subscribers out there!
Do it like greeting card companies: always with a large variety of writing styles, ranging from funny, to romantic, to cynical, to minimal, to you-name-it.
Here are a few of the Valentine cards that prove our point. Draw inspiration from the masters of creativity!
BONUS tip: Besides setting up a designated area on your website for your Valentine’s day ideas, you could also set up another for anti-Valentine’s. At least, I would. See how that goes and act accordingly next year, too!
Your 2018 Valentine’s email marketing ideas
6 Valentine’s tips you can use today
TIP #1: ENRICH YOUR COLOR PALETTE
Color is semantically charged. We get it.
But there’s so many things you can do with colors, and layers, and patterns – it’s a shame not to make the most out of it.
Here’s an example:
Valentine’s Subject line: “Love: Joe’s or Jaws?”
TIP #2: DO A “HIS & HERS” SPECIAL
Valentine’s Subject line: “Who’d win a His and Hers contest? Us.”
What a better way to drive sales than to offer matching items for couples?
Update your Valentine’s page with items for couples!
TIP #3: DO A “VALENTINE SINGLE” SPECIAL
Valentine’s Subject line: Stick your tongue out at Valentine’s!
Yep, anti-Valentiners out there will appreciate this!
By the way, have you heard of Single Awareness day (SAD)?
Well, the acronym doesn’t quite cut it for all those powerful and absolutely awesome people out there, celebrating their single-hood!
Break the mould of Valentine’s day and give your customers the opportunity to self-indulgence and self-love.
What’s it going to be?
TIP #4: ADD THAT EXTRA TOUCH
a) This is an offline marketing tip. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg to switch to red or other wrapping paper.
Feeling adventurous? Look for a wrapping paper hack!
Here’s one of our favorite DIY tool hacks: wripwrapwrop. It is a free online tool; use it to craft your own wrapping paper.
Choose the pattern or text, customize the font and message, download and print it.
It just adds that personal touch to every gift, and requires no prior planning.
It’s the best of both worlds: creative and last-minute.
I mean, why not share it with your subscribers?
I would. Even if I owned a butcher’s shop. A butcher’s shop doing email marketing. A fancy butcher’s shop.
(Like my favorite butcher’s in Amsterdam, which printed this packaging last Christmas:
Ok, back to our February matters.)
Also, on Pinterest, you will find free, downloadable, printable wrapping paper choices like this one:
b) Give a complimentary Valentine card at checkout.
Whether online or offline shopping, your online shoppers can choose between Grumpy Valentine or Lovestruck Valentine. Everyone takes their pick!
TIP #5: SEND A VALENTINE ECARD
Here’s some trivia: you can send a Valentine ecard even if the recipient is not in a relationship!
Craft the ideal message for your subscribers’ relationship statuses!
TIP #6: SEND A CUTE AND QUICK VALENTINE DIY IN YOUR NEWSLETTERS
There is a galore of artists out there who are taking DIY to a new level.
Using everyday items that you don’t even have to go shopping for, DIYs are a great way to wish your significant other “Happy Valentine’s”.
Especially if you haven’t found any decent gift to buy. Don’t ask how I know.
So, yes, pretty cool to have a Valentine’s DIY in every newsletter.
Provided that your branding allows for it, of course.
(You wouldn’t expect that DIY in a Mercedes Benz newsletter, now would you? Uhm, come to think of it, I would.
I mean, it makes sense for busy people to lack the time to browse shops and buy wrapping paper and gift toppers, right? And a little something is better than nothing, no?)
And online shopping does not usually get that personalized, either way.
So, you can get crafty to get out of buying a random gift for the sake of buying one… until you intentionally buy a gift that looks just like a random gift, because, hey, who really gets that successful with gift shopping, anyway?
47 Valentine’s subject lines are here
- Guessing game: who’s getting a free sample?
- Candlelit dinners are 1998.
- Valentine candy is good. (But this is better.)
- Cupid would be so proud of you.
- Oh, you shouldn’t have!
- Will you accept this rose?
Looking for the rest? Click here to get them!
4 Ideas to use Pinterest photos in emails
Idea #1: USE A PIECE OF ART
Valentine’s Subject line: “You’re the Paul to my Vincent.”
I once attended this Vincent Van Gogh exhibition in London and the guide explained how the painter’s take on Gauguin’s chair (left) is indicative of Van Gogh’s admiration for him. Especially when one considers that Van Gogh was rather frugal painting his own chair (right), although they were roommates.
To me, this is a very beautiful example of love. And I would even share it with my subscribers, along with the background information, of course.
Idea #2: THE FOOD DIARIES
Valentine’s Subject line: You’re the ketchup to my fries.
I couldn’t resist posting this.
And I have this hunch that quite a few people out there will agree that FRIES ARE EVERYTHING.
Honestly, I think this idea is… worth its salt.
Idea #3: THE “NOSTALGIA MARKETING” CARD
Valentine’s Subject line: “I would let you climb onto that plank, tho’.”
Playing the nostalgia marketing card is my favorite thing to do. Second, to having fries, that is.
What’s your subscribers’ hit love story? If you can guess, go ahead and use it.
If not, why not ping them to find out? Engage and gain!
Idea #4: THROW A GIF IN
Mac cosmetics sent out his gif in their Valentine’s newsletter.
I guess this is what they call eye candy.
7 extra tips
1. Add name personalization to your Valentine’s subject lines
You want to own this Valentine’s email marketing campaign.
Adding name personalization has the subscribers use that tiny little voice in their heads to read your email.
You want that.
Example: “This one’s for you, Jane! ”
2. Choose the right emoji
We’re giving you a few more subject line ideas, sprinkled with love-ly emojis!
- Lovestruck? Here’s what to gift your crush!
- A box of chocolates would never get you this far. Shop today!
- On Valentine’s, don’t get your with the wrong . Here’s our gift guide.
- → Buy the wrong gift and this could be your Valentine. Or shop our guide.
- On V-day, buy a . Or anything from THIS list.
3. Set up a Valentine email sequence
Last year, Liberty London sent out this email sequence:
The first email of the series featured both “His” and “Hers” gifts, along with separate product categories.
It was then followed by the “Hers” special, along with the top picks:
… and then, the “Gifts for Him” special.
Set up your own email sequence on Moosend: Sign up for a free account here and get unlimited campaigns for up to 1.000 unique subscribers forever!
4. Include a Valentimer: a countdown timer in your Valentine email sequence
It’s as easy as drag-and-drop. Increase engagement and sales across your audiences with an awesome countdown to:
5. Spruce up your unsubscribe links
Instead of “If you no longer wish to receive our emails, click here to unsubscribe“, go for:
- “Wanna break up? Click here to unsubscribe.”
- “Do you need a break? Click here to unsubscribe.”
- “You need some space?! Click here to unsubscribe.”
You can follow their unsubscribe up with a landing page reading a Taylor Swift lyric:
“We’re never ever ever getting back together?”
6. Throw a Valentine event
Hold an offline event a few days before Valentine’s.
Send a newsletter and integrate this event in your social media schedule for the month of February.
On Valentine’s eve, send a second newsletter with Valentine day event sneak peeks, and a special offer.
Kick back and watch it bear fruit.
7. Get your brand a hashtag for Valentine’s day
Are you going for a major Valentine’s day event or dashes of Valentin-ism throughout your branding and communication?
Whichever it is, we suggest you go for a unique hashtag. Here’s a few:
This way, your newsletters and social media posts will stand out in your customers’ perception.
And a (fail) case study on Valentine’s
Straight outta my very own vault of professional experiences (it being a euphemism), here’s what happened when I first started working at an agency, back in the day. I’ll send you an email when you click.