Jessica Beam
Jessica Beam
Posted 03 February 2022

Are you sharing the love? – Our top tips for this Valentine’s Day

Love it or hate it, we’re finally through January for another year, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. 

While not a major holiday like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or even say Boxing Day, Valentine’s Day still sees a lot of traction, and sales are no longer tied to more stereotypically ‘romantic’ gifts, like flowers, confectionery, jewelry, or cosmetics. Recently spending trends have expanded to include experiences, gifting to friends (enter ‘Galentines’), and self-gifting (treat yo self!). 

Why should you consider getting involved? 

Last year’s spending and consumer preferences demonstrate the opportunity out there for retailers who can take advantage of Valentine’s day. Like the bigger retail holidays, Valentine’s day is also seeing a steady incline in overall spending, coupled with a consumer preference for online purchases.  

So whether your offerings are very ‘V-day’ adjacent or not, there’s probably still something you can do to engage with the holiday if you choose to. If you need a little inspiration, we’ve compiled a guide to Valentine’s Day with tips on how to get involved, things to consider, and some great examples we’ve seen.

Not everyone feels the love 

Before we dive in, it’s also worth remembering that not everyone appreciates Valentine’s Day for a whole host of reasons. We have seen a rising trend in retailers allowing their subscribers to opt-out of Valentine-themed communications. Whether you plan to lean heavily into the holiday in your campaigns or not, this is something that you could consider to mitigate the risk of upsetting any subscribers. Equally, if your brand and consumers are both less aligned with traditional ideas of Valentine’s day, you might consider engaging more subversively with an ‘anti-Valentines’ sentiment and approach. 

Popular sub-themes

These are some recognized themes and trends that can be explored across your channels in the build-up to Valentine’s day. 

  • Traditional red, roses, and hearts imagery. Adjusting the colors and tone to the holiday is a great way to lean into Valentine’s day in your design.
  • Galentines Gifting (13th February) – If the emerging trend of celebrating friendships the day before Valentine’s fits more with your brand, then ‘Galentines’ could be a great opportunity to engage.  
  • Self-gifting ‘Treat yourself’ is always a compelling message, and is nicely coupled with an appreciation campaign (examples below). 
  • Significant-other gifting This theme ties nicely with gift guides or curated offerings personalized to different gift-receiving groups. 

Valentine’s day campaign ideas by channel 

Email

There are plenty of routes you can take to bring Valentine’s day into your email campaigns. It’s a great opportunity to leverage relevant product recommendations, countdowns, or specific sub-themes, like the ones we highlighted above. 

Our advice: Leading up to the holiday, make sure you are communicating ways to gift, whether for others or themselves, and include key information like shipping cut-offs. 

Some examples we loved

Curated gift guides

Gift guides are a great way to connect with your subscribers, providing ideas ‘for him/her/the special person (or even pet!)’.

Appreciation

If you want to steer clear of directly encouraging and suggesting gift purchases, many brands use the holiday to express love for their customers by offering Valentine’s related discounts or perks, like free shipping.

Referral

Valentine’s is a great opportunity for encouraging people to ‘share the love’ by referring other people to your brand.

Other Valentine’s ideas we love

  • For something more interactive, why not try creating a quiz that helps them find the right gift?
  • Showing your customers how much you love them by offering early access for VIPs or double points for loyalty or referrals.  
  • Leverage user-generated content (UGC) in your email touchpoints
  • Tie into any SMS programs you’re running (we’ll look at these next)
  • For the recipient who doesn’t want/need anything? Make sure you include gift cards.
  • Create gifting buckets on-site and linking there via CTA’s in your emails
  • Call out shipping cutoffs to avoid disappointment
  • Call out if you offer any customization on products, like engraving or personalization  

SMS

If you have an SMS program it’s a great way to engage with customers about offers and deals for the holiday.

Some other ideas include:

  • Creating a Valentine’s Day specific sign up for SMS
  • Providing early access for VIP’s
  • Sharing a quiz to find the right gift
  • SMS follow up for cart/browse abandonment
  • Last-minute/ time-sensitive offers

If you’re using Attentive? Check out this guide for more brilliant SMS ideas.

Social

Targeting users on social and creating unique interactive experiences can help you leverage the holiday to further grow your brand.

Why not…

  • Create a V Day specific hashtag (e.g. #morelove #galentines)
  • Create brand stickers that can be used on social media
  • Leverage user-generated content (UGC) in your cross channel touchpoints
  • Encourage users to share to their feeds, perhaps with Valentine’s day themed competitions, or by offering incentives for the most likes/shares
  • Retarget shoppers via Facebook and Google and adjust bidding using segments from Ometria

Check out some ideas here from Yotpo

Website

Last but not least is your website. If possible adjust the content and color of your site and popups leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Other website ideas include

  • Create a V-Day specific sign up
  • Create gifting buckets on the top nav
  • Have a quiz pop-up if users are on site
  • Use overlays to call out shipping cutoffs
  • Create popups on specific pages that show top-selling items after users have been onsite after a certain amount of time

As you can see there is no end to the options, ideas, themes, and touchpoints you can create to engage your subscribers for Valentine’s. Our final advice is to try and drive a consistent experience (theme, color usage, and message) across your channels, and most of all make it fun and engaging for your customers!

Don’t forget! After the holiday, why not show appreciation post-purchase by sending a thank you or surfacing new arrivals that they might be interested in?

Want to create marketing experiences your customers will love, but don’t have the capabilities in place to best-in-class holiday campaigns at scale? To see how other retailers have driven CRM revenue and accelerated performance check out our case studies, or book a demo to speak to one of our team.

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