For some, February 14th is one of the most romantic times of the year or perhaps simply a day dedicated to love of all kinds, perfect for showing your loved ones that you care. Others are a bit more cynical about Valentine’s Day, finding it corny and commercialized. Regardless of how you might personally feel about the holiday, there’s no denying its importance for retailers!
Consider that in the US alone, V-Day spending on gifts is expected to amount to around 26 billion U.S. dollars in 2023, according to Statista. This is up from spending of approximately 24 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. What’s more, with the growing popularity of online shopping, a good percentage of this spending will likely occur on the internet.
If you’re an ecommerce entrepreneur, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to boost sales for your business, starting by working on your email marketing strategy.
In this article, we provide you with 11 email ideas plus tips to inspire the design of your future Valentine’s Day email campaigns, ensuring that Cupid’s arrow reaches your subscribers and causes your conversion rate to skyrocket!
Valentine’s Day email ideas
1. Reward your loyal customers
Any time of the year is great for thanking those shoppers who return to make a purchase from your store again and again. However, with Valentine’s Day being the day of love, it’s the perfect opportunity to reward your loyal customers and show your appreciation. Make your subscribers feel valued by sending them an email with a discount code or a coupon for a small free gift that they can use when placing an order from your site on February 14th.
The relationship you have with a loyal customer should certainly be celebrated, so to make your messages all the more special, don’t hesitate to avail of personalization in both the copy and offers featured in your Valentine’s Day reward emails!
For example, using the data you have for your readers, you might send them an email featuring their history with your business, noting when they made their first purchase and how many times they’ve ordered from you in total. Don’t forget to let them know how grateful you are for their loyalty to your brand by including a heartfelt personalized “thank you” in the email.
2. Show off your sense of humor with puns
While some holidays and events that occur during the year call for a more serious approach, Valentine’s Day is much more open ended, so you should feel free to explore your creative side. People tend to expect a certain level of corniness with February 14th, so why not embrace it by sharing your best puns in your next Cupid-inspired email campaign?
Whether in your email subject line or the copy of your email, a splash of humor, as demonstrated by shoe brand Dr. Martens below, is sure to be appreciated by your subscribers and help to boost engagement with your messages. With your target audience and the products you sell in mind, share your best puns tied to hearts, candy, love, Cupid, etc.—the cheesier, the better in my opinion!
3. Encourage customer referrals
In addition to using your Valentine’s Day email campaigns to boost sales from your existing customers, you can employ them to attract new shoppers as well. Include an exclusive promotion in your emails for V-Day that allows your buyers to benefit by referring other people to your online store.
For example, you might send your current customers an email detailing a special offer that makes it possible for them to obtain points or a discount that can be redeemed against future purchases for every successful referral. If you already have a referral program in place, you could temporarily increase the benefits for referrals made, say, before Valentine’s Day or all throughout the month of February.
Just be sure that your messaging is clear so that readers can quickly scan the email and be able to understand what they need to enjoy the rewards of your referral offer. To sweeten the deal for potential customers, you might also grant them a special discount for their first order on your website.
4. Create a gift guide
Although Valentine’s Day may not bring in quite as many sales as Christmas, it’s still a pretty big day for giving gifts. This means that e-merchants like yourself have the chance to bring in some serious revenue if you apply some strategic marketing techniques.
Keep in mind that some of your email subscribers may be feeling clueless as to what gifts to give to their Valentines when February 14th rolls around. Help them out by creating a gift guide featuring products from your online store to appeal to everybody on their list.
No matter what you sell, consider how you can categorize your offerings for the right target, such as by budget, interests, etc. In addition, while you may be tempted to fill your email with as many of your products as possible, avoid overwhelming your readers by keeping the list of items in your gift guide to a minimum and going for a simple design. A well-targeted selection of products with high-quality images will be much more effective than dozens of random goods thrown together on the page!
5. Avail of retargeting to remind shoppers
Sometimes people may have previously shown interest in your products and just need a little reminder to return to your online store to complete a purchase. Take advantage of your email campaigns for Valentine’s Day to retarget these particular shoppers and boost sales for your website.
To start, you may very well find that your online store has a high cart abandonment rate, as abandoned shopping carts are an issue for most ecommerce businesses. For any number of reasons, your site visitors may add items to their carts and then leave before finalizing their orders. Aim to bring these consumers back by preparing an abandoned cart email message preceding Valentine’s Day to let people know that they still have items in their carts and remind them that February 14th is quickly approaching.
You can also use retargeting to send messages to those in your contact list who haven’t opened your earlier emails and/or haven’t yet made a purchase from your store and remind them to place their orders soon to get them in time for Valentine’s Day. Consider also adding a special offer, such as a free shipping or a discount code, to convert these contacts into loyal customers!
6. Tell a story
Storytelling is a powerful technique that you’ll definitely want to make use of in various areas of your marketing strategy all throughout the year, in everything from your welcome email, confirmation email, and social media content to your email campaigns for Valentine’s Day. Thoughtfully crafted copywriting can do wonders for helping readers to better imagine having a product in front of them and using it for themselves, as we’ve seen in many successful newsletter examples.
The type of story you tell is of course going to depend on what you sell and your particular audience. You might opt to stay on theme and tell a love story, but remember that it doesn’t need to entail romantic love!
Perhaps instead you’ll opt to share tales from happy customers who’ve had a great experience with your business or write an uplifting message to inspire your readers. You could alternatively explain the backstory behind the creation of one of your products or even interesting facts about Valentine’s Day that readers may enjoy.
Another approach is to encourage your customers to share their own love stories. Create a special branded hashtag that people can use when sharing their stories on social media and propose your idea in your newsletter, perhaps even turning it into a fun V-Day contest!
Great storytelling can also involve simply adding a few words of compelling copy, as shown in the example by Benefit below. Here, the makeup brand makes excellent use of verbiage tied to love, including terms such as “perfect pair,” “find your match,” “major duo,” and “power couple” to push readers to purchase product bundles.
7. Add interactive elements to your emails
Your company’s emails are likely to not be the only ones your subscribers receive around Valentine’s Day. To help your sendings stand out from the competition and make them more memorable, consider adding interactive elements that encourage engagement in the design of your sendings.
For example, say that you sell candles on your online store. When brainstorming content for your Valentine’s Day email campaigns, you might embed a quiz in your newsletter, asking users a series of questions that allow them to find out the best candle scents for their specific V-Day vibe.
Other possible interactive elements to think about including in your emails are games and videos, perhaps featuring a special message from you or your team to wish subscribers a happy Valentine’s Day.
8. Take advantage of customer segmentation
If you want your email campaigns for Valentine’s Day to be as effective and efficient as possible, you’ll want to be sure to take advantage of customer segmentation. This involves separating your subscriber list into groups, such as by age, location, buying behavior, or interests.
As not every person on your list is going to be interested in purchasing the same items, whether as gifts for others or themselves, creating newsletter content that’s relevant to each specific audience will help increase the chances of conversion.
Another strategy using segmentation that you may want to apply is to begin your campaigns for the holiday of love by sending a general email announcing a special sale for your store. You can then send emails featuring cross-selling or upselling offers to subscribers who made a purchase since then and reminder messages, maybe even with extra incentives such as a discount code or free shipping, to those who may still need a bit of extra convincing.
9. Promote gift cards for your online store
Some people view gift cards as not being the most personal of items to give somebody, whether a loved one or an acquaintance. However, gift cards, either in a physical or electronic format, can admittedly be a real lifesaver for consumers who’ve waited until the last minute to do their Valentine’s Day shopping or aren’t sure what to buy.
According to Statista data, the average amount spent per person on gift cards for Valentine’s Day in the US has risen quite a bit in recent years. While this amount was $10.31 in 2019, it increased approximately 67% in just three years, reaching $17.22 in 2022. With this in mind, it makes sense to not just offer gift cards for purchase but promote them in your V-Day emailings!
10. Don’t forget about singles
Traditionally a holiday celebrated by couples in love, Valentine’s Day can sometimes be a less-than-fun time for people who aren’t in a relationship. There’s a reason why it’s also referred to as “Singles Awareness Day” or why some people opt to celebrate “Anti-Valentine’s Day.”
That being said, an increasing number of people are using Valentine’s Day to celebrate all kinds of love, including self-love, and brands are taking note and adapting their marketing campaigns accordingly. There’s a fairly good chance that a decent percentage of your customers are unattached, so it’s important for you to keep this in mind when creating content for your V-Day newsletters.
Why not use your email campaigns to encourage subscribers to treat themselves on this day of love and buy gifts for themselves, like in the example from Remy Sleep shown below? This may be just what shoppers need to return to your site and move an item from their “Favorites” to their shopping cart!
11. Include an animated GIF
Although featuring high-quality images and copy in your Valentine’s Day emails is essential, it’s always a good idea to mix up your content from time to time to keep your subscribers interested. Including an animated GIF is an easy way to insert a bit of extra fun into your email newsletters and catch people’s attention, piquing their curiosity and encouraging them to stay on the page.
What’s more, you can use GIFs in combination with any number of the other email ideas mentioned in this article to make your V-Day content more engaging for the reader. Whether you want to boost interest in an upcoming sale, highlight the availability of gift cards for your store, provide a list of gifts that may be relevant to the reader, or make a reward all the more exciting for the recipient, GIFs are the perfect addition to add a special touch to your messages.
Tips for creating Valentine’s Day emails that convert
Regardless of the types of emails you design for your Valentine’s Day campaigns, the ultimate goal is to increase conversions for your ecommerce business. You’ll be able to accomplish this by providing your subscribers with valuable content that’s relevant to their current needs and interests.
Check out these tips that can assist you as you work to design appealing Valentine’s Day content that’ll have your readers swooning!
Get a head start
While your campaigns for Valentine’s Day probably won’t start as far in advance as those you might create for other periods of the year, like for your Christmas emails, don’t wait until February 14th to send your first Valentine’s Day campaign. You risk losing V-Day sales to your competitors, as many of your subscribers may likely have already finished their shopping by this point.
Many consumers associate the entire month of February with love, so beginning your campaigns at the start of the month is perfect. Your first campaigns might entail, for example, giving people a preview of your forthcoming Valentine’s Day promotions or including a product teaser if you have a special release prepared.
Don’t hesitate to communicate a sense of urgency in the wording of your emails, reminding subscribers how many days remain until February 14th arrives. Although some of your customers are likely to be last-minute shoppers, others may prefer to purchase their gifts well in advance.
Use compelling subject lines
The subject line is the first thing your subscriber is going to see when they spot your email in their inbox. Based on this one short bit of text, they’ll decide whether to click on the message to read more or immediately delete it. It’s therefore worth giving this element some thought when doing your campaign brainstorming for Valentine’s Day!
Here are a few suggestions to consider implementing to create compelling subject lines for your V-Day messages:
- Add emojis: You’ll find that using emojis (examples include hearts, chocolate, gifts, etc.) that are relevant to your message can really help your subject lines to shine and stand out from the slew of other emails in the subscriber’s inbox.
- Create a sense of urgency: Terms like “almost here,” “hurry,” and “only X days left until…” can incite readers to want to open and read your email so as not to miss out.
- Use puns: Subject lines featuring a clever (or silly) pun that makes your readers smile can boost your open rates considerably.
- Focus on the usefulness of your message: Make it clear to your subscribers how your email can help them by adding words and phrases such as “best,” “gifts,” “perfect,” and “top 5.”
- Get creative: Think about how you might be able to combine your specific industry/products and Valentine’s Day to create special email subject lines that your customers will love.
In addition, after you have a list of subject line ideas for each of your Valentine’s Day email campaign ideas, it’ll be advantageous to do some A/B testing. This involves sending different versions of your emails to a portion of your subscriber list so that you’ll be able to see which are the most effective and work best for your intended audience.
Today, there’s a much wider range of possibilities for how consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day than in years past. When crafting content for an email campaign involving this day of love, you’ll want to be sure that you help your entire customer base feel seen.
This means being inclusive in the language you use in both your email copy as well as your promotions themselves and in the content on your ecommerce site. For instance, rather than using terms like “husband,” “wife,” “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend,” you might say “partner,” “significant other,” “somebody special,” or simply “loved one(s).”
Consider also that many people may opt to buy gifts for themselves or even their pets! This is why knowing your target market and segmenting your emails are crucial for successful Valentine’s Day email marketing.
Valentine’s Day: Not just for chocolate, flowers, and jewelry!
When you think of Valentine’s Day gifts, traditional examples like chocolate, flowers, and jewelry may first come to mind. While these products are still quite popular options for gift-giving shoppers, the holiday dedicated to love offers all ecommerce businesses a great opportunity to boost sales, regardless of what they sell.
To give your online store the greatest chance of success, having an excellent email marketing strategy in place is key. Hopefully the newsletter ideas mentioned in this article will inspire you as you plan and design your future email campaigns, assisting you in creating engaging content that will encourage people to read your messages, attract new shoppers to your business and make your current customers fall in love with your brand all over again!