The Christmas displays have come down. The decorations have been put away for another year. Now, it is time to start working on your next big season. The season of love. Valentine’s Day.
Love it or hate it, it can be a big money maker in the retail, event, services and food industries. Your marketing plan should include preparations for Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t prepared yet…don’t fret. Sirf Marketing + Design has you covered with these handy tips to get you ready for Cupid.
The dating world is different in the age of social distancing, and that can make it tricky to devise a marketing campaign. But it is also the perfect opportunity to get creative and have fun with the holiday. This is definitely something that consumers might even welcome more these days.
To start, it must be said that you probably want to start your marketing plan for Valentine’s Day in early Autumn. I know it seems a bit early, but if you have a busy Christmas season it is best to plan early to make sure everything goes off perfectly. Implement your plan in early January to make sure you give consumers plenty of time to browse and shop before the holiday starts. Offering sales and promotions starting in January guarantees your customers have plenty of time to order, ship and try out your products before February 14th. That being said, let’s jump into some marketing tip for Valentine’s Day.
- Create a promotion with a countdown timer. Shoppers are urged to make an instant purchase if they have limited time to qualify for a sale or special offer.
- Restaurants, spas and hotels can offer pre-fixed menus or specials highlighting an “Experience for 2” that can be exclusive for Valentine’s Day.
- Show your existing customers some love by offering them a special discount offer on select Valentine’s Day-themed products, specific product categories, or store-wide via conversational text messages.
- If you want to convert Valentine’s Day shoppers into customers, make your delivery dates clear and visible across your website, as well as in your popups and emails.
- Urge your social media followers to commit random acts of love and post them with a designated hashtag on social media.
- Thank your loyal customers for the love they’ve shown you and return the favor with exclusive offers for loyalty program members.
- Offer to share the love by donating a portion of your sales to a charity or alliance that makes sense for your business. By giving back, your brand can showcase its compassionate side.
- Almost every brand offers Valentine’s Day discounts, other incentives, such as free shipping, that can differentiate your store from the competition.
- Positive word-of-mouth is one of the best advertisements for your business—and that’s why using social proof in your messaging is such an effective Valentine’s Day marketing strategy.
- Create an interactive social media campaign.
- For customers who may have purchased from you last February, but who haven’t bought from you since—it’s the perfect time to put a Valentine’s Day winback series into action.
- Valentine’s Day-themed gift guides are a great way to provide customers with ideas for what to buy. It is a great opportunity to highlight products that your audience wouldn’t have normally thought of.
- Spread the love by teaming up with a local charity to organize a Valentine’s Day fundraiser.
- Keep your promotions going until the last minute. Be ready for an uptick in sales in the days and hours leading up to Valentine’s Day.
- Combining scarcity-driven copy with a countdown timer is a great way of driving urgency in last-minute buyers.
- Ask Your Audience to Share Love Stories
- Highlight Date Night Products
- One of the best Valentine’s Day promotion ideas is to hold a contest and give away discounts or freebies as prizes.
- Promote random acts of love.
- For a limited time, ask your social media fans and followers for any love problems they may have and give them advice.
- Create a “Hall of Shame” of Terrible Valentine’s Day Gifts
- Ask Your Audience to Share Terrible Date Stories
- If you usually send emails packed with images and little text, switch things up! Write it like you’re writing to your best friend.
- Host a Galentine’s Day Event on 13 February
- If art, decorations, gift-giving, bouquets, or design are relevant to your business or audience, why not post a DIY tutorial on a Valentine’s Day craft?
- Sponsor a Fun Run.
- Holidays are the perfect excuse to come up with a special edition product.
- Create a themed bundle with products you already have
- Have a blast while promoting your brand on Valentine’s Day with an online dance party.
- On your physical store, set up a cork board that your customers can leave love notes to whoever they want.
Marketing Tips For Valentine’s Day
Run a Valentine’s Day Sale
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. With millions of consumers gift shopping online, there’s one sure way to bring your online store to the forefront of the competition: running a Valentine’s day sales campaign.
While offering a compelling discount is key to a successful sales campaign, what’s more, important is how, when, and where you promote your products. The best way to achieve that is by combining sales popups with promotional emails.
Maybe, your business doesn’t really cater to couples in love. So you don’t sell candy, flowers, or jewelry. That doesn’t mean you can’t capitalize on Valentine’s Day holiday shopping! With the right messaging, even products not traditionally considered for Valentine’s Day could become part of your loyal customers’ gifting plans. Still not convinced? No worry here. Rebrand Valentine’s Day into a day of self-love for your customers.
Promote gift cards
Gift cards can be a very effective way to help customers give Valentine’s Day gifts, even if they’re not ready to come into a physical store or if they’re having trouble making a decision. Research from InMarket found that gift card purchases doubled in the first week of December 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019. That’s food for thought.
The perfect gift can be hard to find. Around Valentine’s Day, and other holidays, ramp up your promotion of digital gift card sales for customers who are struggling to find the perfect gift. Gift cards can also be the perfect solution for customers wanting to give friends a Valentine’s Day gift that doesn’t come off as romantic, but still shows their appreciation for their friendship. Plus it brings new customers into your store, whether online or brick and mortar.
Tailor Your Paid Search Messaging On Google
Let’s face it — shoppers are going to be searching for gift ideas on Google. Make sure your store shows up high in their search results by tailoring your message.
Create a marketing campaign with related keywords and tailored Valentine’s Day ad copy, like this La Perla example above. This ad also does a great job of creating a sense of urgency by including the latest order date for on-time delivery.
Use Targeted Popups On Your Website
Whether it’s for Black Friday, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, every holiday sale needs a targeted email list, full of interested subscribers. Take the time to focus on growing your email list.
No matter what time of the year it is, popups are the most effective way to collect high-quality email addresses of users on your site without hurting the user experience. The days (and weeks) leading up to Valentine’s Day creates the perfect opportunity to grow your email list with early access, a giveaway, or a discount popup.
Charm Your Audience in Your Email Marketing
The benefits of email marketing are well-documented. For those of you who have already converted to using email marketing, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to captivate your customers with a themed email marketing campaign. Make sure the content of the email is appealing enough to drive customers to your website, and conversion.
Schedule emails for two weeks before Valentine’s Day to ensure that your products remain at the forefront of the customers’ minds (without being overbearing). And don’t forget about last minute shoppers — especially common on Valentine’s Day.
Create At-Home Valentine’s Day Packages
This year, most couples will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at home, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be celebrating the day of love.
In 2020, candy, greeting cards, and flowers were the top three Valentine’s Day gifts, according to a survey by NRF. If you run a retail store, create promotional bundle packages that include these items or other products designed for people spending more time at home, like candles and blankets. Use festive packaging for the gift givers, and for customers treating themselves to a cozy at-home celebration.
If you’re a restaurant, offer a pre-fixed menu with festive takeout containers that customers can order for pickup or delivery through your online store.
Social Media Love
Valentine’s Day is a great way to showcase your brand’s personality, so keep it light-hearted while engaging your audience. To broaden your social reach, consider engaging with common Valentine’s Day hashtags, or use a unique campaign hashtag and encourage your customers to share their own love stories or photos. Then you can make use of all the great user-generated content. Maybe even turn it into a contest.
Use your social to hype up the holiday with fun and eye-catching graphics or Valentine’s day themed photo-shoots. Help your online audience get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day by updating your social media covers and profile images with a bit of romantic flair. Ideally the flair should still be visible when your profile image is resized, but it should also not obscure your original branding too much, as you still want your audience to be able to recognize it.
Social channels are also a great place for partnerships. Partner with another company(s) to offer a lovely gift or throw a cross-promoted contest. Not only will this help you grow your followers on social media, but you’ll be creating engaging content that fans of your brand will love and giving them what they want the most…free stuff!
Capitalize On Anti-Valentine’s Day Sentiment
Not everyone is in love with the annual day of love. Of the 44% of men and 46% of women who say they’re not planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 28% and 30%, respectively, say they still plan to celebrate the holiday somehow.
“Non-Valentine’s Day” plans may include: getting together with close friends, treating themselves to something they want, or purchasing an “anti-Valentine’s Day” gift. Think about ways you can market your products to all your anti-valentines. Remember to not alienate those customers who still celebrate the day.
Your B2B Brand Should Celebrate
Use Valentine’s Day to maintain positive relationships with your clients and foster potential partnerships for later on. You can come up with a clever marketing campaign geared towards the holiday showcasing any new solutions or platform ideas that have developed since you last spoke with your gift recipient. Your brand can flower arrangements or a V-Day themed gift such as chocolate or candy hearts with your logo on the wrapping. Accent the gift with a witty card that is personal and fun.
Urge Customers to Spread the Love With Referrals.
Your loyal customers are your best marketing tool, so leverage that power for your Valentine’s Day marketing. Give consumers the gift of extra referral points, products, bonuses, or discounts for sharing offers with friends and family.
The more channels you allow consumers to use to spread the love, the more new customers you’ll reach.
Improve How You Communicate With Your Online Forms
No one wants to endure a date with someone who only talks about themselves the entire time. The same principle applies with your website.
While your website communicates information about your brand and products, there’s also an opportunity to learn more about your customers. A multi-step signup form allows you to collect valuable information on new customers who are browsing your site to shop for Valentine’s Day.