Looking for tips on campaign planning, content, subject lines and sample emails? This post has everything you need to create a Valentine’s Day newsletter or email campaign that’s tailored to your target audience.
Love it or hate it – Valentine’s Day represents a huge revenue driver in many sectors. In 2019 Valentine’s spending in the US was estimated to reach a record-breaking $20 billion. From Argentina to Estonia, it’s become a global sales event, as well.
What will 2020 hold? Whatever sector you’re in – B2B, B2C or nonprofit – you can use email marketing to grow revenue come Valentine’s Day.
Maybe you’re sending a Valentine’s Day newsletter with themed content to drive donations for your nonprofit. Perhaps you’re planning a massive multipart, multichannel Valentine’s Day campaign to drive sales. Or possibly you’re a B2B looking for opportunities to stay top of mind with your audience.
No worries. You’ve come to the right place. Anyone can make this holiday work for their target group. We’re here to tell you how.
Which Industries Should Send Valentine’s Day Newsletters and Email Campaigns?
Traditionally, when you think of Valentine’s Day, you think of Hallmark cards, chocolates and candy, flowers and big diamonds. These industries definitely luck out when it comes to this holiday. Their challenge is to plan an email series that captures their recipients’ attention with the right product at the right moment.
Other industries known to profit from Valentine’s Day are those offering “romantic” experiences. The food service sector serves up romantic meals. The travel industry provides intimate getaways. The 14th of February keeps travel agents, booking portals and hotels busy.
However, these traditional Valentine’s Day sectors aren’t the only ones using this holiday to drive revenue. With the right messaging, any retail brand and e-commerce store can benefit from the gift-giving holiday (speaking of holidays, be sure to get a copy of Sendinblue’s 2020 ecommerce calendar).
If your product can be given as a present, it can be sold as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Can B2B businesses send Valentine’s email campaigns?
Yes! Even if you’re not a B2C offering products that fall under the gift-giving category, you, too, can leverage Valentine’s Day if you find a way to offer your customers added value.
Remember: Valentine’s Day can be framed as a way to celebrate love in general – with family, friends and pets! Ask yourself how your Valentine’s Day newsletter will honor companionship, loyalty or friendship. Or use the holiday as an opportunity to talk about what you as a company love.
The key is to adopt the right tone that matches your product. What will work best for your customers? Being light, serious, playful or, perhaps, ironic? Dig deep into your marketing personas this year. Ask yourself how your customers want to feel this 14 Feb. and how you can help them get there.
Alternative approaches to Valentine’s Day email campaigns
Maybe there’s no way you can make Valentine’s Day fit your brand or sector. Why not celebrate another holiday instead or perhaps try a different approach?
- Anti-Valentine’s Day parties have become popular on both sides of the Atlantic. These boisterous celebrations include party games such as slugging heart piñatas and chowing down on broken-heart-shaped pastries. ‘Galentines’ day is promoted as a way for women to celebrate their female friends.
- Nonprofits and charities might do well to create newsletters for V Day. This activist movement around ending violence against women was created by Eve Ensler in the late 90s.
- Off-beat brands can construct email campaigns for International Quirkyalone Day. This day celebrates people who prefer singlehood to “compulsory dating.”
Step 1: Plan Your Valentine’s Day Email Campaigns
Whether you’re sending out a traditional newsletter, a series of email campaigns, or a hybrid of the two – planning your Valentine’s Day campaign is key to its success.
Once you’ve decided what your goal and approach will be this Valentine’s Day, start by coming up with a timeline for your Valentine’s Day emails.
Like with all holiday campaigns, one email is not enough. Use marketing automation to set up a series of email campaigns that includes special offers as well as last-minute reminders for late shoppers! Many Valentine’s Day shoppers struggle with procrastination. Your job is to make their lives easier.
But before you schedule your campaigns, there’s an important step not to skip: segmenting your contacts. Divide your contacts up by appropriate attributes. You can group them, for example, by gender, age, interests (and relationship status if you know it).
In general, when thinking about your target groups, don’t forget about “all the single ladies” (well, actually, about all the single people)! Even if you don’t have your contacts’ relationship status saved in your CRM, you can score points with singles by encouraging all customers to treat themselves.
5 must-ask questions when planning Valentine’s Day emails
- How can you segment your customers most effectively for the best-personalized holiday emails possible? (Segment offers and content by interests? By gender? By age?)
- Is your campaign approach inclusive enough? Is there anybody you’ve left out, and how can you fix that?
- When will your customers be thinking about Valentine’s Day?
- How will they be feeling as they shop?
- How can you send emails that reach all types of shoppers – both the planners and procrastinators?
Plan content according to your sector of activity
Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and structure the nitty gritty of your marketing campaign – the content. There are key differences between B2B, nonprofits and B2C here, which you want to take into account.
For B2B campaigns, you can build on the theme of love and gratitude to grow customer loyalty. For example, you can plan a short series of emails thanking your customers for their loyalty and offering them a Valentine’s Day present. This present could be content exclusive to your email list, such as an e-book or an infographic.
If you don’t want to give away a freebie, your present can still add value for the customer. Can you give them resources or knowledge? Share personal recommendations with your subscribers in the context of “things you love.” For example, “Five Books We Love and Why.”
Nonprofits can leverage Valentine’s Day, too! Build on the theme of gratitude and meaningful gift-giving in your Valentine’s newsletter. Share stories that highlight companionship, family and love in all its forms. Wrap up your newsletter with a strong CTA for donations.
Another nonprofit idea is drafting boilerplate wishlists for your subscribers. Prompt your contacts to ask their loved ones to donate in their name this Valentine’s Day, and give them the exact words to do so.
In the B2C realm, this is your time to shine. Discounts or exclusive Valentine’s Day offers represent the bread and butter of your Valentine’s Day campaigns.
But what about doing something interactive this year, as well? For example, you could grab their attention with a V-Day giveaway. Offer a gift card or a hot item as the prize. Encourage your recipients to enter the giveaway in your first campaign mailing and mention it in each subsequent one.
Announce the winner(s) on Valentine’s Day. You could even offer surprise consolation prizes, such as a post–Valentine’s Day discount code. Campaigns like this don’t require too much planning and can pay off when it comes to customer loyalty.
Step 2: Craft Valentine’s Day Subject Lines to Win Your Subscribers’ Hearts
No matter how good your email campaign, if you don’t have a good subject line and preview text, your contacts won’t read your email. Because they won’t open it. Plus, you’re not the only one sending a Valentine’s Day newsletter.
Put extra energy into your Valentine’s Day subject line.
First, before you craft an email campaign, ask yourself these questions:
- What do your recipients love?
- How can you deliver emotional impact into their inbox?
- How can you thank them?
Wrap it up in a compelling subject line with a maximum of 50–60 characters.
Steal these ideas 👇
Create an exceptional Valentine’s Day subject line by …
- Inserting emojis
- Mentioning your incentive
- Using words like “sweet,” “kiss,” and “love” in humorous, unconventional or even hokey ways. (For inspiration, check out all these idioms with the word “love.”)
- Kiss your … goodbye this Valentine’s Day
- Aren’t in love with your … (CMS)? Try … today! (Successful WordPress email)
- Ready for these sweet deals?
- You’ll fall head over heels for these …!
Step 3: Design Your Valentine’s Day Campaign
It’s vital to look at your newsletter design from the perspective of the email subscriber.
Which pictures would your target group like? (Note: The question is not, which photos do you like?) Selecting imagery appealing to your target group is key!
A perfume brand might have a lot of success with a photo of softly lit red roses. But in hipper-than-thou sectors, such as electronics or music tech, you’d be laughed out of town with that. You’d need something more cutting-edge.
Be inclusive in your use of images
When you’re choosing images, remember you’ve got to do a balancing act. You want to visually speak to your specific target group but do so in as broad a way as possible. Basically, you don’t want anyone to feel excluded by your images (or your copy, in fact).
For example, you want to be careful around Valentine’s Day when using images of clearly gendered individuals. A romantic picture of a man and woman embracing might exclude your nonheterosexual audience members, whereas a LOVE statue has a better chance of appealing to both your heterosexual and nonheterosexual audience members. (Unless you do marketing for a dating app and can segment by dating preferences!)
What to consider when choosing design elements
In addition to making sure you choose images tailored to your audience, you need to consider other design elements. What color scheme, email font and symbols will you use?
Ask yourself: How much will your Valentine’s Day email template differ from your usual email branding? Do you want to make big changes? Or just add accent notes to your corporate identity to give it holiday flair?
What about symbols? Which will appeal to your audience? Hearts, flowers, wrapping paper, balloons, heart-shaped piñatas? Would traditional symbols resonate with your target group? Or would that seem over-the-top?
If you’re unsure how your target group will respond, play it safe. Make subtle changes and use accent elements.
Designing emails is easy with Sendinblue’s email software. A free account gives full access to our ready-to-go email templates as well as our intuitive Drag & Drop email builder. No graphic design skills required.
Get Inspired By These Valentine’s Day Email Examples
To help get your ideas flowing, here’s our pick of three awesome Valentine’s day emails.
1. ‘A Valentine, from you to you’ – Harry’s
2. ‘Be ours? ❤️’ – Ritual
3. ‘💞 Happy Gal-entine’s Day’ – Roadshow
In Sum …
Know your audience when planning your Valentine’s Day email campaigns. Some people love the holiday. Others hate it. Some respond to romantic imagery. Others to compassion.
With the right mixture of fitting subject lines, copy and images, you can move your target group. Engage your target group, drive customer loyalty, and close sales.
For even more tips on how to heat up your customer relationships this Valentine’s Day, check out this post.
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