Mention Valentine’s Day and the first thing most people think of is love. But if you’re an email marketer, you think of opportunity. And no wonder. Valentine’s Day spending in the United States is expected to reach $26 billion in 2023. That’s an increase of nearly $2 billion from 2022. With consumers ready to spend so much, there is no time to lose if you want to get your brand’s share. Here are 5 tips for making your Valentine’s Day email campaign more effective.
The Importance of Valentine’s Day for Email Marketers
Valentine’s Day represents the first big gift giving event of the new year. More than half (52%) of consumers plan to celebrate the holiday by spending an average of $192.80 on gifts. That’s up from $175.41 last year and the second highest total since 2004. As in recent years, the top stop for Valentine’s Day shoppers will be online (35%), followed by department stores (34%), discount stores (31%) and specialty stores (18%).
When it comes to gift purchases, the traditional favorites include candy (57%), greeting cards (40%), and flowers (37%). Jewelry (21%), gift cards (20%), and clothing (19%) are also popular. But about one third (32%) of Americans plan to give a gift of experience – an increase from 26% last year and the most since 2017. The growth of gifting experiences opens the door to more retailers than ever.
Now that you know why Valentine’s Day is so important for email marketers this year, here are 5 tips for making the most of it.
Valentine’s Day Email Marketing Tips
1. Start your Valentine’s Day campaign early. Don’t wait until February 14 to send your email. While a lot of consumers wait until the last minute to purchase for loved ones, there are plenty who plan ahead to ensure they make the date as memorable as possible. You should too. Plan to start sending at least a week or more in advance. Your initial emails can include reminders that the big date is coming up. Subsequent messages can include a sneak peek at your Valentine’s Day sale, the actual sale announcement, and a “last chance” reminder.
2. Send a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. The average Valentine’s Day shopper knows they want or need to give a gift to someone special, but are frequently unsure about what to buy. Help consumers make up their minds by providing a guide that features your products or services. Gift guides are great for drawing attention to your brand, building excitement, and since they only feature your products – boosting sales.
3. Segment Your Audience to Optimize Personalization. While gift guides are great for exposing your audience to a wide range of products, as the big date approaches, narrow things down to product or services that are most likely to appeal to individual subscribers. Try segmenting for Valentine’s Day by:
Gender – A lot of men will be seeking gifts for women and vice versa, but don’t forget same-sex gift givers.
Subscriber’s Purchase History – Include a product from your subscriber’s favorite category.
Valentine’s Day History – Include an offer on the most popular products or categories from the previous Valentine’s Day.
4. Don’t Forget Self Love. Not everyone is in a relationship, so don’t forget the singles. Nearly a quarter of all consumers will mark Valentine’s Day by spending even if it is not for a loved one with 11% of men and 12% of women planning to treat themselves to a gift. Include offers that enable singles to treat themselves.Include offers that enable singles to treat themselves.
5. Create a sense of urgency. Like all time-sensitive events, Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to drive consumers to action before time runs out. As Valentine’s Day approaches, include reminders or special offers designed to move procrastinators to act such as incorporating phrases like “last chance” or “final hours” in your messaging. You should also consider alerting consumers about the last day for free shipping or last day to ship for on-time delivery.