5 Things I Learnt from Valentine’s Day Email Marketing

(that will improve all your email marketing)

Valentine’s Day can be a tricky one to get right for the online retailer.

The top gifts (flowers, chocs, wine and dinner) can all be most conveniently picked up by the customer offline. It’s also irrelevant to many of your customers – they’re single, or just ‘don’t do valentine’s day’.

That’s why I like to pick through the marketing that’s been sent out to see what tricks and tactics are being to used to wring every last penny out of the event…

“We Got You A Little Something” – give your customers an email marketing gift on Valentine’s Day

Almost everyone I’ve been tracking who committed to doing a Valentine’s Day campaign sent an email on Valentine’s Day itself.

These were mainly with the message ‘treat yourself” / ‘a gift from us on V-Day’. Just like this one from Love Crochet – a simple 14% off for the next 3, with the rest of the email packed with pink wool and valentine’s related pattern ideas.

Subject line: “Roses are red, violets are blue…”

love crochet valentines day email marketing

The most creative I’ve found of these is this from Moo:

Subject line: “We got you a little something”

moo valentines day email marketing

moo gif

Once the customer clicks through they get this offer:

moo offer reveal

A whole photo and video shoot for this single email – let’s hope it brought in the orders!

Valentine’s Day can work for ANY product

I often hear retailers saying that some events don’t work for email marketing in their product category – it’s too irrelevant. Well, if Moo putting so much effort into using Valentine’s Day to sell more printing didn’t convince you…

Fitness Superstore (retailer of exercise equipment) was happy to get involved as well. Sending out this discount both in advance of Valentine’s Day and one the day itself:

Subject line: “To our valentine, here’s 5% off”

fitness superstore valentines day email marketing

Your product is never too unromantic to promote on Valentine’s Day!

Better late than never

Our podcast guest Maxwell Scott Bags were another to send out a Valentine’s themed email on the 14th February.

Using it as a chance to remind the customers of their product and brand story, plus some reassurance that even the best of us forget Valentine’s Day with a call to action to buy a gift now.

Subject line: “Love is in the leather…”

maxwell scott bags valentines email

However, Guilt is a Strong Motivator

I thought Firebox had the most impressive email marketing campaign this year – very much pulling on the emotional triggers to get that sale.

The first email came out on the 5th Feb with the subject line “How Deep is Your Love?” – and contained selections of gifts by price point:

  • Part-time lover (gifts under £10)
  • There’s a limit to your love (gifts under £20)
  • Crazy in Love (gifts £20-£50)

Subtly(??) encouraging customers to spend a bit in order to seem more generous.

Then on the 11th they sent this email – full of guilt!

Subject line: “Psst… V-day’s around the corner. Don’t leave it late.”

firebox guilt valentines day email marketing

Including in it their Valentine’s mystery box – removing even the excuse of ‘I don’t know what to get’!

Gender Split Emails

Back when I managed the email marketing campaigns for gift-retailer Past Times we tested gender splitting for Valentine’s Day and found that it had a negative impact on sales because so many women were forwarding the email onto their partners to prompt them to buy!

So I was really interested to see this gender-splitting approach from Not On The High Street that dealt with the very same problem.

The first email I got was on the 10th Feb clearly targeted at women, and set up to be forwarded onto your man as a big hint:

Subject line: “BTW, it’s Valentine’s Day this Tuesday”

not on the high street btw valentines day email marketing

The second email (11th Feb) was again targeted at women, and this time full of gifts for him:

Subject line: “You can still make his V-Day rock”

not on the high street him valentines day email marketing

What are your lessons from Valentine’s Day marketing?

Did you run a great test, see a great idea? Are you going to take one of the email marketing examples above and use it in your business?

I’d love to know – please share your email marketing successes in the comments!