The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing on Valentine’s Day

Article written by Claudiu Murariu

According to US National Retail Federation, in 2012 alone people were willing to spend on average $126.03 on Valentine’s Day for their significant other.

In 2013, the spend went up to $130.97, so the total spend related to Valentine’s Day in the US was estimated at 18.6 billion dollars. In 2012 it was 17.6 billion dollars.

Just like Christmas, Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated by pretty much everyone nowadays. Actually, it isn’t just an american tradition anymore, countries all over the world are celebrating Valentine’s Day, and businesses are looking to leverage this.

As always, email marketing is  probably one of your best bets to capitalize on people’s willingness to spend money on Valentine’s Day.

Add some creative advertising and some engaging social media content to the mix and you got yourself a winning strategy.

Opportunity: checked.

Strategy: this article will help you out with that.

What To Do to Win Valentine’s Day

Your Valentine’s Day to do list should look something like this:

  1. add more subscribers to your email lists
  2. segment your list
  3. schedule when you are going to send the emails
  4. write great subject lines
  5. design amazing emails

Valentine’s Day is all about love and that means you shouldn’t have a “one night stand” with your email list. . (tweet this)

Treat this holiday right, and it can bring you HUGE benefits on long term.

Also, don’t make this holiday about you: make it about your customers and about your audience.

Help them experience a day they’ll never want to forget.

How to grow your email list very fast

I know, Valentine’s day is almost here. Getting more email leads & subscribers in such a short time is not an easy task.

Don’t freak out though, everything is not lost. We’ve got a few tips that can earn you some serious Valentine’s business.

Create a valentine’s Day Business Venture

Partner up with other companies, find companies that are not selling products or services suitable for Valentine’s Day. However, they might have bigger email lists than you do.

By partnering up with them you’ll get to increase the sales of your products and they’ll get a partnership commission out of a holiday which otherwise would bring them no extra sales.

Closing a partnership might take time so get it done right now.

ADD BUcketloads of subscribers by using behavioral targeting

If you are not using PadiAct, maybe this is the best opportunity for you to try it out.

You can start by defining a campaign and target people exclusively for the Valentine’s Day lists.

Here are a few tips to get loads of email subscribers from Day 1:

  • identify the most successful products of last year’s Valentine’s Day and ask people to subscribe while visiting similar products
  • target visitors after spending at least 2 minutes viewing the products (they are still in the researching phase)
  • offer them the best reason to subscribe, so they can’t refuse you: let people know about the Valentine’s Day exclusive emails with tips, gifts and promotions.
Setting up targeting rules inside PadiAct.

Example: How to target visitors with PadiAct.

Segment and clean your lists

On the romantic 14th of February and the days before it, the subscribers are going to receive loads of emails with Valentine’s offers. For them, it will be a tipping point and people will probably “abuse” the Report as spam or Unsubscribe buttons.

That’s why, you need to be one step ahead.

The week of 14th of February should be a week when open rates, click rates and purchases are at their best.

Here are a few segments that you should look into:

  • gender: craft emails respecting the fact men & women have different needs
  • activity: the closer you get to the last emails of your Valentine’s Day campaign, the more you should refrain yourself from sending emails to inactive subscribers
  • interest: use different call to actions in emails to identify user interest. Based on the links they’ve clicked, add subscribers in different buckets
  • age: a 40 year couple will probably have a different idea on how to spend that day compared to an 18 year one

A great way to keep your lists clean, is to allow people to opt-out of the Valentine’s Day emails, but to stay subscribed toyour other lists. A visible copy like the following one with the appropriate link should do the job:

I already found a gift and no longer want to receive Valentine’s Day emails.

Drip your emails

We already told you that love is in the air, a “one night stand” is very a bad idea.

Don’t plan a single email for Valentine’s Day. Avoid the “hit and run” approach.

Build a campaign that reminds people about the big day, a campaign with ideas on how to surprise their partners, makes it easy for them to find a gift and then follow up to make sure everything went well.

Is it your first Valentine’s Day email campaign?

Feel free to use the following Valentine’s Day Marketing Calendar:

20th-22ND January – announce Valentine’s Day

Send an email to all your subscribers reminding them that Valentine’s Day is coming. Tell them to hop on the exclusive Valentine’s day email list.

Give a few hints of presents or things they can do for their special one.

Add up to 3 call to actions in the email, each one of them describing a different user intention.

Future campaigns should be sent to visitors based on what link they clicked.

January 27th – 30th – content aware campaign

Based on expressed intention through the links they’ve clicked in the previous email, send them suggestions of gifts.

Make sure to add a story to each gift idea.

People would rather relate to stories than to product descriptions, so you’ll make their choice easier.

February 3RD – 5th – launch THE OFFER

The period when most people do the purchases. The more they delay, the harder it will be to find and have the perfect gift delivered on time.

Be creative about your incentive. Go beyond the classic discounts.

Discounts are always welcomed, but extravagant wrapping of purchased products can make a strong impression, especially on Valentine’s Day.

10th of February – continue with the promotion

Only send to people that opened at least one email in the last 3 months.

From this moment on, you are playing the safe card and you are keepings unsubscribes and spam reports as low as possible. This email should speak of urgency. It’s the last chance of buying a gift, if it’s not too late already.

13th of February – the day before

It’s probably too late to sell anything and deliver it on time. To the subscribers that did not purchase anything for their loved ones, offer them some tips on how to save the day. To the ones that did purchase, give them tips on how to surprise without actually giving them a gift.

This one email might be the one that actually helps you WIN your email list. If you provide them with great ideas on how to save the day, your subscribers will remember you and they will recommend you to all their friends.

15th of February – the day after

Encourage subscribers to write back their stories. Maybe even through in a prize or some gift cards.

Get as many testimonials & stories as possible.

Create content around your customers’ stories (it can be an article, a video or an infographic), and post it on Pinterest, Facebook and, what the heck, release it even on Google+.

Make it a Valentine’s Day that everyone remembers, and promote it heavily so that your competition will be jealous because they’ve decided to have a “one night stand” instead of actually providing help to their audience

Subject lines your email list will not ignore

One of your biggest challenges will be to get as many subscribers to open your emails. Here is what Experian found in a study they’ve conducted last year:


As you see, subject lines are crucial, so here’s a list that can get you started on writing great emails:

  • Hurry, Cupid’s Counting Down! Send a Special Greeting Card
  • 3 Days Until Valentine’s Day. Find The Perfect Gift Today Or It Could Be Your Last.
  • Order now to avoid heartbreak this Valentine’s
  • For love or money?
  • Get gifts as extraordinary as your Valentine
  • Valentine’s Day gifts for your Rebecca
  • You’ll ❤ Key Pieces for the Season
  • We’ve got a crush (or two). How about you?
  • Ten Ways to Say “I Love You”
  • Wine, Chocolates & $0 Shipping
  • Will You Be Our Valentine? Sweepstakes, News, & More To Show Our LUV
  • Last Chance to Get the Look You Love Before V-Day

By sending up to 6 emails ’till the big day, you’ll have a chance to test a few sets of subject lines to find the best one for you.

Design amazing emails

Once you have subscribers open your emails, the copy and the design are going to be decisive in having people become customers as well.

Check out the following designs that were shared heavily on the web. Click on the images to get the full newsletter:










How will you approach valentine’s day in 2014?

What are your plans for 2014’s Valentine’s Day?

What worked for you the last year and what do you plan to do better in 2014?

Did we miss something? We would love to hear your opinion on this article.

The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing on Valentine's Day by

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