11 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas to Win the Hearts of Your Shoppers

illustration of a phone surrounded by Valentine's Day candy hearts on a pink background
Posted in
SMS Marketing
Published on
Jan 23, 2024
Written by
Kayla Ellman
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Make your Valentine's Day campaigns irresistible (so your customers can't help but convert).

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular marketing opportunities of the year—and it’s just around the corner. The hallmark holiday is traditionally associated with flowers, heart-shaped candy, jewelry, and greeting cards. But it’s also a chance for consumers to treat themselves and the people they care about to fun and thoughtful gifts (and they’re not shy about spending). 

As you get ready to finalize your Valentine’s Day marketing plans, remember: this holiday can be a sensitive time for some people and others may simply choose not to participate in it. More and more brands are letting their customers opt out of marketing emails or text messages ahead of holidays like Valentine's Day, to be mindful of their preferences while making sure they don’t feel left out. 

Keep reading for Valentine’s Day marketing ideas and tips to celebrate the upcoming holiday with your shoppers and drive more revenue for your brand on (and before) February 14.

1. Launch a Valentine’s Day-themed sign-up unit

Valentine's Day email and SMS sign-up unit from Sugarfina on a pink background

Take advantage of the increased traffic to your website and lean into the Valentine’s Day theme by launching a custom sign-up unit. Use it to promote a holiday-specific sale, if you’re running one, or try switching up your incentive to see if it drives even more sign-ups. 

If you’re not offering a Valentine’s Day deal, refreshing your sign-up unit design is still a good idea. It’s a fun yet effective way to capture shoppers’ attention and convert them into subscribers (and, hopefully, they'll use your welcome offer to purchase at least one gift). 

2. Encourage pre-orders and early shopping

Valentine's Day text message from 1-800-Flowers on a pink background

It’s easy to run into almost any store on Valentine’s Day and pick up some chocolate or a nice bouquet. But it’s just as easy (and less stressful!) to buy gifts early, especially when you can pre-order them to arrive at the perfect time. 

Encourage your customers to plan ahead and get their shopping done early by promoting products with a reminder to pre-order gifts for delivery on Valentine's Day. Include a discount code or other incentive they can apply to their purchase. 

3. Play matchmaker to help people find the perfect gift

Two-way Valentine's Day text message from Brilliant Earth on a pink background

Make it even easier for your customers to shop for the beloved people in their lives by sharing curated gift guides with ideas for everyone (e.g., friends, parents, partners, colleagues) and their interests (e.g., for the tech enthusiast, for the bookworm). They might even discover something they want to buy for themselves. 

If you want to take your matchmaking skills to the next level, try making your gift guide experience interactive. Offer more personalized guidance and recommendations with an online quiz, or use Two-Way Journeys™ to create a conversational campaign. Simply ask shoppers a few questions about who they're shopping for and their budget, and then direct them to specific items that match their preferences. 

Pro tip: You can also use Attentive Concierge™ to help shoppers find what they’re looking for in real time. 

4. Celebrate the occasion with a special offer or sale

Valentine's Day text message from Every Man Jack on a pink background

Valentine's Day is all about spreading the love, and that includes showering your customers with gifts. Send them a special offer that'll make their day, whether it's an on-theme discount code (e.g., "BEMINE20" or "HAPPYVDAY"), a giveaway, free shipping, or a free gift with purchase. They'll appreciate the sentiment and be more motivated to make a purchase. 

If your brand doesn't typically offer discounts, there are still ways to make your audience feel special. Go the extra mile by offering complimentary gift wrapping or extending the option to return gifts at no additional cost. These kinds of thoughtful touches make gift-giving a breeze for your customers while showing them that you genuinely care about their experience.

5. Spoil your most loyal shoppers with VIP perks 

Valentine's Day text message from The INKEY List on a pink background

Valentine's Day is also the perfect opportunity to roll out the red carpet for your VIP shoppers and show them how much you appreciate their loyalty. One idea is to surprise and delight your rewards program members with extra points they can redeem for discounts, free products, or other exclusive benefits. 

Another option is to give your VIP segment early access to any sales or bonus offers you may be launching for Valentine’s Day. (Keep in mind: VIP status can apply to your rewards members, frequent buyers, or big-spenders with a high lifetime value.) 

By showcasing your gratitude in a tangible way, you'll strengthen the bond between your brand and your loyalists while encouraging them to keep coming back for more. 

6. Drop limited-edition items or collections

Valentine's Day text message and email from Revel Nail on a pink background

Not every Valentine’s Day marketing message needs to be discount or promotion-based. There are plenty of non-promotional ways to build hype around the holiday and drive sales. 

If you launch limited-edition items or collections for Valentine's Day, for example, let shoppers know when they’re available to buy. Make sure they know they won’t be able to get them forever, and create a sense of urgency by giving them a heads up when these items are close to selling out. If you do want to include an incentive in your promotions, offering a discount on certain bundled items is a good alternative to inspire purchases while still maximizing your revenue.

Remember: SMS and email are a dynamic marketing duo. Be sure to use both channels together to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Keep your SMS campaigns short and sweet to create urgency. And use email to share more details about an offer, show off your products, or send reminders to non-purchasers (who previously clicked on a text message). 

7. Promote existing products that are on theme

Valentine's Day-inspired text message from MATE the Label on a pink background

If you don’t have any Valentine’s Day-specific items, you can still position your existing products as the perfect gift or purchase. Think about the items you have in your catalog and how you can put a marketing spin on them for the holiday, whether it’s focusing on the colors and patterns (i.e., Valentine-ready red) or bundling two products together that make the "perfect pair" (e.g., face moisturizer and serum, coffee beans and a mug).

8. Share your brand’s personalization options

Valentine's Day text message from Catbird on a pink background

If your brand offers services like monogramming or engraving, make sure your customers know those options are available. Encourage them to order truly one-of-a-kind gifts for their loved ones by adding a sentimental touch to jewelry, accessories, or even home decor items. And showcase examples of customized gifts in your emails and text messages to inspire shoppers with all the possibilities, from heartfelt messages to significant dates or initials. 

Additionally, set a deadline for ordering personalized gifts to create a sense of urgency. The promise of on-time delivery for Valentine's Day is an effective incentive. 

9. Drive in-store traffic with exclusive promotions

Valentine's Day text message from McConnell's Fine Ice Creams on a pink background

Valentine's Day isn't just about exchanging gifts. It's also a day to celebrate with your loved ones and make sweet memories together. Launch a campaign that brings customers to your physical stores, where they can enjoy ‌an exclusive offer or experience for a limited time. Use geo-targeting to message subscribers who live near your stores and invite them to stop by for a Valentine’s Day treat. You’ll drive more foot traffic, create lasting memories for your customers, and increase sales all at the same time.

10. Encourage people to treat themselves (and their friends, too)

Galentine's Day text message from ELEMIS on a pink background

There are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. Even consumers who opt not to celebrate the holiday in a traditional way still like to purchase gifts for themselves to mark the occasion. Encourage your shoppers to self-gift this year and treat themselves to something new, whether it's buying their own flowers or buying a new outfit.

And don't forget about Galentine’s Day. The day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, is all about celebrating the other equally important relationships in our lives: friendships. Lean into the playful origins of the holiday with a dedicated Galentine’s Day sale or fun buy-one, get-one offers. 

Pro tip: Think about how you can incorporate your VIP or loyalty program into these campaigns, like the chance to earn points or rewards when you refer a friend on Valentine’s Day. 

11. Make sure last-minute shoppers get gifts on time

Valentine's Day text message from Lunya on a pink background

Just like other gift-centric holidays, Valentine’s Day is bound to have its fair share of last-minute shoppers. In addition to promoting pre-orders to target early purchasers, you should also create campaigns for those procrastinators who still want to get thoughtful gifts for the people they care about. 

Regularly remind your customers about shipping deadlines, and consider offering free two-day shipping starting a few days before February 14. If your brand has a physical store, you can also promote your buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pick-up options.

For shoppers who’ve missed the shipping deadline or waited a little too long to do their shopping, a gift card is a great alternative to rushing out to buy something last-minute. It’s also perfect for people who aren’t exactly sure what to get someone because it takes the guesswork out of finding the right gift. 

Make sure your customers know you have digital gift cards available, especially the day before and on Valentine's Day.

Need more inspiration for Valentine’s Day and beyond? Our 2024 Marketing Campaign Calendar is filled with tips and templates for key dates in the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada. You can also browse our SMS gallery, Texts We Love

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