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Roses are red, violets are blue. When creating Valentine’s Day emails what’s a marketer to do?
Love is in the air and Christmas is over, so it’s time for some swoon-worthy emails to land in your customers’ inboxes for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day is about making someone else feel special (and in this case, special enough to engage with your email and eventually your business).
Imagine if you got an email that said something like this:
Well, that’s…nice…sort of.
How would you take that? Probably not well. Especially if they wanted you to buy something.
When sending emails of any kind, it’s important to…
- Speak personally through strong copy
- Make them look nice
- Drive action
But Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to really show your customers just how special you think they are.
This post will cover:
- 7 examples of swoon-worthy Valentine’s Day emails you should send
- What the most important parts of your Valentine’s day emails are (hint – there are 3)
Time to spread the love! Chocolates and flowers not required.*
*(but always appreciated).
7 examples of swoon-worthy Valentine’s Day emails that’ll get your customers’ hearts racing
Valentine’s Day is a day to make the people that are special to you feel loved and appreciated. So how do you do it with customers that you’ve never met without coming off too personal?
There are ways to send the right types of Valentine’s Day emails. Time for a little show and tell.
Here are 7 examples of Valentine’s Day emails, divided into 4 categories:
- Audience-inclusive emails
- Pre-holiday reminder emails
- Procrastinator emails
- Gift guide emails
“The vast majority of Valentine’s Day dollars are still spent on significant others, but there’s a big increase this year in consumers spreading the love to children, parents, friends, and coworkers,” – Matthew Shay, President and CEO National Retail Federation
50% of all Americans identify as single, and 25% of those plan to do something for Valentine’s Day
That’s a lot of potential targeting.
Couples might make up a big portion of your Valentine’s Day audience, but they are not the only audience so don’t forget to include others in your targeting.
Here are a couple of examples of who else you could target your Valentine’s Day email campaigns at.
1. Include multiple shoppers (like M and Company Salon)
This M and Company Salon email is an example straight from my own inbox. We’ve had a long, loving relationship because I finally found a stylist who just knows what to do with my hair without asking.
And they also know how to cater to multiple audiences.
“Whether you’re going out to dinner, grabbing drinks with the girls, or having a relaxed night in – let us give you a little extra love and attention.”
This email is able to target couples, groups of friends, singles, and the relationship between them and their customers all with one single line of copy.
Combined with a subject line that has a sweet and simple play on Valentine’s Day, it was enough to book my next appointment.
2. Use the power of alliteration (like Mouth)
Lovelorn or purposely single people don’t cease to exist on this nationally recognized holiday of love, but all of Valentine’s Day promotion you see tends to sway in the opposite direction.
Which is why you have the chance to do something a little different like Mouth did.
Eat your feelings. If that isn’t relatable to everyone (even coupled people) then I don’t know what is. (Source: Mouth)
The messaging here could not be more on the nose if it tried. Between the headline, CTA copy and “the Big Jerk” product upsell, this email has addressed every pain point a non-coupled person might have.
That “Big Jerk” is probably going to get them big conversions. A breakup never tasted so good.
Pre-holiday reminder emails
Some people will see Christmas decorations fill store shelves before Halloween or Valentine’s Day chocolates will appear before holiday wrapping paper disappears and they’ll think, “that’s WAY too soon.”
And yeah, it might be a little.
Other holidays like Christmas or Halloween get a longer buildup, but Valentine’s Day isn’t one that needs to.
Did you know that 46% of shoppers plan to do Valentine’s Day shopping in early February?
You probably don’t have to start campaigning RIGHT after New Years.
But you still need to start campaigning a little early. The recommended time to start showering your customers with love is no later than February 7th.
It’s a small window of time to get the word out, so here’s an example of a pre-holiday nudge email.
3. Create a nagging sense of urgency (like Philosophy)
Philosophy, a skin and body care brand, combined simple, succinct copy with relevant imagery and an uncrowded design to create this little nudge – a reminder that people might want to start thinking about the upcoming holiday.
Better get on that sooner than later.
“Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…”
Reading this copy paints a mental picture of something literally coming around the corner. It’s a good clear reminder that action will need to be taken soon (lest your significant other/parent/sibling/someone else get disappointed on the day).
Procrastinator emails (convert them before it’s too late!)
Attention procrastinators, take note:
You know what your customers have to do.
It’s a pretty safe bet that some of your customers have a procrastination streak (because who doesn’t?). So if your first round of Valentine’s Day emails hasn’t done the trick, it’s time to get your customers moving and grooving.
Try sending them an extra reminder email, like Birchbox or Mark and Graham.
4. Make them feel the clock running down (like Birchbox)
But how MUCH time is really left?
Enough to still shop, but not enough to put it off any longer. This Birchbox email makes the pressure of the clock ticking down a reality.
There’s still time, but time’s running out. (Source: Birchbox)
5. Use a number to make the deadline real (like Mark and Graham)
6 days? Factoring in browsing and shipping, I need to order…yesterday. *Click*
If you’re seeing a lot of opens and click-throughs (maybe even abandoned carts) but no purchases, use reminder emails to give the procrastinators a little nudge. These can even include incentive discounts to further encourage action.
Gift guide emails
Flowers and chocolates and jewelry, oh my! Plus every other knick-knack under the sun. What’s a customer to do?
Consult you of course!
Send gift guides to smooth the purchase process. These guides can be:
- Popular picks
- For him
- For her
- For both
- For pets
- Just for you
Fun fact: Potential customers will only visit 1-3 retail sites before they purchase a Valentine’s Day gift.
What does that mean?
You need to remove shopping obstacles if you want sales.
‘Gift’ them a few hints about the ideal gift for their partner to prevent wandering aimlessly around your website and wandering to a competitor instead.
Here’s how a couple of smart brands did gift guide emails.
6. Show that there’s something for everyone (like Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams)
Someone can absolutely buy me ice cream. That IS love.
It doesn’t take much to convince me to buy ice cream, and with a gift guide, it’s only going to happen faster.
There are two ways you can do a gift guide email:
- Put it all in the email
- Tease it in the email
Jeni’s went with Option 2. The hard-to-miss copy incentivizes a click-through the email to the actual gift guide. This can be effective by putting them literally one click-closer to an actual purchase.
Putting the whole gift guide in the email itself can also be effective, but it also leaves the chance for them to not see what they like and click through on a competitor’s gift guide instead.
7. Appeal to multiple gift-guessing audiences (like MVMT)
MVMT did a good job with an in-email gift guide because it:
- Is audience-inclusive (to male and female shoppers)
- Has a clean design with an equal balance of images and copy
- Has multiple CTA buttons throughout the email (AKA multiple click-through opportunities)
Shiny, pretty products in plain sight, and still the opportunity to click-through and purchase.
What time is it? Time for you to get your Valentine a new watch (and oh look, they have a guide for that…)
The most important parts of your valentine’s day emails are…
All of them. Every part of the email is important in its own way. You only have seconds to make an impression on someone with a brief email message, so you have to make it count.
Here are the 3 main areas that need special attention.
- Subject Line
- Layout and Design
The subject line
Imagine that you are a customer who receives an email about a flash sale, and the subject line has the run dates, the sale code, and what the sale covers all in the subject line.
That’s when your customer realizes that they have no reason to click on the actual email, because you told them a summary of the whole thing in the first, unclicked glance.
There goes your open rate.
Instead of telling someone what to expect at the get-go, make them curious enough to click.
M and Company Salon played up Valentine’s Day in a sweetly subtle way that related to their brand without giving away everything in the actual email.
“Love is in the Hair.” Describes their business and the holiday in 5 little words.
Mark and Graham and William Sonoma make good use of emojis (yes, these can be helpful) and naming the deal customers will get when they click-through (talk about incentive).
Emojis can help a subject line too. Hearts on Valentine’s Day? Slam dunk.
The layout and design
The rule of thumb for your Valentine’s Day email design? Make it easy to scan.
This isn’t a blog post. People are going to spend seconds, not minutes, looking at it, and it will be even less if it’s a cluttered mess or there’s too much text.
Try something like this:
Find the right balance of images and copy, and make sure that every clickable button is easy to find.
The call-to-action (CTA)
When in doubt, be clear over clever. A popular option for Valentine’s Day emails trying to sell something are things like:
- Shop Now
- Shop Best Sellers
- Shop Him/Her
And these are all fine for their purpose. Maybe not exciting, but they are clear and incite a direct action.
Clear over clever is a good rule of thumb. But sometimes you can be both.
Remember Mouth from an earlier example? Their CTA button is on message for their brand and the action they want people to take, and they do it cleverly (and oh so relatable).
Don’t mind if I do. I will take all the snacks, please and thank you.
Whatever direction you take your CTA, make its placement prominent.
No need to consult Cupid about sending a sweet Valentine’s Day message – start sending the best Valentine’s Day emails now.