valentine's day

10 Valentine’s Day Email Marketing Ideas & Tips

Valentine’s Day isn’t only a time of love for couples, but also for retailers. 

Last year alone Valentine’s Day sales hit $20 billion in the United States, making it one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year. Even beating out Father’s Day in terms of sales.

But to grab a slice of these sales you’ll need to set up a dedicated Valentine’s Day email campaign. Not just a single sales email a day beforehand, but an actual, fully-fledged campaign. 

To help you shape your campaign, we’ve created this list of our top ideas and tips for what to include. Regardless of what you sell, we’re sure you’ll find something you can easily implement into your Valentine’s Day email marketing!  

valentines day templates

1) Don’t wait until February 14

To maximize the potential of your Valentine’s Day email campaign, you have to launch it well before February 14. 

Ideally you’ll get your campaign live at least a week in advance, preferably two. 

While plenty of people leave their gift buying to the last minute, there’s also plenty who will plan their purchases in advance to ensure they make Valentine’s memorable for their special someone. 

People often like to proclaim February as the month of love, so the start of the month makes for a great time to send your first email. 

As for what to include in the email, simply  reminding people that Valentine’s Day is coming up should be enough. Just like the email below from Philosophy. 

valentine's day email example

Another idea is to send a sneak peak email of your Valentine’s Day sale. However ensure that if you send this type of email that you follow it up with an actual sale announcement soon afterwards.

By getting your first email out early, you’re also building excitement and anticipation among your customer for your Valentine’s Day sale. 

2) Send out a Valentine’s Day gift guide

Another great option for your first email in your Valentine’s Day campaign is to send out a gift guide. 

Not only do gift guides also build excitement but they get your customers thinking about what to purchase. And the great thing is that by only including products your store sells, they’ll likely find something to buy that they can purchase from you. 

american apparel valentine's day email

3) Remember to segment your email list

Not every subscriber on your list will be interested in the same products. To help keep your emails relevant and personal, you need to be segmenting your email list.  

While segmentation is something you set up for general email marketing, segments you might want to use for Valentine’s Day include:

  • Last year’s Valentine’s Day purchasers (taking it one step further, you can also look at which categories they purchased to recommend the same types of products)
  • Gender (remember that many men will be looking for products for women and vice versa) 
  • Purchase history (if people only tend to buy from a particular category, you might want to include a special offer for products from that category)

4) Give people an extra nudge

This is another example of using segmentation to drive more Valentine’s Day sales, but it’s such a good one that it’s deserving of being a tip in and of itself. 

After you send a few emails about your sale, you can segment out people who engaged with them but haven’t made a purchase. By doing this you’re creating a segment of people who’ve shown interest in your sale, but for whatever reason haven’t converted yet. 

Often all it takes to push these people across the line and into paying customers is either a simple ‘time is running out’ email or special offer like in the email below. 

example of valenetine's day email

5) There’s more types of love than just romantic love

People don’t just buy Valentine’s gifts for their romantic partners. They also buy gifts for their family members, friends and even coworkers. 

According to the National Retail Federation, for Valentine’s Day 2018, Americans spent:

  • $3.5 billion on family members
  • $991 million on teachers and children’s classmates
  • $982 million on friends
  • $654 million on coworkers 

People even buy gifts for their pets! 

valentine's day email for pets

So don’t think you just have to limit yourself to romantic love in your Valentine’s Day email marketing. 

valentines day templates

6) Don’t forget about singles

Obviously not everyone is in a relationship. And for some single people, Valentine’s Day can be a difficult time of year. 

And considering that nearly half of the US adult population is single, this is a demographic you shouldn’t ignore. 

Max&Co encourages singles to treat themselves to a gift for themselves towards the bottom of their Valentine’s Day email.

valentine's day email idea

7) Don’t be afraid to send a Valentine’s Day email – it’s not all just about chocolates and roses

A lot of the time merchants think they can’t get involved in Valentine’s Day sales just because they don’t sell typical Valentine’s Day merchandise. 

But in reality plenty of stores selling a wide range of products hold Valentine’s Day sales. 

Just take the email from Mouth below. 

creative valentine's day email

Mouth sells all different types of food and yet have created an amazing Valentine’s Day email that’s on brand and has personality. Thanks mostly to their clever use of email copy. 

In a similar to the previous tip, Mouth has decided to aim their email towards people who recently got dumped. This lets them have fun with creative copy like “breakups bite”, “eat your feelings” and “a more savory way to stew” in their email. 

If a store is able to promote beef jerky for Valentine’s Day so successfully, we’re sure you can use the holiday to sell your products too. 

8) Create a sense of urgency as February 14 approaches 

As Valentine’s Day approaches you’ll want to start to alter the tone and messaging in your emails.

The first few emails you send should generally have a light and laidback tone, encouraging customers to take advantage of your sale and to get their gift buying sorted with time to spare. 

With time starting to run out, you’ll want to transition to creating a sense of urgency.

You can do this by highlighting how few days there are until Valentine’s Day, especially when you factor in shipping. Another approach is to use copy such as “final hours” and “last chance” like in the email example below. 

email tips

By creating a sense of urgency you’ll help compel procrastinators into action. 

9) Gift cards make a great last minute option 

When it comes to creating a sense of urgency among last minute shoppers, it’s good to also give them options so that they aren’t empty handed on February 14. 

Regardless of what you sell, one easy option you can promote in your final Valentine’s Day emails are gift cards. 

While it might seem like gift cards are the least romantic gift to receive, 43% of Americans purchase gift cards during shopping holidays. And Valentine’s Day is no exception. 

email ideas and tips

10) Adjust your regular automated emails

Depending on what you sell, from the beginning of February you can expect a lot of your orders to be Valentine’s Day gifts. 

And while this will not be the case for everyone, it gives you an opportunity to update the copy for your regular email automations such as your abandoned carts and order confirmation emails. 

For example, in your abandoned cart copy, you could mention how if the product is a Valentine’s gift, then “don’t forget another Valentine’s Day”. Whereas in your order confirmation emails, you could try upselling free gift wrapping. 

Next steps

Now that you have an idea of how your Valentine’s Day email campaign should be structured, it’s time to go about creating the emails. 

Once you’ve got your emails ready to go, you’ll then also need some subject lines to go with them. To help with that step, we’ve created a list of Valentine’s Day subject lines where you can find inspiration or just copy and paste ones you like. 

valentines day templates

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