Did you know? Valentine’s Day is the fifth-largest spending event in the United States, coming in just behind the winter holidays and Mother’s Day!
According to The Balance, approximately 50% of people in the US celebrate Valentine’s Day and, in 2022, they spent $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day shopping. With that in mind, now is the perfect time for e-commerce brands and business owners to begin planning their holiday marketing and promotion strategies!
Here are eight of our favorite Valentine’s Day promotion ideas for e-commerce businesses and online stores:
1. Leverage the Valentine’s Day Theme
Make the most of the Valentine’s Day gift giving trend by offering products that fit the theme!
If you already have products that people buy on Valentine’s Day, give them a little touch of love by adding glitter, hearts, and/or the holiday scheme of red and pink.
If your product offerings do not naturally align with Valentine’s Day, find creative ways to link your best sellers with the holiday. One easy way to accomplish this is by adding a Valentine’s Day aesthetic to your e-commerce store. Another is to create Valentine’s Day specials such as BOGO offers or gift guides for “Those you love” that include your top sellers.
2. Email & SMS Marketing
Out of all the Valentine’s Day promotion ideas, emails are one of the most powerful so showing your love for your customers in their inboxes can be a great Valentine’s Day campaign!
Simply send your customers a Happy Valentine’s Day e-card with a special, limited time offer. Consider using a catchy subject line to garner attention and, since this is an occasion meant for two, encourage the shoppers to buy things in sets.
Another effective way to reach out to buyers is by SMS and it not only fosters direct communication but also has a higher open rate than emails. During a holiday, shoppers are more likely to choose brands that provide them with personalized experiences so offer special discounts on Valentine’s Day themed products or specific product categories.
You may also consider using this time to launch a new product based on the theme of “love.” And rather than solely focus on romantic love, celebrate all kinds of love – remind your customers to love themselves, their pets, and others!
3. Run a Love-Themed Campaign on Social Media
According to Smart Insights, 57.6% of the world’s population (approximately 4 BILLION people!) use social media, making it one of the best channels for increasing your brand’s reach.
Running Valentine’s Day-themed campaigns on social media can be a game-changer for your business in 2023. Be sure to make it all about love by using love-themed photos and themes or eye-catching graphics. You may also consider running polls around your products or services, such as a poll asking to choose a piece of clothing or their preferred drink for the occasion; bonus for linking the survey to your brand by polling about which offerings your audience “loves” the most. The goal is to engage with your customers and audience in a fun, light-hearted manner.
Another way of engagement and creating brand awareness is by running a hashtag campaign. This gives rise to user-generated content and allows you to find a way to connect your brand with the occasion via some unique hashtags.
Here are some trending hashtags from past years that you can use on Valentine’s day. Other hashtags that are engaging are: #valentineday, #bemyvalentine or simply #valentines.
Be sure to use a hashtag that’s trending, unique, and memorable. To increase your user engagement, and conversion, consider sharing the hashtag on all the social media platforms to create a buzz around it. Then offer special prizes and/or discounts for the users who create the most creative or engaging posts or content.
4. Clearly State Delivery Windows & Rates
On time delivery can make or break your business, especially during a holiday as customers want their orders to reach them or their loved ones on time.
To maintain transparency and help manage potential buyers’ expectations, clearly mention your delivery dates across your website, app, and emails. Also be sure to specify the last date to place an order to ensure on time delivery.
5. Create Gift Guides
Help your customers find the perfect gift by creating gift guides! Valentine’s Day gift guides may be created based on gender, interests, or personality traits. For example:
By Category: Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her/Him, Couples, Teenagers, Pets, etc.
By Price Range: Best Valentine’s Day Gift Under $25, $50, $100
By Interest: Gift Ideas for Art Lovers, Dog Lovers, Foodies, Sports Fans, etc.
Link these ideas directly to your products or your website’s homepage and remember to share your gift guides on your social media and add them to your promotional emails and any online advertising campaigns.
6. Create a Sense of Urgency
Basic human nature leads us to want the things we can’t have. This is exactly why scarcity marketing works! Creating a sense of FOMO can help move people through the sales cycle from browsing to purchasing. Consider leveraging urgency to remind customers of the approaching holiday and purchase/shipping deadlines on your special offers.
Countdown timers offer another effective way to create urgency and attract instant sales. Support the timers by creating messages that let customers know there’s still time to purchase, but that time is limited.
You can also boost sales by creating urgency for limited edition products, offers to end soon, and even items running out of stock. Flash sales and time-limited promotions can help you immensely on festive occasions.
7. Send Your Customers a Valentine’s Day Card
Send your loyal customers a token of love in the form of an e-card. Acknowledge how thankful you are for their continuous support and loyalty. Encourage them to keep supporting you and your business by including a special offer with the card. Popular offers include a one-time use coupon code for online shopping or a voucher redeemed at your online store.
If you have a mobile app, you may also consider send your Valentine’s Day cards as a push notification on their phone, directly taking them to your store.
8. Engage with Followers by Leveraging User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content created by a “user.” “Users” can include customers, followers, or virtually anyone on social media while content may include reviews, images, videos, photos, and other content shared on social media.
UGC provides social proof, which not only builds trust for new visitors but also reinforces brand affinity. UGC also serves as an opportunity for customers to share their opinions and provide real reviews and opinions of your brand and/or products. These shared opinions often carry more value than any brand-generated content as they are perceived as more real.
To encourage your customers to produce content, suggest hashtags they may use. You may also elicit UGC by encouraging customers to review your brand/products and share their feedback, asking them to post videos showing them using your product and tag your page and include your hashtag.
When strategizing your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign, remember to focus on both the occasion and your brand. Aim to capitalize on the occasion by expressing your love for your customers and encouraging them to reciprocate by gifting them with special offers and making them feel like your brand’s VIPs. Also remember to engage with all types of customers regardless of their relationship status by including couples, singles, families, and non-traditional relationships and by highlighting the spirit of love and acknowledging all of the different forms love may be shared, including romantic, self-love, love of brand or products, and any other form of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day marketing!