Heart Touching Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas To Try Out

Heart Touching Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas To Try Out
12 January, 2024 • ... • 27679 views
Diana Kussainova
by Diana Kussainova

February 14th is a big marketing occasion. But after so many holidays in a row, it’s hard to come up with something new. 

Struggling to find inspiration for a marketing campaign too? We know exactly what to do! In short, listen to your heart and read this article for lovely Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to try out in your business!

Why do marketers prepare for Valentine’s Day?

Although this romantic holiday isn’t a worldwide phenomenon, it is still a special occasion for US citizens. In 2023, approximately half of Americans planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And that means buying gifts for their significant others. According to the latest research, the average spending is almost $193. No wonder marketers use this information to their advantage and prepare sweet promotions and offers.

What do people buy for February 14th? Here’s a list of some of the options, based on NRF’s survey:

  1. Candy
  2. Greeting cards
  3. Flowers
  4. A date night
  5. Jewelry
  6. Gift cards
  7. Clothing

Some of these are obviously not suitable for all businesses, but other variants are very versatile.

How to make a marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day

If you want to make this Valentine’s Day special to your customers, follow this universal list:

  • Analyze your target audience. Pay close attention to the demographics. Who are they? What’s their age? Are they single or in a relationship? And yes, you can target single people on Valentine’s Day too, keep reading to know how. This information will determine the rest of the campaign planning.
  • Craft a relevant offer. Now that you know who you target, imagine how your customers will celebrate (or not) and what deals appeal to them. For example, don’t try to sell partner-to-partner gifts to a mostly single audience. Instead, opt for a self-love kind of message. In emails, you can also try out dynamic content and other personalization techniques to make the offer even more relevant.
  • Prepare special content. Your business can start marketing efforts long before the 14th with creative social media posts, ads, texts, gift ideas, holiday products list, and visuals. Inspiring content will entice your customers.
  • Apply Valentine’s Day email marketing ideas to make the most out of the occasion. Start marketing in advance and consider sending the first email campaign in January. And don’t forget to write creative Valentine’s Day email subject lines.
  • Start the campaign. Make the offer clear and noticeable on all promotional materials. Don’t forget to include the shipping and delivery dates and play on the fear of missing out (FOMO) if you present special holiday items.

Now that you have the business plan ready, let’s look at some of the marketing ideas for Valentine’s day.

Tried and true marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day

Do you plan to target couples or singles? We’ve got some marketing activities for both types of customers!

Let’s start with some options for those whose audience celebrates Valentine’s Day.

Gift guides

One of the simplest marketing options is making gift guides. It can be a separate landing page or a section on the website dedicated to Valentine’s Day products or services. If your brand offers limited edition items, gather them all here. And if not, compile everything red, pink, and heart-shaped. You can also prepare an email newsletter or several with Valentine’s Day shopping ideas and products.

U.S.-based makeup brand ColourPop calls their Valentine’s Day website section the Love shop. The selection of themed products is accessible from the main page of the website and from navigation panels. Bright products for an affordable price make their Valentine’s Day offers appealing to customers.

The Valentine’s Day section on ColourPop’s website with a selection of themed products
Source: ColourPop

Tip

Your marketing efforts for Valentine’s Day will be even more effective if you offer limited edition products. Many brands like Nike release special items or collections for February 14th. It is a lucrative strategy that you can adopt this year too.

Brand or influencer collaboration

Pair up with another business or a famous personality to make the campaign more successful with combined efforts. This can either be an ad, a joint event, or a product. Announce the partnership via email to make customers anticipate the Valentine’s Day specials.

Brach’s candy conversation hearts is one of the Valentine’s Day symbols. This year the brand released its famous hearts with Friends quotes on them.

Brach’s candy hearts in collaboration with Friends TV series
Source: Walgreens

Deals and discounts

You can never go wrong with a holiday promo code or limited-time offers. Here are some of the most compelling deals for Valentine’s Day:

  • BOGO (buy one get one) — offer a second item of a lower price for free for buying something
  • Free delivery
  • Free cards or gift wrap
  • Giveaway

For last year’s Valentine’s Day, Yeti offered a free personalization of its products to make them more giftable. With holiday-specific designs and monograms, customers can make their presents more memorable. See brand’s designs in the slider below:

Yeti free personalization promo with holiday-specific designs and monograms
Source: Yeti
Examples of Yeti Valentine’s Day designs
Source: Yeti

Social media contests and UGC

To draw attention to your company and engage customers, organize a contest. Better yet, encourage your audience to make something and share it under designated hashtags. User-generated content (UGC) promoted on social media platforms can attract new followers, boost sales, and positive feedback or news coverage.

Until Valentine’s Day Dunkin shared its followers’ photos on the feed. The heart-shaped donuts promotion concluded with this fun prompt:

A screenshot of a post from Dunkin's Instagram profile offering to buy you heart-shaped donuts using a photo by a customer

The brand encouraged the followers to mention someone in the comments suggesting that if someone mentioned you, you need to buy this person donuts. The post generated user activity and potentially attracted new followers to the page.

Offline promotions or events

Marketing campaigns for Valentine’s Day can be offline, too. An event or a pop-up store will attract not only your usual customers but probably someone new as well. Plus, if you put in the effort, people will share photos or reviews online — that’s free advertising!

If you feel stuck, look for Valentine’s Day ideas and examples from your competitors. Dental subscription service quip took to the streets with a fun promotion. The brand representative asked passersby if they’d be annoyed if someone gifted them a toothbrush for Valentine’s Day. All participants got free quip products for answering.

A screenshot of a post from quip's Instagram profile with street interviews

Simple acknowledgment

If you don’t plan to do anything special for Valentine’s Day, it’s still a worthy opportunity to communicate with your customers be it via email or text. A simple compliment or a holiday greeting is always a good idea. Keep in mind your customers’ data, though, and don’t make your message generic. A text full of cliches or bland email visuals can worsen the relationship with customers.

In this minimalist email, Fiorucci addressed all possible clients’ attitudes to Valentine’s Day and expressed their appreciation. The message also showcases the brand’s limited edition tee shirt for a charity initiative.

A Fiorucci Valentine’s email with a simple appreciation of the Valentine’s Day
Source: Milled

Alternative marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day

You saw the examples above and thought they were too boring or predictable for you? Are you looking for a fresh take on holiday promotions? If your brand and products aren’t in line with the usual Valentine’s day marketing, or your customers aren’t celebrating, we’ve got other ideas. Besides, 28% of those not celebrating still planned to mark the occasion otherwise.

Highlighting a different love (or issue)

Self-love, love for pets, planet Earth, or anything else — Valentine’s Day marketing can focus on different feelings. Put a spin on the usual romantic love message to reach your target audience and be relevant.

Investment app Elever focused its campaign on a serious relationship topic. The brand addressed an issue many people don’t pay attention to — financial compatibility in a couple.

A screenshot of a post from Elever's X profile about financial compatibility in a couple

The campaign #TalkMoneyWithHoney was aimed at raising brand awareness and showcasing the company’s values. Elever also revealed its Money Personality Quiz to help customers understand themselves and their partners better.

A screenshot of a post from Elever's X with a Money Personality Quiz

Targeting singles

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about couples. It’s also about relationship struggles and even breakups. A good marketer can integrate this complicated dynamic into a February 14th campaign.

Online retailer Zalando dedicated its campaign to dramatic breakups. People in the promotional video don’t end their relationships on good terms, and exs’ left behind clothes are treated badly. The brand offers ex-lovers among its customers an alternative — exchanging the clothes on Zalando’s Pre-owned platform as a Valentine’s Day good deed.

With this marketing campaign, the brand raised awareness about its secondhand division and demonstrated its attention to ecology.

The other possible spin on marketing to singles is to ditch the February 14th for… February 15th! That’s right, the day after Valentine’s Day became an unofficial Singles Awareness Day. Those who celebrate it enjoy their single status and spend time with their friends instead of partners. If your audience is mostly single, you can center your promotions around February 15th.

A screenshot of a post from Wendy's Instagram profile with a Singles Awareness Day message

Wendy’s marked Singles Awareness Day with this cheeky tweet. The name of the burger is Dave’s Single as opposed to Dave’s Double with two beef patties. But here it’s played out to suggest the relationship status and also encourage the brand’s followers to order the burger. 

Celebrating friendships

Another approach to marketing without focusing on love is Galentine’s Day. It’s a holiday dedicated to friendships (usually between women) celebrated on February 13th. Originating from the Parks and Recreation series, Galentine’s Day is now a widely recognized occasion. 

If your audience is primarily female, target it with a campaign about friendship and connection. Here’s an example from Avec Les Filles:

A Galentine’s Day email from Avec Les Filles
Source: Milled

You don’t have to commit to only one campaign. You can target couples on Valentine’s Day and encourage gifts to friends on Galentine’s. Many brands like Crocs actually combine the two. At the bottom of the Avec Les Filles email, you can see references to Valentine’s Day. 

In email marketing, segmentation will help you send the right email to the right people.

Promote Anti-Valentine’s Day

Are you haunted by your ex on Valentine’s Day? In 2021, Hotels.com offered to visit their V-Day Dumpster Stay web page and describe why your ex deserved a stay in the dumps. Visitors would receive fictional booking confirmation emails for their ex’s “V-Day Dumpster Stay” and participate in a competition to win a $300 Hotels.com gift card.

A screenshot from the Hotels.com website with the “Put your ex where they belong on a V-Day” text and an image of a dumpster
Source: Hotels.com

Well, hapless exes weren’t actually supposed to sleep in a dumpster, but imagine the effect of this feeling of closure you could get of sleeping in a plush hotel bed after sending them to the figurative dumps 😈 Jokes aside, the idea was quite therapeutic.

Tips for Valentine’s Day marketing

We’ve discussed the marketing ideas for different customer audiences, and now it’s time for final recommendations. No matter the campaign you’re preparing, these tips are universal and will work great either way. 

Pay special attention to shipping

41% of consumers in the U.S. planned to shop for Valentine’s gifts online. That means that shipping and delivery information is essential for your customers. In all marketing materials, clearly indicate when is the last day to order before the occasion. 

Help out the late-time shoppers

There are always people who remember about gifts right in the morning of the occasion. Remind those customers about gift cards with an automated campaign or abandoned cart email.

SACKit sent this email with the subject line “Did you forget?” the day before Valentine’s Day to target last-minute shoppers:

A reminder email from SACKit
Source: Milled

Be inclusive

Inclusive marketing becomes more and more important to consumers. It makes the brand more approachable to people of different races, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, etc. And seeing a person or a couple similar to them makes it easier for customers to connect with the brand.

Try something fun

Valentine’s Day marketing can be light and joyful if your brand’s identity supports it. Memes, cheeky commercials, and jokes can make your promotion stand out.

Here’s an example from Wizz Air. The company announced its one-day discount on Instagram with a video imitating Tinder’s swipe mechanic and a little poem:

screenshot of a post from Wizz Air's Instagram profile with a video imitating Tinder

In conclusion

Valentine’s Day is a holiday marketers should plan for and mention as soon as in their winter emails in January. Gather all relevant data about your target audience to prepare a truly relevant and effective campaign and build your Valentine’s Day marketing strategy around that. Here are some of the approaches you can try out:

  • Gift guides
  • Collaborations
  • Deals and discounts
  • Social media marketing: contests and UGC
  • Events and offline promotions
  • Client acknowledgment
  • Unconventional marketing: showcasing different kinds of love or an issue, targeting singles or friends, adding some Anti-Valentine mood.
12 January, 2024
Article by
Diana Kussainova
Writer, editor, and a nomad. Creating structured, approachable texts and helping others make their copies clearer. Learning and growing along the way. Interested in digital communications, UX writing, design. Can be spotted either in a bookshop, a local coffee place, or at Sephora. Otherwise probably traveling. Or moving yet again.
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