Valentine’s Day Subject Lines Tips and Best Practices

Valentine’s Day subject lines

Valentine’s Day is the first major marketing milestone after the New Year’s. Don’t sleep on the opportunity to send a couple emails to boost sales and strengthen customer relationships.

Whether it’s a promo code to buy presents or a love confession to your subscribers, your Valentine’s Day email will need a catchy subject line. Keep reading to learn how to come up with an effective email subject that keeps your customers enticed.

The importance of Valentine’s Day subject lines

According to the National Retail Federation, 53% of Americans considered celebrating Valentine’s day in 2022 and planned to spend $175 on average, which is 6% higher than in 2021.

Valentine’s Day spending plans statistics
Source: National Retail Federation

The more modest spending plans in 2021 were likely caused by the COVID-19 measures still being in force and people being more cautious in general. As you can see, the graph above shows an increase in 2022 — we saw the social ending of the pandemic in Western countries, so we can hope for further V-day’s spending growth in 2023. 

But what do people spend money on during this holiday? According to the same survey, the most popular V-day gifts are candy, greeting cards, flowers, an evening out, and jewelry. However, Valentine’s day emails will do good for any business. You don’t even have to aggressively sell anything in your campaign. Sending a warm thank you email with hearts and pinks all over the place is another step in nurturing loyal customers that will treat your brand as their friend. 

No matter what your V-day marketing goals are, every holiday campaign needs a good subject line to make a good first impression. Let’s dig deeper and learn what makes a good subject line for a Valentine’s day email campaign.

Valentine’s Day subject line tips and best practices

The basic tips for effective Valentine’s day subject lines are pretty much the same as for any other holiday campaign. However, this holiday still has its own quirks — let’s take a closer look and learn about them using real subject lines from real campaigns.

Create anticipation

All holiday email campaigns are launched in advance — and your Valentine’s day sequence will probably start with one or two announcements or sneak peek emails. At this stage, it’s important to create a holiday spirit and get your customers excited for what’s coming next. To do this, write intriguing, almost flirtatious subject lines like these:

  • Reminder: Don’t Forget Valentine’s Day (Abelstedt)
  • First Peek 👀 Betty’s Valentine’s  Gift Guide (Betty’s Toy Box)
  • It’s almost that time of year again.. 🏹❤️ (giftsaustralia)
  • Searching for That Perfect Gift? ❤️ (Noémie)

From: Yellow Octopus
Subject: 3 Weeks Left To Valentine’s Day ⏰

Valentine’s Day email from Yellow Octopus
Source: Milled

One way to create anticipation in Valentine’s Day campaigns is countdowns. By doing this, you’re killing two birds with one stone — setting a deadline to trigger the sense of urgency and keeping your customers excited for the holiday. Here’s how Yellow Octopus did it — use this example for inspiration.

Offer help

Even for those in happy relationships, Valentine’s Day can be a hassle. Choosing gifts and options for going out, budgeting, thinking of creative ways to celebrate love — all of these are pleasant but still anxiety-inducing activities. You can help your customers out by offering them gift guides, celebration ideas, or a piece of relationship advice. If you run an email campaign like this, your email subject line should be specific enough so customers will find your newsletter useful for their pre-holiday hassle. Here are some examples:

  • Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide Is Here 💕 (
  • Shop our gift guide for the perfect Valentine (Thoughtfully)
  • Perfect Presents for Special Someones (Brookstone)
  • Valentine’s Day Gifts You’ll Want To Make Yours (Elizabeth Cole Jewelry)
  • A Crafty & Romantic Valentine’s Gift Guide🍷❤️ 🎁 (The Crafty Cask)

From: Yelp
Subject: Who goes out on V-Day without a reservation?

Valentine’s Day email from Yelp
Source: Really Good Emails

This funny Valentine’s Day email from Yelp suggests solving the problem of finding a place for a night out on a busy day of the week. They aced the subject line for it — hitting customers’ pain points right away is a great tactic for campaigns like this.

Don’t forget about singles

For those dissatisfied with their love lives, Valentine’s day can feel lonely, devastating, and reminding them of their past social failures. But even happily single people can feel weird and excluded when their inboxes are flooded with gift guides for couples.

If you want to consider this group of customers in your marketing campaign, choose subject lines that focus on self-love or friendship instead — love is not exclusive to romantic relationships and family alone. Or you can even suggest your own company (pun intended) for the holiday. Here are some examples of both tactics:

  • Treat Yourself Or Someone You Love ❤️ (Ghirardelli)
  • Be Your Own Damn Valentine (SinglesSwag)
  • To me, from me: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide (welry)
  • Spoil yourself this Valentine’s Day ❤️ (Radley)
  • We’ll Be Your Valentine 💘 (Origins)
  • Be ours? ❤️ (Ritual Co)

From: Uncommon Goods
Subject: Relationship status: it’s complicated

Valentine’s Day email from Uncommon Goods
Source: Milled

This V-day campaign from Uncommon Goods is mostly aimed at single people. But their email also appeals to people in relationships searching for unique gifts. In this case, the email subject can be interpreted as describing complex relationships with the holiday as well.

Play on cliches

Roses are red, violets are blue… You can use this poem for email subjects too! Feel free to throw puns and jokes based on popular love poems, songs, and cliche expressions. Just refrain from the “Love is in the air” bit — it’s been done way too often. Get inspired by these examples:

  • Roses are Red. Violets are Blue. 20% OFF. Just for You! (Cookies By Design)
  • Berry into you (Material)
  • sweet SCENTiments 💝 romantic v-day gifts (Anthropologie)
  • A V-Day Match Made in Heaven: Lingerie and Silk (intimissimi)
  • This Valentine’s Day, Think Inside The Bento Box (Sugarfina)
  • It’s Love Season (Fortune & Frame)

From: Lounge Underwear
Subject: We’ve got you covered for Valentine’s 🔥
Preheader: But not too covered…

Valentine’s Day email from Lounge Underwear
Source: Milled

This email from Lounge Underwear shows that puns are not just for subject lines — you can use preheaders too. They played on the dual meaning of the word “covered” and added a punchline in the preheader. Don’t be afraid to use tricks like this one to get more clicks!

Use emojis

Emojis are a great way to visually stand out in the inbox and create a holiday spirit. So don’t be scared of throwing hearts here and there in your email subject line! Emojis can also be a part of the message itself if you replace certain words with them. Another creative way to incorporate emojis in subject lines is highlighting parts of your message with them — here’s an example:

From: Terez
Subject: Cobalt Blue Valentine 💙

Valentine’s Day email from Terez
Source: MailCharts

In this subject line, Terez used a blue heart emoji to emphasize the word “Blue” in the email subject and entice customers to check out their cobalt blue sportswear drop. 

Here’s another example of a similar trick:

From: Bradford Exchange CA
Subject: An Everlasting Gift From Your Heart 🌹

Valentine’s Day email from Bradford Exchange CA
Source: Milled

This jewelry company offers a rose preserved in metal as a V-day gift — that’s why they included a rose emoji in their subject line. In this case, an emoji almost acts like a spoiler for the email content.

But even if your campaign has less room for creative use of emojis, you can still spice up your email subject with some hearts and more — take a look at these examples:

  • A Bear With A ❤️ Full of Love (Vermont Teddy Bear Company)
  • 💖 Valentine’s Sale Ends Today! (Italian Pottery Outlet)
  • Love 💓 laugh 🤭 shop 🛒 Valentines favorites (Highlights)
  • 💘😎Step up your gifting game this Valentine’s Day!🎁 (Purdys Chocolatier)
  • Cupid calling… 💘 💘 💘 (Adidas)
  • XOXO 💕 Cute V-Day Tees $4.99 & up! 💕 (Children’s Place)

Use the sense of urgency

If you offer limited holiday editions or a 24-hour sale, you can’t do it without appealing to the scarcity mindset. A Valentine’s Day subject line that sets a deadline for making a decision will attract lots of clicks — and, of course, boost your sales. Take inspiration from these examples:

  • Free Shipping AND a $10 eGift Card?? Order Before It’s Too Late! (Oriental Trading)
  • Hurry! Buy 2, Get 2 Free! 💗 (Colonal Candle)
  • 40% off sale ends today! Spread the 💖 (Lime Lush Boutique)
  • Last Call: 20% off sitewide, Ends Tonight 🚨 (The Million Roses)
  • ❤️Final Day for FREE Shipping on our Valentine’s Day Collection is Today!❤️ (Hale Grooves)
  • 💘 It’s the talk of the town: $10 off Valentine’s sweets ends tonight! (Mrs. Prindables)

From: Fancy Sprinkles
Subject: Valentine’s Flash Sale!
Preheader: It Won’t Last Long

Valentine’s Day email from Fancy Sprinkles
Source: Milled

Take a look at this email from Fancy Sprinkles. Notice how the brand uses both email subject and preheader to create the sense of urgency — and amplifies it with urgency markers in the email copy itself.

Wrapping up

Sending a couple marketing emails on Valentine’s day is a great way to boost your sales during the holiday. To make sure you get good click-through rates, use these Valentine’s day subject line tricks:

  • Create anticipation — write intriguing and almost flirtatious subject lines for announcement emails.
  • Offer help — hit your customers’ holiday pain points and offer solutions in the subject line.
  • Don’t exclude singles — segment your list or target single people in your campaign, empathize with those who are not as excited about the holiday.
  • Play on cliches — use jokes, puns, and make parodies of love poems and songs to draw attention.
  • Use emojis — create the festive mood and stand out visually.
  • Use the sense of urgency — add a deadline and urgency markers to boost sales.