Second only to Christmas, Valentine’s Day marks the season when consumers are inundated with the most marketing emails.
So to be heard above the noise, your email campaigns have got to be compelling. And with a whopping $19.7bn spent overall on Valentine’s Day last year, the opportunity for retailers this year is undoubtedly huge.
With this in mind, we walk through 11 quick tips to help you add something extra to your campaigns before the big day.
1. Segment your lists
No matter how great your Valentine's Day emails are, there is no one-size-fits-all model that will entice everyone. What appeals to a female 25-year-old working in finance, for example, might not be fitting for a retired male of 70 years. So if you can segment your email list by gender, age, company position, interest, previous purchases or other relevant data points, you’ll be able to give more people valuable content. There is no exact science to this as it depends on your sector and the amount of data points you collect.
But whilst this segmentation sounds like a lot of work, it certainly doesn’t have to be. Fit for Me wanted to offer a promotion within an email but knew their audience had a broad age range. Instead of creating drastically different emails for different ages, the brand simply switched the top image as you can see below. One small change and the Valentine's Day email could appeal to two different audiences.
2. Choose smart subject lines
It might be a simple statement, but if your subject line isn’t good enough, then all the time and effort put into crafting a beautiful email is a colossal waste of your time. The subject line is the first and maybe even only chance to make a good impression. But whilst you want to engage and interest, be wary you don’t put the sensational above sense. As MailChimp says,
“When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”
Here’s an insight from Ve on the optimum character length.
3. Think about timing
As a general rule, Tuesdays and Thursdays as the best days to send Valentine’s Day emails as they have the highest purchase rate, whilst mornings and straight after work are the optimum times.
If you have previous Valentine’s campaigns you can look at for reference, which times were best and which were worst for sending emails? Are you sending to people in different time zones? It’s well worth taking the time to look through the data at your disposal to determine the most effective time to send.
4. Use offers or promotions
Why should your email recipient choose your business over anyone else? There has to be an enticement to make them want to click-through the email. Make sure your emails offer something relevant, useful and valuable. It could be free shipping, a free gift or a % off purchase. Or it could be something completely out of the box. Whatever you decide in terms of offers or promotions, just make sure it’s compelling enough to generate interest.
5. Consider strategic partnerships
One way to stand out from the crowd is to find strategic partners that can enhance your offering. Let’s say, for example, that you run a boutique chocolate shop. A strategic partnership with a local florist or card shop for Valentine’s Day could mean a boost in profits and exposure for both businesses, as well as time-saving customer service for the consumer.
And supposing your goods or services aren't Valentine's Day-oriented, then find a business that is and join forces. Other businesses don’t always have to be competitors; they can be strategic partners that benefit all involved.
6. Champion urgency
Urgency is a great way to stir passive users into action and drive more sales. If you see signs for two identical stores, for example, one saying ‘open’ and the other saying ‘open for a limited time only’, which one are you going to visit first?
Some quick ways to lever a bit of natural urgency include displaying limited stock levels, showing how many customers are viewing a particular deal or gift, and reminding customers of upcoming delivery cut-off dates.
7. Be clear and efficient with delivery, pricing and more
It’s imperative that you’re open and clear with consumers about all the important information they need to know so that they can be in control of their user journey. If you can offer multiple and flexible delivery options and pricing models too, as well as clearly stating your cut-off time for delivery by the 14th, you’ll offer extra reassurance to win the sale.
8. Make the Call-to-Action unmissable
There are so many possibilities to consider when crafting CTAs in your Valentine's Day emails. Where should it lead? What colour should it be? What shape? What words should be used? Should it be above the fold? We’ve got the answers to all these questions in The Marketer's guide to the Perfect CTA.
9. Ensure everything is consistent
Your Valentine's Day emails have to be on-brand. If a consumer clicks your CTA and the visual branding doesn’t match up or the copy is in a different tone then you’re going to put people off. The consumer needs to be sure that they’re clicking through to a verified and professional business, so ensure there is a consistent link between the email and the landing page, as well as any other marketing touch points throughout your campaign.
10. Test test test
Before you hit send, send test emails. Is everything configuring properly? Are there any typos? How does it actually look as an email? These aren’t things you want to learn after sending.
And don’t forget to A/B test your Valentine's Day emails too. It’s the best way to learn what works best and what your readers are – and crucially aren’t - responding to.
11. Break the mould
We’ve given you the rulebook, now throw it out. Like any good marketing campaign, it’s sometimes the “X Factor” that makes it stand out. Check out our 10 favourite creative Valentine’s Day ads and campaigns for inspiration.
Take a risk, try something different, get creative – all clichés but all applicable here. Marketing has the power to surprise and to entertain, harness that power and you’ll absolutely nail your Valentine's Day emails.
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