We've reviewed hundreds of emails sent by online retailers between January 15th - February 14th to find examples of great Valentine's Day themed email marketing campaigns, excellent Valentine's promotions and offers, and well-executed customer retention strategies that leverage Valentine's Day shopping.
Get it now: In addition to our web content, we have also just launched our 2015 Valentine's Day eBook packed with step-by-step instructions for building key segments, real world examples of successful email campaigns, and myriad of best practices, tips, and tricks.
Here are a fews of our best Valentine's Day email finds:
Simple, Cute Imagery
Seriously, this one is just too cute. Our client, Moonstruck Chocolate didn't get a special pass to get picked for this blog post - their use of imagery, color scheme, and message is just too cute. You don't have to sell chocolates to pull the "cutesy" theme off - you could do something similar with your products such as two socks, two spatulas, or two of anything - just add googly eyes and an irresistible headline to complete!
Customers Preferences & Reviews
I really like Zulily's strategy above. The Valentines Day themed email subject line read "Be a Not-so-secret Admirer". The pink and red colors are spot-on and you can subtly notice the matching of the little girl's outfit to the image. The little girl shines through with personality and the strategy is adroit: The three brands featured have clickable hollow hearts, and Zulily is using this to determine customer preferences and brand affinity by requesting that their email subscribers fill a heart to admire one brand. Retailers can take a similar approach and instead leverage Valentine's Day to solicit reviews.
Cheeky-yet-Loving Customer Appreciation
Here's a fantastic example of a Valentine email campaign from an online retailer that doesn't sell traditional Valentine's gifts - the sporting good company, Arcadia Sports. These guys sold me right at their subject line: "Because Chocolates Melt & Flowers Die". If you really understand your customers base, humor can be a huge sales driver. The baseball themed, hand-drawn heart is a nice touch too. It's a cheeky-yet-lovable way to share their love with subscribers & customers.
Use Magic to Convert One-Time Holiday Shoppers
The above example from eBags uses the subject line "Open your Mystery - You may find 50% off inside" and included the use of the "heart" symbol in the subject line which made it stand out in the inbox. Just don't go overboard. The mystery box was an animated graphic, where the lid comes off when the email is viewed. The use of a "mystery" incentive is nice and inspires engagement - just beware deflating people's expectations if the discount truly is quite variable. This campaign aims to motivate immediate action, being a one-day-only sale. This would be a great promotion to motivate a second purchase from One-Time Holiday Shoppers.
Reward your Customers
This email campaign from ShoeMall leads with a nice slogan: "Get Something Naughty, take 20% off your entire order". This retailer also includes a prize opportunity at the bottom where a subscriber can win 2 pairs of shoes. The color scheme is catching, the font is romantic, and the shoes in the spotlight are bold and complements the message. They also manage to neatly include a gift card option, payment choices, sale items and more without being visually overwhelming.
Last Minute Gifts for Procrastinators
Smiley Cookie let subscribers know there is still time to buy gifts and promises purchases will arrive by the 14th. The email subject line of "Last Minute Valentine's Gifts!" motivates last-minute gift giving. Product images are highlighted nicely and details such as the heart floating near the "Order Now!" button adds a nice touch. The "It's Not Too Late" message is a great bold reminder. This kind of email campaign can be sent specifically to last-minute buyers who ordered from you between 2/1 and 2/13 of last year.
Show Inventory in a Romantic Way
I think online retailer, 1onecall, cleverly showcased their products by making hearts out of cameras. Never has an electronic item felt more romantic! The marketing copy included within the email is a bit weak and could of read more along the lines of "Capture the Romance Forever" or "You'll Always Want to Remember". Although, the overall layout including fonts and colors are on point.
Read why Valentine's Day is the heart of customer retention for eCommerce retailers
Highlight Brands, Recommend Products & Leverage Data
Bed Bath & Beyond caught our attention with the subject line: "Make dinner, not reservations". With 11 days before Valentine's, this email campaign was timed perfectly. They invite customers to consider making dinner at home instead of making dinner reservations and encourage the purchase of a brand-spanking new set of knives to push this idea. Knives and Valentines Day aren't often tied together but this retailer did just that.
The chopped vegetables spell out "Fall in Love" and should challenge retailers to creatively use inventory and products in their marketing messages.
Our clients have the option of going a step further by suggesting Valentine's gifts based on past purchase history and offer personalized product recommendations that pull images, descriptions, pricing, and order links directly from your eCommerce store.
Check out our FREE Valentine's Day eBook packed with winning examples and best practices to help guide a successful marketing strategy.