For this Valentine's Day, offering the right thing at the right time to the right customer is crucial for your email marketing ROI. The batch-and-blast approach goes against all email marketing best practices. To establish long-lasting, meaningful and enduring relationships with subscribers, marketers need to send targeted, relevant email promotions.
EMAIL CAMPAIGN SCHEDULE
The NRF reported last year that the heaviest Valentine’s sales days are February 5th & 6th. The savviest marketers will gain an advantage by emailing customers early, before they spend money elsewhere.
Key Valentine's Day facts:
- 65% of people make their purchase one week before February 14th
- 53% of dinner reservations are made one week ahead as well
- Men spend on average $150, while women spend $75
- Most shopping is done from the office during weekdays
To grab your subscribers’ attention, it's crucial to connect with your audience. You may opt to share the fun facts about the holiday, like the meanings behind certain Valentine’s traditions or symbolism. You can also draw your recipient in by encouraging subscribers to share their own love story, wedding photos or date ideas and then share results on social media to foster engagement. This strategy is an effective way to both connect with your audience and get more attention for your business.
PLANTING THE BUYING SEED
January 19th: Valentine’s Day - Are You Ready?
Even if your campaigns aren't fully mapped out yet, warm your customers up to Valentine's Day with a friendly message containing a teaser. Let your audience know something big is coming and set clear expectations immediately within the email. The teaser is the single opening gambit that gets your subscribers’ attention and gives them a heads up as to what is coming their way. One idea is to begin with your top selling products from last year. Don't forget to include testimonials since most people will purchase things if they know that others had a positive buying experience.
SEGMENTED WEEKLY SENDS
January 26th - February 3rd: Segmented lists sends
Marketers need to refine their retargeting efforts to ensure they make the most of this short, albeit lucrative, shopping period. The best way to influence this varied audience is to strategize promotions by identifying key customer segments. Develop content based on these Valentine’s Day shoppers and then send one email per week to each group.
- Buyers from 2014 - structure targeted offers for customers who purchased something during Valentine’s Day in 2014
- Loyal Customers - show your love for the most loyal customers by sending a $5 free gift card
- Past Purchase History - produce campaigns that suit your customers’ interests by targeting customers with a "Geek Love" or "Nom Nom" themed gift guide
- Gender - men and women will both need ideas, so put together a list on how each could use your services or products - "Gifts for Him" and "Gifts for Her"
- Age & Geographic Location - young adults are interested in trendy events where they could take or meet their valentines, while more mature customers would look for exclusive gifts or travel deals to surprise their loved ones
LAST MINUTE SHOPPERS
February 7th: Target procrastinators
In the final week, remind customers that there are only 7 days left to purchase gifts by subtly creating urgency. Remember to stress the benefits of shopping online, so that they will get shopping done right away. For last minute buyers or for those who cannot decide, offer a gift card option for their hard-to shop-for partners. Messaging like “Don't forget! She won't…” or “Stuck on gift ideas? We have you covered” could be effective.
February 11th: Last day to ship
Throughout your campaign, mention shipping cutoff dates in your emails but ease anxiety by offering free shipping and guaranteed delivery before the 14th when possible. It's imperative to understand your businesses processing and shipping times if you are to guarantee delivery by the 14th in final days leading up to Valentine's Day. Improper judgment of the arrival date for your customers order can seriously hurt your business, so be very cautious with these promises.
TIP: Continue to send reminder emails right up until V-Day to recipients who haven’t opened previous messages. Resend your email with a changed subject or call to action to those who haven’t opened or clicked your Valentine’s Day campaign.
GIFTS FOR SINGLES
Not everyone is in love on Valentine’s Day, so when creating a Valentine’s Day email campaign include offers that these subscribers can enjoy regardless of their relationship status.
Interesting Valentine's Day purchasing facts:
- 13% of women send themselves flowers
- 20% pick up gifts for friends
- 10% buy gifts for co-workers
- 45% purchase for family members
- 18% buy pet themed items
RECAPTURE LATENT CUSTOMERS
Marketers tend to use seasonal events like Valentine’s Day as opportunities to send mass emails to their entire database including inactive subscribers, in an attempt to increase revenue. Instead of inundating your entire list, use segmentation to send a series of compelling reengagement messages to inactive subscribers. Sending a win-back email series that includes a call to action, such as generous incentive or free delivery offer will, be more relevant and engaging.
VALENTINE'S SUPRESSION LIST
Once a customer has made a purchase, make sure to take them out of your Valentine's Day cadence. With access to product, purchase, and customer data you can simply create a rule to suppress customers who have a purchase date between 1/14/15 and 2/14/15 and exclude this segment.
Whatever the creative, focus on making an impact. Check out our FREE Valentine's Day e-Book for more strategies & examples.
Learn how Windsor's Circle Customer Retention Software will help drive more sales during the holiday and beyond with a FREE demo.