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3 Steps to Create an Outstanding Valentine’s Day Newsletter

January 24, 2019

Valentines-Day-Newsletter

It’s that time of year again. February 14th is looming. Marketers, you’ve had a few weeks to recover from the bonanza that is the winter revenue push. Now you’ve got to start strategizing your next holiday-themed marketing campaign. It’s time for the Valentine’s Day newsletter or email campaign.

Love it or hate it – Valentine’s Day represents a huge revenue driver in many sectors. What’s more, retail analysts have discovered that Valentine’s Day sales are on the rise. In 2018 total spending was up year-over-year in both the U.S. ($19.6 billion) and the U.K. (£620 million). From Argentina to Estonia, it’s become a global sales event, as well.

What will 2019 hold? Whatever sector you’re in – B2B, B2C or nonprofit – you can use email marketing to grow revenue come Valentine’s Day.

Maybe you’re sending a Valentine’s Day newsletter with themed content to drive donations for your nonprofit. Perhaps you’re planning a massive multipart, multichannel Valentine’s Day campaign to drive sales. Or possibly you’re a B2B looking for opportunities to stay top of mind with your audience.

No worries. You’ve come to the right place. Anyone can make this holiday work for their target group. We’re here to tell you how.

Ready for tips on campaign planning, content, subject lines and sample emails? This post has everything you need to kick off Valentine’s Day campaigns tailored to your target group.

Which Industries Should Send Valentine’s Day Newsletters and Email Campaigns?

Traditionally, when you think of Valentine’s Day, you think of Hallmark cards, chocolates and candy, flowers and big diamonds. These industries definitely luck out when it comes to this holiday. Their challenge is to plan an email series that captures their recipients’ attention with the right product at the right moment.

Other industries known to profit from Valentine’s Day are those offering “romantic” experiences. The food service sector serves up romantic meals. The travel industry provides intimate getaways. The 14th of February keeps travel agents, booking portals and hotels busy.

But these industries represent the classic cars of the Valentine’s Day retail world.

Over the past decade, there have been many unpredicted retail trends associated with this holiday. In the U.S., for example, it’s now hot to buy Spot his own V-Day gift. In 2018, the U.S. National Retail Foundation put Valentine’s Day spending on pets alone at $751 million.

In the U.S. it's now hot to buy Spot his own V-Day gift. In 2018, the National Retail Foundation put Valentine’s Day spending on pets alone at $751 million. #VDay #HolidayMarketing Click To Tweet

What’s more, the traditional Valentine’s Day sectors are hardly the only ones using this holiday to drive revenue. With the right messaging, any retail brand and e-commerce store can benefit from the gift-giving holiday.

After all, if your product can be given as a present, it can be sold as a Valentine’s Day gift. For successful Valentine’s Day email marketing, it’s crucial to couch exclusive offers in the right tonality. And to send them at the right moment for your audience.

Even if you’re not a B2C offering products that fall under the gift-giving category, you, too, can leverage Valentine’s Day.

B2Bs can improve customer loyalty with a conventional newsletter for Valentine’s Day. You still might want to advertise services valuable to your customer base alongside content about the holiday. Ask yourself how you can give your customers serious value added with a newsletter this February.

Remember Valentine’s Day can be framed as a way to celebrate love in general – with family, friends and pets! Ask yourself how your Valentine’s Day newsletter will honor companionship, loyalty or friendship. Or use the holiday as an opportunity to talk about what you as a company love.

Remember Valentine’s Day can be framed as a way to celebrate love in general! Ask yourself how your Valentine's Day newsletter will honor companionship, loyalty or friendship. #ValentinesDayMarketing Click To Tweet

The key is to adopt the right tone that matches your product. What will work best for your customers? Being light, serious, playful or, perhaps, ironic? Dig deep into your marketing personas this year. Ask yourself how your customers want to feel this 14 Feb. and how you can help them get there.

💌 Steal This Idea!

Is your target group not so hot on Valentine’s Day?

Celebrate another holiday on 14 Feb. instead!

Maybe there’s no way you can make Valentine’s Day fit your brand or sector. Or perhaps you’re looking to try a different approach to Valentine’s Day. If either one of those is the case, then it’s time for you to delve into alternative holidays that have sprung up on 14 Feb.

    • Anti-Valentine’s Day parties have become popular on both sides of the Atlantic. These boisterous celebrations include party games such as slugging heart piñatas and chowing down on broken-heart-shaped pastries.
    • Nonprofits and charities might do well to create newsletters for V Day. This activist movement around ending violence against women was created by Eve Ensler in the late 90s.
    • Off-beat brands can construct email campaigns for International Quirkyalone Day. This day celebrates people who prefer singlehood to “compulsory dating.”

Step 1: Plan Your Valentine’s Day Email Campaigns

Whether you’re sending out a traditional newsletter, a series of email campaigns, or a hybrid of the two – planning your Valentine’s Day campaign is key to its success.

Once you’ve decided what your goal and approach will be this Valentine’s Day, start by coming up with a timeline for your Valentine’s Day emails.

Like with all holiday campaigns, one email is not enough. Use marketing automation to set up a series of email campaigns that includes special offers as well as last-minute reminders for late shoppers! Many Valentine’s Day shoppers struggle with procrastination. Your job is to make their lives easier.

But before you schedule your campaigns, there’s an important step not to skip: segmenting your contacts. Divide your contacts up by appropriate attributes. You can group them, for example, by gender, age, interests (and relationship status if you know it).

In general, when thinking about your target groups, don’t forget about “all the single ladies” (well, actually, about all the single people)! Even if you don’t have your contacts’ relationship status saved in your CRM, you can score points with singles by encouraging all customers to treat themselves.

In short, here are the questions to ask as you’re planning:

  1. How can you segment your customers most effectively for the best-personalized holiday emails possible? (Segment offers and content by interests? By gender? By age?)
  2. Is your campaign approach inclusive enough? Is there anybody you’ve left out, and how can you fix that?
  3. When will your customers be thinking about Valentine’s Day?
  4. How will they be feeling as they shop?
  5. How can you send emails that reach all types of shoppers – both the planners and procrastinators?

Below we’ve turned these into a handy checklist for you. Just right-click to download!

Valentines-Day-Email-Campaign-Checklist-N2Go

Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and structure the nitty gritty of your marketing campaign – the content. There are key differences between B2B, nonprofits and B2C here, which you want to take into account.

For B2B campaigns, you can build on the theme of love and gratitude to grow customer loyalty. For example, you can plan a short series of emails thanking your customers for their loyalty and offering them a Valentine’s Day present. This present could be content exclusive to your email list, such as an e-book or an infographic.

If you don’t want to give away a freebie, your present can still add value for the customer. Can you give them resources or knowledge? Share personal recommendations with your subscribers in the context of “things you love.” For example, “Five Books We Love and Why.”

Note: Make sure you recommend things to your subscribers that soothe a pain point. And that you recommend something you have expert knowledge of. If you work at a marketing agency for pharmaceuticals, for example, sharing your Oscar picks probably won’t make you their favorite Valentine this year.

Nonprofits can leverage Valentine’s Day, too! Build on the theme of gratitude and meaningful gift-giving in your Valentine’s newsletter. Share stories that highlight companionship, family and love in all its forms. Wrap up your newsletter with a strong CTA for donations.

Nonprofits can leverage Valentine’s Day, too. Build on the theme of gratitude and meaningful gift-giving in your Valentine's newsletter. #ValentinesDayMarketing #EmailMarketing #Nonprofits Click To Tweet

Another nonprofit idea is drafting boilerplate wishlists for your subscribers. Prompt your contacts to ask their loved ones to donate in their name this Valentine’s Day, and give them the exact words to do so.

In the B2C realm, this is your time to shine. Discounts or exclusive Valentine’s Day offers represent the bread and butter of your Valentine’s Day campaigns.

But what about doing something interactive this year, as well? For example, you could grab their attention with a V-Day giveaway. Offer a gift card or a hot item as the prize. Encourage your recipients to enter the giveaway in your first campaign mailing and mention it in each subsequent one.

Announce the winner(s) on Valentine’s Day. You could even offer surprise consolation prizes, such as a post–Valentine’s Day discount code. Campaigns like this don’t require too much planning and can pay off when it comes to customer loyalty.

Step 2: Craft Valentine’s Day Subject Lines to Win Your Subscribers’ Hearts

No matter how good your email campaign, if you don’t have a good subject line and preview text, your contacts won’t read your email. Because they won’t open it. Plus, you’re not the only one sending a Valentine’s Day newsletter.

Put extra energy into your Valentine’s Day subject line.

First, before you craft an email campaign, ask yourself these questions:

    • What do your recipients love?
    • How can you deliver emotional impact into their inbox?
    • How can you thank them?

Wrap it up in a compelling subject line with a maximum of 50–60 characters.

💌 Steal This Idea!

Create an exceptional Valentine’s Day subject line by …

  • Inserting emojis – copy and paste any of these! 😍 😻💋 ❤ 💘 💟 😘 🤨 🙄😱
  • Mentioning your incentive
  • Using words like “sweet,” “kiss,” and “love” in humorous, unconventional or even hokey ways. (For inspiration, check out all these idioms with the word “love.”)
    • Kiss your … goodbye this Valentine’s Day
    • Aren’t in love with your … (CMS)? Try … today! (Successful WordPress email)
    • Ready for these sweet deals?
    • You’ll fall head over heels for these …!

Step 3: Design Your Valentine’s Day Campaign

It’s vital to look at your newsletter design from the perspective of the email subscriber.

After all, as a polarizing holiday, Valentine’s Day can cause extreme reactions.

This is why, to be successful with your email marketing, you have to know your target group inside and out. After all, individual tastes differ.

A perfume brand might have a lot of success with a photo of softly lit red rose. But in hipper-than-thou sectors, such as electronics or music tech, you’d be laughed out of town with that. You’d need something more cutting-edge.

Unsplash is a good platform for discovering photos for all types of target groups. (By the way, did you know our software integrates with Unsplash, so you can browse their photo collection from within our software? Pretty cool!)

For example, click through the Valentine’s Day images below, each from Unsplash. Each photo can speak to a range of different target groups.

Which pictures would your target group like? (Note: The question is not, which photos do you like?) Selecting imagery appealing to your target group is key!

When you’re choosing images, remember you’ve got to do a balancing act. You want to visually speak to your specific target group but do so in as broad a way as possible. Basically, you don’t want anyone to feel excluded by your images (or your copy, in fact).

For example, you want to be careful around Valentine’s Day when using images of clearly gendered individuals. A romantic picture of a man and woman embracing might exclude your nonheterosexual audience members, whereas a LOVE statue has a better chance of appealing to both your heterosexual and nonheterosexual audience members. (Unless you do marketing for a dating app and can segment by dating preferences!)

Which of these Valentine’s Day images would appeal to your target group?

In addition to making sure you choose images tailored to your audience, you need to consider other design elements. What color scheme, font and symbols will you use?

Ask yourself: How much will your Valentine’s Day email template differ from your usual branding? Do you want to make big changes? Or just add accent notes to your corporate identity to give it holiday flair?

Will your target group respond positively to the traditional red-and-white combination and dreamy fonts? Or will pastel tones work better with them? In some cases, your brand might even call for shrill, in-your-face shades of pink and purple.

What about symbols? Which will appeal to your audience? Hearts, flowers, wrapping paper, balloons, heart-shaped piñatas? Would traditional symbols resonate with your target group? Or would that seem over-the-top?

If you’re unsure how your target group will respond, play it safe. Make subtle changes and use accent elements.

For layout inspiration, check out these ready-to-go HTML email templates for Valentine’s Day. They’re waiting for you to use in our software:

Valentines-day-newsletter-template
Valentines-Day-email-template
Valentines-Day-email-marketing-template

Sample Email Marketing Campaigns for B2Bs

💌 Steal This Idea! ⬇⬇⬇

Campaign Launch: Early February
Campaign Content: Thank-you message or gift
Number of Emails: 2

  • Announcement mailing
  • Campaign mailing

Advantages: Best for leads in the middle to bottom of the funnel and for boosting customer lifetime value

  • Build customer loyalty with existing customers
  • Offer newsletter subscribers exclusive content

Mailing I
Send on 1 February 2019

Subject Line: We’re Sharing the Love This 14 Feb!
Preview Text: Thank You for Your Loyalty ❤

Dear Sam,

The 14th of February is a day to celebrate love of all kinds. As a way of thanking you for your loyalty, we’re giving you a little Valentine’s Day present: our new e-book. It’s on a topic that gets a lot of love in our office – “Photography at Night: A How-To Guide.” You can download it free of charge for the next two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Button-CTA-Ebook

The e-book retails at a price of €29.99. We hope you enjoy it!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
From Steve and the Miller Photography Team

Mailing II
Send on 14 February 2019

Subject: 24 Hours Left to Pick Up Your Gift 🎁
Preview Text: Last Chance to Download Your Free Book

Hi Sam,

We don’t want you to miss out on this Valentine’s Day present. Don’t forget that you have until 11:59 p.m. to download your free copy of “Photography at Night: A How-To Guide.”

To the e-book:

Button-CTA-Book

Starting tomorrow, the e-book will again be available at its usual retail price of €29.99.

Have a great holiday! We hope you enjoy your book.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
From Steve and the Miller Photography Team

Sample Email Marketing Campaigns for B2Cs

💌 Steal This Idea! ⬇⬇⬇

Campaign Launch: Early February
Campaign Content: Themed offers, coupons or discounts
Number of Emails: 3

  • Announcement mailing
  • Reminder mailing
  • Final promotion

Advantages: Best for leads in the middle to bottom of the funnel and for boosting customer lifetime value

  • Use Valentine’s Day as the impetus for closing sales
  • Offer newsletter subscribers surprise exclusive content

Mailing I
Send on 1 February 2019

Subject: Psst, Avery, 💘 Valentine’s Day Is Just 2 Weeks Away
Preview Text: Check Out Our Special Deals

Dear Avery,

We’re not implying that you’ve forgotten, of course! 😉

But … in case you are still shopping for that perfect Valentine’s Day present, we’ve got a trove of chocolate treasures that fit the bill. From names molded in 100% Costa Rican chocolate, to jumbo chocolate hearts, to outrageous new truffle flavors like maracuja-pepper – we’ve got something for every taste.

What’s more, you might want to take advantage of our new personalized hand-styled gift wrapping!

Button-Valentines-Day-Chocolate

Cheers,
Reagan 

Reagan Dahl
Chief Chocolate Marketing Officer at Choco-Shock

Mailing II
Send on 12 February 2019

Subject: Don’t Panic! Only 48 Hours Until V Day!
Preview Text: Order Now 📦 Get Premium Shipping

Dear Avery,

We feel your pain. We’re procrastinators, too. We didn’t even write this email until 10 minutes before having to send it out.

But now the time has come … to stop procrastinating. We did it and you can do it, too. We’re offering half-price on premium shipping for all orders above $20 for the next 24 hours.

A last minute box of artisan truffles for Mom? A dozen long-stem chocolate roses for that special someone? An ice cream maker for the kids? We’ve got you covered.

Check out our last-minute Valentine’s Day deals!

Button-CTA-Go

We’ve got something special up our sleeve. It’ll arrive in your inbox on the 14th. Keep your eyes open!

Until then – sweet dreams!
Reagan

Reagan Dahl
Chief Chocolate Marketing Officer at Choco-Shock

Mailing III
Send on 14 February 2019

Subject: Today’s the Day❣
Preview Text: Now It’s Time to Treat Yourself

Hi Avery,

Happy Valentine’s Day from Choco-Shock! Whether you did your V-Day shopping with us or not, we’d like to thank you for being a loyal newsletter subscriber.

As a token of our appreciation, we’re giving you a $10.00 gift card for our store. You have until 21 Feb. to redeem it.

Button-CTA-Gift-Card

Here’s to love!

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Reagan + the Whole Choco-Shock Team

Reagan Dahl
Chief Chocolate Marketing Officer at Choco-Shock

Break the Mold With This Sample Unusual Valentine’s Day Campaign

There’s a reason Anti-Valentine’s Day parties are actually a thing.

A lot of people – singles looking for love, couples who choose not to celebrate, quirkyalones – find Valentine’s Day a difficult holiday. Depending on your sector, a light-hearted Anti-Valentine’s Day email campaign might be more effective than the traditional route.

Be bold! Unconventional email campaigns are great for holding subscriber interest.

Here’s what to do: Send an initial kick-off mailing to test the waters. In this mailing, ask your readers to tell you if they’re a “Valentine’s Day Lover” or a “Valentine’s Day Grinch.”

Based on how your subscribers self-segment, send a traditional Valentine’s Day Campaign alongside an Anti-Valentine’s Day one. You can still offer your products as usual. Just don’t expose the grinches to too much pink and red! Vary the layout and color schemes for these two campaigns drastically.

💌 Steal This Idea! ⬇⬇⬇

Campaign Launch: Early February
Campaign Content: Personalized content
Number of Emails: 3

  • Kick-off interactive mailing
  • Promotional mailing
  • Reminder mailing

Advantages: Best for leads in the middle to bottom of the funnel and for boosting customer lifetime value

  • Use Valentine’s Day as the impetus for closing sales
  • Offer newsletter subscribers surprise exclusive content
  • Get to know your subscribers better

Mailing I
Send on 1 February 2019

Subject Line: Is It Already Valentine’s Day Again?
Preview Text: Tell Us How You Really Feel!

Dear Charlie,

Valentine’s Day is all about love. True or false?

I’m sick and tired of the Valentine’s Day hype! True or false?

Valentine’s Day is something special. True or false?

Leave me alone and stop trying to sell me roses. I’m allergic to flowers anyway. True or false?

We’re curious, where do you fall on the Valentine’s Day spectrum?

Button-CTA-Valentine's Day
Button-CTA-Valentines-Day-Grinch

If you tell us how you feel, we’ll send you a holiday survival guide just for you! Now doesn’t that sound a lot better than another box of stale chocolates?

Thanks in advance,
The Team at Zany Marketing

Mailing II
Send on 5 February 2019

Subject Line: No, Chugging Champagne Is NOT the Answer
Preview Text: Here’s Your Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

Get comfortable, Charlie.

Tired of the Valentine’s Day hype? Want to go just one day without having to think about chocolate and roses?

We totally get it.

But you know what? You’re not the only one.

And, after all, the best marketing is authentic. That’s why we wrote this blog about something a lot of people can identify with – the Valentine’s Day Grinch.

Button-AntiValentines-Day

Your next email will include a present for you. (We’re not even going to call it a Valentine’s Day gift. Nope. Just something nice for February 14.)

With ZERO Valentine’s Day Greetings,
The Team at Zany Marketing

Mailing III
Send on 14 February 2019

Subject Line: Had It Up to Here 📈 With Valentine’s Day?
Preview Text: This Should Sweeten Your Day

Hi Charlie,

Arm yourself to get through the day!

Our article about the Valentine’s Day Grinch includes awesome comebacks for every time someone asks you what you’re doing for the holiday!

Check them out:

Button-CTA-No-Hallmark

As a prize for surviving this holiday, we’ve got something for you: 15% off our recent e-book “Marketing the Zany” or any other e-book available through our online platform.

Just insert this code at checkout: Anti-Valentine.

This code expires on 16 Feb. So forget about buying up the half-priced chocolate at CVS and get yourself an e-book!

From Your Anti-Valentine,
The Team at Zany Marketing

In Sum …

Know your audience when planning your Valentine’s Day email campaigns. Some people love the holiday. Others hate it. Some respond to romantic imagery. Others to appeals to compassion. And still others to heart-piñata smashing. But, here’s the trick to remember! Very few people feel neutral about Valentine’s Day. Use that!
Very few people feel neutral about Valentine's Day. Use that! #HolidayMarketing #VDayMarketing Click To Tweet
With the right mixture of fitting subject lines, copy and images, you can move your target group. Engage them, drive customer loyalty, close sales – all with the right approach.

Plan your Valentine’s Day email campaign today.
Start your Newsletter2Go account now!

How to send a Valentine’s Day newsletter with our email marketing software:

1. Start your Newsletter2Go account
2. Upload your opted-in contacts
3. Choose one of our ready-to-go Valentine’s Day templates
4. Write your copy and upload or select your images
4. Preview and send your first email campaign

Valentines-Day-email-template

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