Last year, my girlfriend and I decided not to exchange Valentine’s Day gifts. That was a big mistake.
I followed the rules, but my girlfriend didn’t and then I got in trouble for not buying her a gift. Now we’re no longer dating.
The lesson is, I’ve grown since last year (and I no longer practice the “no-gift exchange” thing).
Now, let’s bring this back to your online store.
It’s 2016, not 2015, so you’re going to want to upgrade your email campaigns because you’ve grown, too.
If your Valentine’s Day sales last year left a lot to be desired (or even if they were good), let’s do better this year.
Firstly, let’s not just rely on newsletters.
Combine newsletters and some intelligent automated emails to be sent between now and February 14th, for an effective one-two punch that will grow sales.
We’re going to cover it all, so here goes.
– How to Prep Your Online Store
– Types of Email Campaigns to Send
– How to Design Your Emails
– Incentives, Discounts and Coupons
– When You Should be Sending Email
– Gift Suggestions for Valentine’s Day
How to Prep Your Online Store
The best way to prep your online shop for Valentine’s Day (Sunday, February 14th) is by making it easy for your customers to pick out a gift for their loved one.
When they land on your homepage from an ad or an email, emphasize the upcoming holiday.
Check out what Vancaro has done.
Vancaro has a massive banner that highlights their Valentine’s Day sale.
They even have a link in their nav bar called, Valentine’s Sale.
If I’m looking to buy my girlfriend a piece of jewelry, I’m definitely clicking on the Valentine’s Day sale link.
Here’s another example from The Bouqs.
There’s a call-to-action that says, ‘Shop Valentine’s Day.’
It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Valentine’s Day Collections and Categories
Consider creating a special category or collection of Valentine’s Day gifts.
Make sure all the gifts live on an exclusive page so you can link to it from your emails and online ads.
If you’re making a big marketing push, expect an influx of traffic.
You’ll want to display an email popup to your visitors and ask for their email address. (We can do this!)
That way, if they’re not ready to buy, you have their email address for future newsletters and announcements.
And one last thing.
Add a banner or something that calls out delivering timing.
Types of Emails to Send
First and foremost, send a newsletter every few days.
Get your customers thinking about why your products might be perfect gift and then link directly to your Valentine’s Day collection or category page.
Aside from newsletters, create a series of inactive customer campaigns.
First, for the inactive customer campaign, we want to target all of your customers that placed an order last February.
Design a special email to win them back.
We make that easy in Remarkety.
In your dashboard, select the inactive customer campaign.
Then you’ll want to pick the time frame. For customers that haven’t placed an order since last year, choose 330 to 360 days in the drop down.
After you design the email template, set the campaign to ‘Run’ mode and you’re done.
This campaign will automatically be delivered to all the customers that qualify.
Make sure to turn off this campaign after Valentine’s Day since it doesn’t make sense to send Valentine’s Day emails in March.
You killed it in December, right?
So let’s create another inactive customer campaign for customers that haven’t placed an order since the holidays around November and December.
Aside from the email template, the only thing you’ll want to change here is the time-range since their last order.
Mention that you haven’t seen them since the holidays and that it’s time they get ready for Valentine’s Day.
You can even get a little cheeky after a customer places an order.
Once an order has been confirmed, send an order followup with a limited-time coupon for their next purchase.
This coupon could be for their “other” love interest.
Of course this depends on your brand voice, but hey, just an idea.
Another idea is creating an email campaign that rewards shoppers after they place a certain number of orders and/or spend a certain amount of money on your website.
And don’t forget to make sure your abandoned cart campaigns are up and running – especially a follow up or two.
How to Design Your Emails
The design of your emails should be themed around Valentine’s Day – just like your website.
Include language that drives urgency both inside the email and in the subject line.
This language could be about a limited time sale or that it’s the last day to order for delivery by Valentine’s Day.
Inside the email, make it relevant and personalized.
Aside from adding a customer’s first name, remind them what they bought from you before.
And you’ll definitely want to include product recommendations of best sellers or items similar to what they bought last time.
Here are some emails I’ve already received that are themed around Valentine’s Day.
The Grommet does a really nice job making it easy to pick out gifts for the people in your life, whether it’s “for him” or “for her.”
Simple call-to-actions and images make it easy for the shopper to figure out what to click.
Plus, next to their logo, they advertise free shipping and their refer-a-friend campaign.
This email, sent from AllModern, is nicely themed for Valentine’s Day.
Knowing that there are items for up to 55% off makes me want to click.
When it gets to that kind of discount – items I wouldn’t normally consider become options.
Big discounts attract buyers.
Take last month for instance.
The Remarkety team went out to eat and we were discussing televisions.
One of my coworker’s husbands was telling a story about when he was shopping at Best Buy, there was a 50″ television on-sale for under $400.
Now, this wasn’t some no-name television brand, it was a Toshiba.
He said it was almost criminal he didn’t buy it right there and then, even though he already has a 40+ inch TV.
This takes me back to where I started.
Discounts make people want to buy things they don’t even need.
Incentives, Discounts and Coupons
Coupons are the sure-fire, proven, darn near guaranteed way to increase conversion on any email campaign.
There are other ways to increase conversion, too.
Free express shipping.
Free gift wrapping.
Basically, anything that would be added onto an order that’s free is pretty effective.
You can also be sneaky and throw in free samples or free goodies in every order around Valentine’s Day.
It’s a nice touch your customers will remember.
If your brand despises all forms of couponing and discounts, there are other ways to garner engagement.
Here’s an article about ways to grow sales without coupons.
In short, try to make your customers feel like a they’re a VIP.
You know how airports have those exclusive lounges with free snacks and drinks for people with epic status?
Yeah, make your customers feel like those people.
When to Send Email
We published a super comprehensive study on the best times to send emails based on conversions.
In other words, we looked at the times when conversion rates are highest on emails.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send.And then there are the best times of day to send.
Mornings and right when work lets out around 5PM and 6PM are the best timings.
Read the whole article – best times to send email.
Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year so plan ahead using the data above.
Please note, your results might be slightly different than what we found in our study, so track your engagement (opens, clicks and conversions) closely.
Other things to keep in mind is how quickly the products will be delivered to your customer.
Make it clear in newsletters, automated emails and your website when the last day to order is for someone to get it by Valentine’s Day.
And after that day has passed, update your website and email templates!
Expired offers and out-of-date marketing messages can really be a turn-off to customers.
This happens a lot in the New York City subway.
The subway cars will have out-dated ads that promote a special deal that expired three months ago.
Gift Suggestions for Valentine’s Day
We often get the opportunity to share emails eCommerce shops using Remarkety are sending.
One thing we don’t do too often is showcase their amazing products.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, now is our chance!
If you’re already set for Valentine’s Day gifts, jump down to the conclusion of the article where we’ll wrap everything up.
If you’re not set for gifts, we have you covered.
Curated home goods of masculine design. Perfect for men and women that appreciate design and home decor. [Link]
Kings of Cole
Amazingly soft and comfortable sweat pants and sweatshirts. For men, women and kids. [Link]
Golf and Ski Warehouse
Golf and Ski Warehouse is based out of the American Northeast and they specialize in golf, ski and snowboard gear. [Link]
A box of awesome “manly” essentials delivered each month centered around a different theme. [Link]
A New York based company supplying spy and surveillance to the NYPD Intelligence Unit, NYPD Terrorist Incident Unit, UPS and more. [Link]
Ministry of Sweat
Fitness-themed shirts for men and women with an attitude. Take this one for example, “It’s not swagger, I’m just sore.” [Link]
Cute and quirky food-scented jewelry handmade in Minnesota. Their jewelry has been featured on Parks and Rec and in Woman’s World and Food Beast. [Link]
Kaehler is a maker of leather products such as wallets, luggage and briefcases in Chicago, Illinois. [Link]
Graydon Clinical Luxury
Graydon is a Canadian luxury skin care company that produces products helping skin remain youthful. [Link]
The Grand Finale
You’re armed and ready to make Valentine’s Day 2016 your best one, yet.
Between prepping your website, launching dedicated Valentine’s Day emails and delivering them at the best moment for conversion – you’ve got some work to do.
- Make it easy for customers to browse your Valentine’s Day Collections and Categories
- Deliver emails targeting customers that haven’t purchased since last Valentine’s Day or the Holidays
- Send newsletters announcing your Valentine’s Day sales or offerings
- Offer coupons or other incentives to increase conversion rate
- Deliver emails in the morning in the beginning of the week before work or right after your customers are getting out of work
- Don’t forget to buy a gift for your significant other
If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line.
For other ways to take your emails to the next level, try Remarkety totally free for 30-days (if you aren’t already using us) and/or perusing the articles below.