12 Valentine’s Day marketing ideas for your Shopify store
Valentine’s Day means business if you’re a Shopify merchant. It can be a nice jolt to the after-holiday slump — even if hearts, cupid, and a red and pink takeover are the antithesis of your brand.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports Valentine’s Day spending reached $23.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to climb to $25.9 billion in 2023. Consumers are anticipated to spend $192.80 on average.
Sure, candy and flowers sit atop the gift-giving list. But they’re far from being the only options.
Consumers are looking for traditional — and unorthodox — gifts for partners, relatives, themselves and others with whom they have a meaningful relationship. In fact, the NRF predicts consumer spending on friends, children’s classmates/teachers, co-workers and pets will rise this year.
So throw your hat in the ring.
Following are 12 Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to help Shopify merchants gain greater visibility and send more dollars their way.
#1 Offer a Valentine’s Day pricing promotion
Let’s start with the most obvious Valentine’s Day marketing idea. No doubt, sales promotions convert shoppers to buyers.
Price plays a hefty role in consumers’ purchasing decisions, with 74% of HubSpot survey respondents saying it’s a leading factor.
Don’t hastily slap together a Shopify discount. Analyze your financials and calculate a Valentine’s Day promotion that won’t do damage.
Evaluate the five primary promotional pricing strategy types and pick the right fit: discount pricing (dollar value or percentage based), buy one get one free (BOGO) and its variations, tiered discounting (buy more, save more), bundling at a discount, and free shipping.
Below is a great Valentine’s Day email marketing example from Kooky’s Kloset that promotes a percentage-based discount. (PS: Like the template? It’s available in Seguno’s Template store.)
Here’s what they get right:
- Fitting subject line (Shop your heart out)
- A unique discount code (blurred here) for better control over code usage
- Start and end times clearly stated
- Love-inspired featured products, including crisp images and a callout of their regular versus discounted prices
If you don’t use Seguno email marketing or want to create unique discount codes for other marketing channels, check out Seguno’s Bulk Discount Code Bot.
#2 Create a Valentine’s Day collection
Commit yourself to the holiday by curating a collection of products appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Then prominently feature them on your Shopify site by adding a category to the menu. Barbury Hill provides an example of what we mean.
Through the “Shop Valentine’s Day” category, the brand makes it easy for site visitors to find hand-selected gifts.
This also builds the blocks necessary for creating a sales funnel. For example, if the brand wants to advertise its Valentine’s Day picks on social media, there’s a page waiting for anyone who clicks on the ad’s call to action (CTA). As shown below, it’s also fodder for an email marketing header category.
#3 Magnify your promo with a website popup
Nine times out of 10, shops use an email popup to grow their list. But capturing subscriber information is not their sole purpose.
Website popups are also helpful for announcements, such as:
- Broadcasting a sale or special offer
- Alerting shoppers about Valentine’s Day shipping deadlines
- Spotlighting a best-selling product
Or, if you don’t want to introduce another popup for fear of annoying site visitors, update your email popup to fit the occasion. Mia Belle Girls shows that some color changes and a photo swap-out are all it takes.
The effect? You’re signaling that your brand is current and knows what it is doing, and therefore relevant and trustworthy.
#4 Run a Valentine’s Day contest on social media
People like to win stuff, making a social media giveaway an excellent Valentine’s Day promotion to keep in your back pocket.
While contests may not directly impact your sales, they’re a great lever to pull for increasing brand awareness. One study found that an Instagram contest has the power to grow followers up to 70% faster over three months versus not running one.
Shopify outlines the how-tos of an Instagram giveaway in a dedicated blog post. The two takeaways we want you to know:
- Ensure entry instructions are clear
- At a minimum, require that entrants follow the account; require them to tag friends to get more out of your awareness efforts
Here’s a Valentine’s Day giveaway from two beauty service brands, Beauty by Bernice and Kiki Did Thatt.
Running a contest on your own is great, but collaborating with one or more brands to expand the prize is even better. Think of the extra reach you’ll gain when partnering with another brand.
TIP: Valentine's Day promotions are also fantastic if you're in the "experiences" market. Travel, entertainment and dining categories experienced year-over-year growth one month leading up to the big event in 2022.
#5 Help shoppers find options with a gift guide
This next Valentine’s Day marketing idea is similar to creating a Valentine’s Day collection. Yet it has one distinct quality: you’re rounding up ideas by category.
Many brands use the term “gift guide” loosely, featuring a collection of product suggestions. There’s no problem with that approach, but categorizing your products involves thoughtful curation that lends itself to a more sophisticated vibe.
Potential gift guide categories include grouping products by:
- Product line
- Relationship to the recipient
Allurez’s gift guide email includes several categories to ease the shopper’s experience.
Bonus: Catering to the gift-giver can reap benefits. One study found that customers who purchased gifts from a store returned to shop more frequently than those who made purchases for themselves.
Find more Valentine’s Day email marketing inspo in our “What to send in February” installment.
#6 Send a Valentine’s Day offer to SMS subscribers
Reward subscribers who entrust you with their cell phone numbers by offering something that will be a catalyst for conversion. A gift with purchase? An exclusive discount?
How about a flash sale on a limited product in stock? Makes sense, as little comes close to rousing attention like a text message notification. Sixty percent of consumers check text alerts within one to five minutes.
Any Shopify merchant intent on protecting margins and guarding profitability should distribute unique Shopify discount codes within their SMS messages versus a generic one like “VDAY2023.” Use a Shopify-friendly app that does the job for you and eliminates headaches around tracking code usage.
#7 Express love for your customers
Valentine’s Day email marketing? Not so much. It’s unexpected.
Like other Valentine’s Day marketing ideas, the note of appreciation doesn’t necessarily drive sales. Saying thanks communicates that your supporters matter to you — it’s a way to elicit the warm fuzzies for your brand.
We like how Woolx Merino broaches the love letter.
The short note humanizes the brand. Yes, real people are operating behind the scenes.
#8 Reward a segment of your subscribers
We can’t stress enough how important personalization is to marketing.
Consider that 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging. Take a few seconds to let that sink in. A vast amount want brands to tailor messages to them.
Enter email marketing and the power of segmentation.
If your VIP customers deserve a little extra love, a Valentine’s Day promotion is the ideal time to extend it. Or perhaps you want to reach out to those who purchased within the last 60 days. Both are examples of using behavioral targeting in email marketing. Participating in an upcoming popup and bringing products perfect for Valentine’s Day? Send a coupon to those residing in the area and invite them to visit you.
Get creative. You’ll find there’s an abundance of segments for personalizing your communications.
Segments got you confused? Learn the basics and see how to use Shopify’s segmentation tool.
#9 Be considerate of feelings
This next suggestion is a somewhat counterintuitive Valentine’s Day marketing idea. No holiday promotion here — just empathy for those struggling with Cupid’s day.
Shopify stores increasingly recognize the sensitivities that can arise around certain occasions. Notably, it’s becoming more commonplace for brands to ask their subscribers if they want to be opted out from receiving Mother’s and Father’s Day email marketing.
Valentine’s Day may not spring to mind as an opt-out holiday, but it can be a nice gesture for the heartbroken or those who despise the day. Take Etat Libre d’Orange’s example as a case in point.
Why offer this option? It builds trust, says Susan Dobscha, a marketing professor at Bentley University. “Consumers feel more in control."
#10 Help customers get gifts on time
Thinking through shipping logistics is integral to your shop since Valentine’s Day is a gifting holiday. Customers don’t want their special present showing up late, meaning you’ve got a key role in making packages appear when expected.
Determine the last day for taking orders. Add a buffer of a day if it makes you feel more confident that you can deliver. Then make that date known through your marketing channels, such as email marketing and social posts. And if you offer expedited shipping options, be clear about their cutoff dates.
A banner running across your Shopify website is a fantastic place for stating shipping deadlines. The top of a website is a natural place our eyes wander. Online shoppers expect to find important information there, so take advantage of the placement and spur some urgency, as Milk Bar does in the example below.
Create a shipping deadline banner alert with Seguno’s Dynamic Banner Suite.
#11 Share something of value
How can you harness Valentine’s Day as an outlet for providing value?
Think advice or some token of worth that will delight and benefit your audience.
Below are two different takes on this Valentine’s Day marketing idea.
A blog post
If you have a blog, craft a Valentine’s Day-related post that draws on your expertise or insights. Here are some ideas to get thoughts flowing:
- Food or beverage brand: recipe for the perfect Valentine’s Day appetizer/main course/dessert/cocktail
- Beauty brand: 5 self-care tips
- Women’s clothing brand: ideas for your Galentine’s celebration
In the example below, Created by Lau leans on the gift guide idea and expands upon it. The post features 19 gift recommendations; one comes from the shop and the remaining are from other small businesses.
A gift with purchase is a standard marketing promotion. What if you drop the “with purchase” component and give something away for free, no strings attached?
For example, a home goods store could develop a fun “What’s your decor style?” quiz. It takes a little work, but you’re not putting stress on your margins as you would with a product giveaway.
Loop Living’s freebie is a downloadable valentine's card.
Though a small offering, Loop Living’s marketing angle is an example of tapping into the reciprocity effect. Most people want to return the favor when someone does something nice for them. So when a brand makes a nice gesture, recipients are more likely to support that business.
#12 Invest in a Valentine’s Day email campaign
Inboxes are more crowded this time of year, meaning you’ve got to be present to be noticed. Let’s look at how you can show up more with an email campaign — plus drive up open rates with subject lines.
A four-newsletter email campaign
Packaging together a strategic email marketing campaign is the right solution for many brands. A campaign is a collection of emails that all have the same goal. There’s often a similar look tying them together.
We suggest a four-part Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign. Some newsletters overlap with ideas previously reviewed in this post:
- The Valentine's Day collection. Include a section on shipping deadlines and feature it in every post after that.
- Valentine's Day gift guide. Let your audience’s needs be the framework. Don’t forget about gift cards as a category, too. They’re a great solution for those running out of time or wanting to cede decision-making to the recipient.
- Top seller. Highlight a best-selling product and reinforce its value by featuring customer quotes. If you don’t want to settle on just one product, shine the light on a best-selling collection.
- Self-gifting. Encourage those who are pre-disposed to splurge on themselves for Valentine’s Day. You can easily send this email after shipping deadlines pass. We like how Karl’s Bait & Tackle does it.
The general rule of thumb: limit sending cadence to two weekly messages or less. You don’t want to bombard your subscribers.
Find a four-message Valentine’s Day email campaign in Seguno’s Template store. It features professionally designed, customizable templates for each newsletter outlined above.
Valentine’s Day email subject line ideas
The first step to a sale via email marketing is getting people to open your email. Give any of these Valentine's Day subject lines a whirl.
- Like jewelry but better, try _____ this Valentine's Day
- Chocolates are so last year - Glow up this year
- Be our Valentine
- Be our Galentine
- Valentine's Day Gift Guide for your ____ lovers
- Valentine's Day treats that you'll actually want
- Roses are red... Don't get the blues for this V-Day
- Have a great Valentine's Day this year
- Our best-selling Valentine's Day Gifts
- ___% off Valentine's Day Specials
- Last-Minute Valentine's Day Gifts
- Be Ours! Get our Valentine's Day Gift Early!
- XOXO - Get yourself something special this year
You may want to experiment with sprinkling in a few emoticons, too:
💖 💝 ❤️ 🔥 🍫 💐 🎁 🖤 💋 🌹 🍓 🧸
We share tons of advice around the dos and dont's of email subject lines. Find them in our guide to writing subject lines that get opened.
Ramp up your Valentine’s Day promotions
As wallets open up for Valentine’s Day, wouldn’t it be nice to grab a bigger piece of that consumer love this year?
If you add a few of the Valentine’s Day marketing ideas above to your strategy, you’ll better capitalize on Valentine’s Day spending.
Mold our suggestions to your business by mixing and matching promotional ideas. For example, personalize by offering a discount on a Valentine’s Day collection to customers who have purchased complementary products.
Whatever you do, don’t dismiss Valentine’s Day as irrelevant to your Shopify store. Harness your creativity, marketing tools and channels to cash in.
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