Believe it or not, Valentine’s day is an annual celebration of love and commercialism.
In 2022, consumers spent nearly $24 billion on Valentine’s day. For shoppers worldwide, it is a significant spending holiday. Last year, over 53% of Americans planned Valentine's Day with their family, loved ones, or themselves.
Even though we’re still in January, if you work in the DTC or Ecommerce space, you must’ve already started thinking about Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to make it a revenue-generating day for your business.
Here are the 14 no-fluff, proven, and real-life DTC valentine’s Day marketing ideas that you can implement, this year and beyond.
1. Surprise your customers with a Valentine’s Day discount
Millions of consumers gift shop online for Valentine’s Day. One way to bring your DTC brand ahead of the competition and convert first-time buyers into brand advocates is: by running a sales/discount campaign.
While offering a compelling discount is the key to a successful Valentine marketing campaign, you could even consider running a surprise sale or creating special offers such as “Buy One Get One” or “Spend $X and get a free gift.”
Luxury clothing brand Twigs offered a 70% discount in its Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign. What’s more, this email was sent 11 days in advance, giving shoppers enough time to decide on their outfits or simply stock up on their favorites.
As a part of its DTC Valentine’s Day marketing campaign, nature-infused skincare brand Origins offers free samples for every $15 you spend with the brand. It is proven that free samples can help encourage new product trials, increase customer loyalty, and boost sales by as much as 2000%.
Valentine’s day promotion idea for ecommerce: Send out a promotional email to announce Valentine’s day sale to all your subscribers. Pay equal attention to crafting a compelling subject line, writing a high-converting copy, and adding high-quality product photos.
2. Host a giveaway to increase brand awareness and engagement
Giveaways are amazing to build your email list as they give your DTC brand exposure to a completely new (yet relevant) audience. Giveaways are a great customer acquisition strategy when used smartly.
Curated wine-tasting DTC brand VineBox partnered with five different brands to launch a Galentine’s Day giveaway for its Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign.
Now, if you’re not sure who to reach out to, you could launch a giveaway on your own on social media.
Give away your best-selling products: by asking your Instagram followers to tag 3 friends (so that new people get introduced to your brand), follow your brand’s page, and add your post to their stories: to enter to win.
Valentine’s Day giveaway ideas on social media are an opportunity to introduce your brand to a newer and large group of people.
Valentine’s Day marketing idea: For your giveaway campaign, have a unique branded hashtag. With generic hashtags, you’ll get a ton of unintentional entries.
3. Create a Valentine’s Day landing page
Make it easy for your shoppers to filter through your products for the Valentine’s Day sale. A dedicated landing page for your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign displays the offers and products you’ve compiled for this day.
Also, with a unique page, you can track visitors who convert or even sign up. A UTM code on the landing page gives you better visibility over what works and what doesn’t.
VineBox has a dedicated landing page for Valentine's Day with different wine-tasting offers.
What’s striking here is that they offer tasting experiences for couples as well as singles.
4. Partner with influencers
Partner with micro-influencers in your industry to promote your products as Valentine’s Day gift ideas. While brands have already been using influencer marketing to reach new audiences and drive sales, integrate it with your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.
Last year, the famous jewelry brand Pandora partnered with influencers around the globe to highlight its latest items as gifts for friends, partners, and yourself.
Another DTC nutrition brand Luna Bar collaborated with influencers in the USA to promote their Luna Mash Up bar and togetherness on Galentine's Day.
Pro tip: Consider collaborating with influencers for a Galentine’s Day campaign to get added visibility for your DTC brand.
5. Send out Valentine’s Day email campaign
The truth is, your subscribers are busy, and sending them helpful reminders is a great way to stay on top of their minds.
As a part of your DTC brand’s Valentine’s Day retail email marketing campaign: You could send a series of emails to customers or win-back emails to your ex-customers.
a) Valentine email marketing series
Vinebox is known to send several emails about their special Valentine’s Day product: “The Reds and Roses box.” The subject line is short and induces curiosity, which increases the email open rate.
Instead of sending the same message, Vinebox scores brownie points by ensuring that each message feels fresh.
Valentine’s Day retail email marketing tip - If you’re going to send subscribers more than one email for the same product/offer: switching the copy and photos makes a big difference.
b) Win-back emails
For customers who purchased from your brand last year but haven’t bought from you again, it is time to put the win-back email campaign into action.
Win-back Valentine’s Day email strategy for your DTC brand: Target lapsed customers with your DTC win-back email series. Alternatively, segment past customers by their AOV (Average Order Value) and suggest products in a similar range.
Read more: Killer DTC email campaigns for 2023.
6. Show your customers some love with an incentive
Some customers would fall in love with your products at the first sight and buy them. But others may need a push to convert.
As per Baymard, extra shipping cost is the #1 reason why people abandon their online shopping carts.
Incentive strategy: A great Valentine’s Day marketing idea would be to try targeting customers with a low AOV: shoppers who have browsed but not purchased products lower than your minimum order value for free shipping.
Next, offer these customers a promotional code for free shipping.
Madsen Cycles offers free shipping for all its products for Valentine's Day.
Sure, cargo cycles aren’t your typical Valentine’s Day gift. But the brand still ties its offerings with Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day marketing idea: Free shipping is a compelling incentive that can work for all holidays, especially for products with a high delivery cost.
7. Be creative to stand out and make your brand memorable
While every DTC brand is trying out different Valentine marketing campaigns, it becomes critical to stand out with a creative and memorable campaign that resonates with your audience.
When launching a creative Valentine’s day marketing campaign, ensure that your marketing efforts are consistent with your brand and the offers are valuable to your target audience.
For example, underwear brand MeUndies launched an Instagram Valentine’s marketing campaign asking couples to share photos of them wearing their matching underwear sets. The diverse, funny, cute, and romantic shots made the campaign entertaining and sweet.
In 2017, Dunkin’ Love campaign focused on love stories.
Similarly, your Valentine’s Day marketing idea on social media can involve asking customers to share their love stories with you, or asking them to create and submit a video on your chosen topic for a chance to win something.
Creative content is perfect for attracting a wider audience to your DTC brand, getting closer to your followers, and gaining more organic traffic.
Valentine social media marketing tip: If you’re hosting a video submission contest, come up with ground rules such as maximum duration. And the gift could be a discount, a free product from your brand, and so on.
8. Offer gift guides
No one knows your brand better than you and your team which is why your Valentine’s Day marketing idea should include guiding prospects with relevant and helpful gift guides.
The benefits of offering product guides are:
- Help your prospects make better buying decisions,
- Position your brand as an expert advice-giver, and
- Position your products as great gift ideas.
Send the gift guides in the form of emails, popups, or landing pages.
Brooklinen earned a high open rate for its Valentine email marketing campaign with a straightforward subject line.
The subject line promises to solve all your gift-buying problems.
On opening the email, you see a single long gift guide chart to help you find the right gift.
With this Valentine’s retail email marketing example, Brooklinen’s message is clear: regardless of who you are shopping for, the DTC brand has a perfect gift for all.
Another great thing in this email is how the brand turns negative situations like “if your budget is low” or “they don’t love you back” into fun positive ones like “why not gift yourself?”
The best part about this DTC Valentine email marketing campaign is that Brooklinen reminds you Valentine’s Day isn’t only about gifting your partner, and puts a smile on your face.
Valentine’s Day email tip: Send a gift guide ideally a week before Valentine's Day with a clear deadline on the date a shopper would need to order to receive the gift in time.
9. Drive urgency with your messaging
Lead the way to the urgency with scarcity-driven copy, especially for last-minute buyers. Consider adding a countdown timer to the last day when customers can get their orders in time for the holiday blast. Express urgency, provide transparency about the shipping dates, and a hard deadline.
Man Crates has a straight subject line, letting customers know the company’s shipping window for Valentine’s Day is closing soon.
The funny email which follows is written in Man Crates’ signature funny tone.
The last-minute Valentine’s Day email has a copy that reads as if a friend is teasing you for procrastinating and gently reminding you to order your gifts now.
10. Target last-minute shoppers
Don’t overlook Valentine’s marketing campaigns to convert procrastinators and last-minute buyers into customers.
A highly effective way to sell more this Valentine’s Day is by offering fast delivery to last-minute shoppers.
Violet Grey, a DTC brand that curates luxury skincare products targets procrastinators with a curated list of last-minute beauty gifts.
What’s notable is that they offer same-day and overnight shipping - when you spend more than $150. In other words, it not only captures last-minute shoppers but also upsells them.
This strategy also helps you increase your DTC brand’s repeat purchase rate.
11. Promote self-love
Self-love. Love for nature. Romantic love. Love for the family. They all count as love. Brands have been marketing to better self-esteem for years now, as a part of their Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.
If you’re wondering how to promote self-love this year, take inspiration from DAVIDsTEA: a DTC leaf tea brand. Their Valentine’s Day email starts with a feel-good subject line.
DAVIDsTEA encourages you to make Valentine’s Day all about yourself and purchase its products.
If your DTC brand is in the self-care niche or not selling traditional giftable products, self-care as your Valentine’s Day marketing idea can work really well.
12. Give customers the option of sending gift cards
Gift cards/e-gift cards or gift vouchers are one of the most shopped Valentine’s Day gifts. They can be a lifesaver for people who cannot figure out their partner’s purchase preferences.
There are two scenarios where gift cards for Valentine’s Day marketing ideas work best:
- If you cannot guarantee shipping in time for the holidays.
- If you’re looking to engage last-minute shoppers without breaking the bank.
- They’re great for targeting last-minute shoppers without hurting your profits.
Curioos recommends sending electronic gift cards and makes the Valentine’s Day gift option more attractive with a discount. To sweeten the deal, Curioos adds “no fees or expiration dates.”
Now if you’re thinking gift cards are impersonal, Estee Lauder has a compelling argument: give your partner a gift they can choose themselves.
The text in the email convinces the shopper why e-gifts are brilliant: it’s a zero-risk gift idea.
Along with sharing the e-gift in your Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign, you could promote them as a popup on your website or the Valentine’s Day landing page the way Bobby Brown does on its Valentine’s Day gift guide page.
Read more: The anatomy of high-converting product pages.
13. Create themed product bundles
Product bundles are a win-win for both customers and DTC store owners. Consumers can buy a package, try new products at low risk, and save money. While store owners increase their AOV, drive more sales, and keep low-selling products in circulation.
This Valentine’s Day, create a themed bundle of products that pair well together. If you don’t know where to start, take your best-selling products and create a bundle at a discounted rate.
The sugar-free syrups brand Skinny Mixes & Skinny Syrups has a Love Yourself Bundle which makes a great gift for coffee lovers.
What’s striking in this web copy is that it targets two types of customers: the ones looking for a gift for their partner and themselves.
Pro tip: Consider adding a compelling product description that answers why these items make the best gift.
Also, favorite products + cute packing + discount = Winning Valentine’s Day marketing idea.
14. Leverage SMS marketing for time-sensitive offers
This Valentine’s Day, if you’re sending a time-sensitive message or deal, consider sending your campaign via SMS.
Honest Paws, an Ecommerce company selling hemp oil and treats for dogs earned a high click rate by sending the Valentine’s Day SMS announcing its one-day buy one get one offer.
SMS strategy for Valentine’s Day: Keep your SMS short, direct, and to the point.
There are several ways to market your products this Valentine’s Day. Giveaways, discounts, time-sensitive SMS offers, and product bundles are some of the best Valentine’s Day marketing ideas worth trying.
There is no rule book for a perfect Valentine’s Day marketing campaign, but we hope these 14 strategies help you reach out to your customers, nurture them, and keep them coming back to your DTC brand.