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Quick wins for your Valentine’s Day email marketing

· 18 min read · Email marketing · January 19, 2022
Technical Support Team Leader, Andrej.

Remember the excitement in school when all the kids exchanged Valentine’s cards? Let’s keep that spirit alive in your emails!

Valentine’s Day is about love, but it doesn’t have to be the kissy-kissy “struck by cupid” kind of love. It’s also the perfect time for marketers to express gratitude to their subscribers with a thoughtful Valentine's Day email campaign that strengthens their relationship.

Whether you’re a nonprofit, e-commerce business or freelance email marketer, everyone can benefit from this confetti-covered holiday. In 2022, V-day spending is expected to hit $21.8 billion

So how can you seize this opportunity? Check out these favorite Valentine's Day email marketing ideas, tips and examples to kick start your first holiday email campaign of the new year…

With the majority of people shopping online for their Valentine’s Day gifts, email is the perfect way to catch their attention! From optimizing your sending times to retargeting those who didn’t open the first time, check out these 8 hacks to get the most out of your Valentine’s Day emails this year.

In 2021, men were anticipated to spend $6.2 billion more than women on Valentine's Day gifts. Why not use this insight to segment your email list and tailor your messaging?

For example, you could write a separate email newsletter for men and women to address their unique needs. You can also send emails using groups, such as by age, geography and interests, or segment your subscribers by behavior. Whatever will help you target your audience in the smartest way.

Create a sense of urgency and stress the benefits of getting things done NOW. Most people want a hassle-free yet personalized shopping experience. Make it easy for them by offering tailored recommendations and quick delivery options.

The email campaign below, from women’s clothing store Swank, targets their partners by promoting their gift card as “the gift she really wants”. They also include a Valentine’s gift guide for more ideas.

swank valentines day email newsletter envelope
Image credit: Swank

In email marketing, one way to catch your readers’ attention is to tell or promote stories. Everyone appreciates a good love story! You can also craft a story about friendship, gratitude, loved ones or any other uplifting message that fits your brand.

For example, if you sell jewelry, tell the story behind the symbolism of a particular precious stone that’s used, or of how a piece is created. You can even share the meanings behind Valentine’s traditions or fun facts. It’s all about drawing your reader in and getting a reaction. Check out this guide to crafting email content that people care about.

You can also encourage your customers to share their own love story, wedding photos or date ideas. Share the stories on your social media and choose the winner (most likes, shares, comments, etc.). It’s a simple but effective way for you to connect with your audience and get more attention for your business via social media.

We love this Valentine’s Day email design by charity: water. It expresses their gratitude for their fundraisers in the form of a love poem! Each verse tells the story of their fundraising journey; a touching way to say thank you to their supporters. We’re also big fans of the embedded video at the end of the email, with a special message from the team.

Charity: Water Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: charity: water

Email marketing is no longer a one-way conversation. Instead, give readers an experience to remember. Have fun with your emails by making them more interactive with an embedded survey (like a love quiz), video or game—or go all-out with a custom HTML newsletter to make something truly special.

In the email example below, the nonprofit WWF asks its readers to vote for their favorite relationships in the animal kingdom!

WWF Valentine's Day email example
Image credit: WWF

Let’s be honest. If you’re don’t have a significant other, Valentine’s Day could be the last day that you want to celebrate. So instead of bombarding people with romantic gestures, why not encourage them to treat themselves?

For e-commerce businesses, you can include special offers for shining singles as well as couples. Offer gift ideas for friends, family members and for subscribers themselves. These quick stats show that Valentine’s isn’t merely a couples-only occasion:

  • 60% of Valentine’s Day shoppers buy something for family members

  • 25% buy gifts for friends (aka Galentines Day)

  • 13% buy gifts for coworkers

  • 15% of women send themselves flowers

  • 20% buy something for their pets

Take this email campaign from VSCO, for example, inviting people to try their premium features with an eye-catching email GIF of retro images and poems. Their Valentine’s Day message is inclusive of everyone, inviting readers to create love letters for “your crush, your friends, or even for yourself.”  

VSCO Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: VSCO

If you’ve read our 2022 email marketing trends, you’ll know all about how email is the glue of digital marketing. Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to build your community and grow your audience.

Email can attract more people when your subscribers share the newsletter with a new person. Create marketing campaigns that encourage people to “share the love”, and see how many new subscribers you get.

TrendyEquine sent this email marketing campaign about “sharing the love”, reflecting the relationship between them and their subscribers—and readers could easily forward it to their network.

Trendy Equine Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: Trendy Equine (designed with MailerLite)

While gas doesn't seem like a Valentine's Day gift, Gasbuddy uses the special day to encourage people to sign up for their referral program.

Gasbuddy Valentine's Day referral newsletter idea
Image credit: Gasbuddy

E-commerce businesses can combine the power of abandoned cart emails with the heightened engagement of Valentine’s Day to drive more sales.

Set up a special abandoned cart email message leading up to Valentine’s Day to remind your shoppers that time is running out to buy gifts before the big day.

You can also set up automation triggers in your email campaigns to send a Valentine’s Day email series to your best customers.

In the Valentine’s Day email example below, Waterstones reminds customers that they only have ten days left to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. This example forms part of an email series that they sent in the run-up to Valentine’s Day to stay top of mind.

Waterstones Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: Waterstones

For most people, Valentine’s Day is a last-minute purchase. Therefore, it’s not recommended to start too early. 

Retail and e-commerce companies usually send out 3-4 different emails between February 1 and February 14. Like every big commercial holiday, your subscribers will receive a lot of emails during this period.

See what days and times have worked for you with past campaigns, and use the same strategy to schedule your emails. Here's a helpful article about sending times to guide you.

The Boston Women’s Market reached out as early as January 21st, to find vendors for their Valentine’s Day Market on February 12th. If in doubt, it’s always worth getting in there early, and then sending regular campaigns and ‘last chance’ reminders throughout the Valentine’s Day season. 

Boston Women's Market Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: Boston Women's Market (designed with MailerLite)

We all love a good discount. Email coupons are a great way to ramp up your Valentine’s Day sales and motivate customers to spend more (because, you know, free delivery is amazing)! 

Whether you have a ‘Buy one, get one free’ offer, or an extra gift when people spend a certain amount, Valentine’s Day coupons can build hype around your brand and increase urgency—especially when it’s available for a limited time only. 

We love this email example from KLM, offering a Valentine’s Day discount code to their loyal customers. 

KLM Valentine's Day email coupon example
Image credit: KLM

There are no magic words that will get people to open your emails this Valentine’s Day. The competition for your eyeballs will be fierce, so follow these subject line best practices to improve your chances.

Subject lines that work usually contain one or several of the following characteristics:

  • They’re personal

  • They’re relevant (targeted)

  • They solve a problem

  • They heighten urgency

  • They evoke curiosity

We’ve dug up our favorite Valentine’s Day subject lines, using examples from our customers and our own inboxes. They’re categorized by audience, so that you can tailor your approach to your subscribers.

Valentine’s Day subject lines for couples

There's Still Time⏳to Book Your Valentine's Day Getaway!

{$name} how about this for your Valentine? ❤️

Need some help this Valentine’s? 5 perfect gifts for her

Did You Forget It’s Valentine’s Day 😬

3 ways to make Valentine's Day MAGICAL this year! ✨

Skip the flowers and chocolate — give a Valentine's gift that lasts!

💝 Valentine’s Day High Tea is Coming! ❤️ Reserve your table...

Orders close soon for Valentine’s Day!

Chocolates for Valentine’s Day? 👀 You can do better…

Hi {$name}, Whiskey and valentines, who'd have thought??

PSST… Are you ready for Valentine’s Day?

One for you, one for your Valentine

Roses are SO last year... Valentine's Sale ❤️

Celebrate LOVE: Your Guide to Valentine’s Day in Times Square

❤*Free* A HOT Surprise For Valentines Day!❤

Not sure how to surprise your Valentine? 💘

Valentine’s Gift suggestions

Tell me about your perfect Valentine’s Day?

Great News {$name}! You have everything you need for Valentine's Day!!?

Our not-so-secret CRUSH and a Valentine’s dinner 💞

Valentine's Day subject lines for singles

All about (Self) Love

Hey, did you know Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples?

💗 Is...25% off and a free gift

This year be your own Valentine

Treat yourself to these Valentine’s Day favorites

You've received a love letter! 📩

Valentine’s day is a drag

20-50% OFF ? Wild Wednesday Valentines! Spoil yourself!

Self-Love Valentine’s Day Party

Valentine’s Day - Make your own Gift this Year!

{$name}, Some Amazing Reads For VALENTINE'S Day!?

Valentine's Day subject lines for families

Best Valentine's Day Activities for Kids ❤️

⏰ Last Minute Valentine's Day Ideas for the Classroom

DIY Valentines for Kids

Valentine's Day & Family Day SALE! Save 10%

💕💕 Valentine’s Day Math FREEBIE! 💕💕

5 Valentine Ideas for Children

Valentine’s Day Worksheets ❤️

Free Valentine Cards Crafts

Um, did you see this Valentine’s Day hack?

Valentine's Day subject lines that work for everyone

Coffee for Valentine's day? ❤️ ☕

*Freebies* Valentine's Day Printables

❤️ Happy Valentine's Day ... plus a freebie ❤️

Heart it? Cart it!

Hey, valentine! It’s all on sale (but not for long)

Valentine’s Day donation drive ends tomorrow!

❤️ Valentines Day Promo - 10% Off Everything ❤️

Shop in the name of love 💗

{$name} - Valentine's Day Savings

Send Love to a Lonely Orangutan

This is Not a Valentine’s Day Gift

Do You Celebrate Valentine's Day???

😎 21 Free Valentines Designs for Silhouette

Share the love. Gift inside.

Not your Typical Valentine’s Day Letter

A quick note about emojis 👉

You may have noticed that some of these subject lines use emojis, whilst others don’t 🤷 . Before using them in your Valentine’s Day newsletter, ask yourself:

  • Will this emoji resonate with my audience?

  • Does it match my brand?

  • Does it complement the subject line?

When it comes to emojis, it really depends on the image you want to portray. But if in doubt, you can A/B test your subject lines with and without emoticons, to find out which one gets the best click rates. Check out this article to read our complete guide to using emojis in subject lines

We've found that the best way to create winning newsletters is to first see what others are doing. Not to copy their ideas (no one likes a copycat!), but just to get you inspired to make your own. Here are 5 different Valentine's Day newsletters that do a great job of both design and messaging.

#1 MeUndies

Underpants subscription, anyone? We’re big fans of this email marketing campaign by MeUndies, where people can buy a Valentine’s Day gift card for a new pair of undies every month! The fonts and color scheme are clean and coherent, and the email copy is fun and clearly explains what MeUndies is all about.

MeUndies Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: MeUndies

#2 Gymshark

Anyone who is stuck on what to buy for their loved one will get instant inspiration looking at this email newsletter. It relies more on images rather than words to tell the story—which is just perfect for our short attention spans! Plus, it has an instant directory to the perfect ‘for her’ and ‘for him’ gifts, along with the Valentine’s Day gift card options for those who aren’t sure what to buy.

Gymshark Valentine's Day gift guide idea
Image credit: Gymshark

#3 Goat Story

This coffee company (named after the myth that goats discovered coffee 🐐 ) has a great Valentine’s Day email, using an eye-catching animated email GIF to stand out from the crowd. The copy is minimal and straight to the point—confirming the saying that less is more!

Goat Story Valentine's Day email example
Image credit: Goat Story (designed with MailerLite)

#4 Tony Robbins

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to promote coaching and training programs for couples. This newsletter from Tony Robbins opens with a testimonial, adding instant social proof to his marketing message. The copy is personal, listing benefits rather than features, and there’s a special discount as an extra sweetener!

Tony Robbins Valentine's Day email example
Image credit: Tony Robbins

#5 charity: water

This Valentine’s Day newsletter shares a heartfelt thank you with the nonprofit’s supporters, with a GIF showing all the things they’ve been able to achieve with their help. Remember, Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about driving conversions; it can also be about saying thank you and building relationships with your audience.

charity: water Valentine's Day email idea
Image credit: charity: water

Whether you love it or you hate it, Valentine’s Day is a golden opportunity for your email marketing campaign. Say thank you to your customers or create a coupon for the season. It’s a great time to build brand awareness—and sell the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. 

Will you send Valentine's emails? We'd love to see your ideas!

Editor's note: This article was last updated in January 2021. It has now been refreshed with new insights and examples to make your Valentine's Day emails rock!

Jonas Fischer
Jonas Fischer
I'm Jonas, Content Manager at MailerLite. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!
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