Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas8 min readTips and resourcesJanuary 16, 2020

Quick wins for your Valentine’s Day email marketing

Quick wins for your Valentine’s Day email marketing

Do you remember the feeling of excitement in grade school when all the kids exchanged Valentine’s cards? Why not keep that spirit alive in your emails!

Valentine’s Day is about love, but it doesn’t have to be the kissy-kissy kind of love. It’s also the perfect time to express your gratitude to customers with a thoughtful email that strengthens your relationship.

Any type of business including nonprofits and B2B companies can benefit from the spirit of this loving holiday.

And of course, Valentine’s Day is also a mega retail event with spending estimated to surpass $20 billion in the U.S. alone. It’s the second-largest shopping event after Black Friday.

How do you seize the opportunities of Valentine’s Day? Here are our favorite email marketing ideas, tips and examples to kick start your first-holiday email campaign of 2020!

Did you know men outspend women by more than double during this holiday of love? According to the National Retail Federation, men spend on average $229 while women spend $97. This is the kind of insight you can use to segment your email list and tailor your messaging. 

Write a separate email for men and women so you can speak directly to their unique needs. Create a sense of urgency and stress the benefits of getting things done NOW. Most men will want to put as little effort into shopping as possible, so make it easy for them by offering tailored recommendations and quick delivery options.

You can also try segmenting your list by age, geography and interests. Whatever will help you target your audience in the smartest way.

The email below from Swank targets men with a special offer and includes a link to a gift guide for more ideas.

swank valentines day email newsletter envelope - MailerLite

One way to catch your readers’ attention is to tell or promote stories. Everyone loves a good love story! You can also craft a story about friendship, gratitude, 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.

This way, you’ll draw your recipient in and will hopefully get them to react.

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.) after Valentine’s. It’s a simple, but effective way for you to connect with your audience and get more attention for your business.

Take a look at Better Together’s email where they share the stories of couples and friends.

better together valentines day email pink couples - MailerLite

Have fun with your emails by making them more interactive with an embedded survey, video or game. 

Email marketing is no longer a one-way conversation. Give readers an experience to remember. Try creating a love quiz or a custom HTML newsletter to make something truly special.

Below, Email Monks gives readers a solution to the ever-old question (please read in an Al Green voice) “How can you mend a broken heart?”

emailmonks interactive email valentines day - MailerLite

Let’s be honest. If you’re not in a relationship, Valentine’s Day could be a day you’d much rather skip all together. Instead of beating people over the head with romantic gestures, another approach is to encourage people to treat themselves.  

For e-commerce businesses, you can include special offers to shining singles as well as couples. Offer gift ideas for friends, family members and for people 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
  • 13% buy gifts for coworkers
  • 15% of women send themselves flowers
  • 20% buy something for their pets
single people valentines day email newsletter - MailerLite

If you read our 2020 email marketing trends, you’d know all about how email is becoming a customer acquisition channel. Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to expand your audience.

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

Here are 2 examples that leverage Valentine’s Day nicely. Ritual sent out a personalized campaign that reflects on the relationship between them and their subscriber.

ritual's valentines email share the love - 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 valentines day referral newsletter heart - MailerLite

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 Valentine’s Day email series to your best customers. 

In the newsletter below, Birchbox reminds customers that there are only a few days left to buy gifts. 

retargeting ecommerce valentines day

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 help guide you.

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

Here are a few Valentine's subject line examples from some of our customers that resulted in high open rates.

Subject line examples
  • Valentine's Gift Suggestions
  • {$name}, Some Amazing Reads For VALENTINE'S Day!?
  • Tell me about your perfect Valentine's Day ?
  • ❤*Free* A HOT Surprise For Valentines Day!❤
  • Need some help this Valentine’s? 5 perfect gifts for her
  • Great News {$name}! You have everything you need for Valentine's Day!!?
  • Share the love. Gift inside.
  • Treat yourself to these Valentine’s Day favorites
  • Valentine’s Day donation drive ends tomorrow!

Here’s a link to a bunch of subject line examples for further inspiration! 

We've found that the best way to create winning newsletters is to first see what others are doing. Not to copy their ideas, but to get inspired and make your own. Here are a few Valentine's Day newsletters that do a great job of both design and messaging.

Charity: Water

charity water valentines newsletter heart - MailerLite

American Apparel

american apparel newsletter valentines gift guide - MailerLite


equa valentines day newsletter water bottle gifts - MailerLite


chickabug colorful valentines day newsletter

This Savory Vegan

This Savory Vegan valentines newsletter with pasta recipes - MailerLite

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

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!