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Quick wins for your Valentine’s Day email marketing

· 17 min read · Email marketing · Jan 19, 2023
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 hit $23.9 billion in the US alone. 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…

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

Valentine’s Day subject lines for couples

Better Than Roses ❤️(Nike)

When wine is their love language (Winc)

Make your night a little more special (Avaline)

A gift that says "I love you from head to toe" (Fulton)

Who goes out on V-Day without a reservation? (Yelp)

Show your love with a little gift 💝(MacPaw)

Put your love in a box and send it (Jeni’s)

Gifts they’ll love, for everything they love. (Apple)

Where to Spend Valentine’s Day (Resy)

One for You, One for Your Valentine (EmailMonks)

Valentine's Day subject lines for singles

Gussi Galentine's Gift (Gussi)

Better than chocolates (Onsen)

you call the shots this valentine’s day 👸🏼(hers)

No flowers, but alllll of the chocolate (Starbucks)

A Valentine, from you to you (Harry’s)

💞 Happy Gal-entine’s Day (Roadshow Film)

Be ours? ❤️ (Ritual Co)

Get yourself a perfect gift for this Valentine's Day!❤️🎁(Villa Market)

Valentine's Day subject lines for children

Best Valentine's Day Activities for Kids ❤️
⏰ Last Minute Valentine's Day Ideas for the Classroom

DIY Valentines for Kids

💕💕 Valentine’s Day Math FREEBIE! 💕💕

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

Valentine's Day subject lines that work for everyone

Heart it? Cart it!

Valentine’s Day donation drive ends tomorrow!

Shop in the name of love 💗

{$name} - Valentine's Day Savings

Send Love to a Lonely Orangutan

Not your Typical Valentine’s Day Letter

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.

A quick note about emojis 👉

When it comes to whether or not you should use emojis, it really depends on the image you want to portray. 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.

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 9 hacks to get the most out of your Valentine’s Day emails this year.

The biggest Valentine’s Day spenders of 2022 were consumers aged 34-35, closely followed by the 25-34 year-olds. 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 the reader's 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 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

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)

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 Winc, offering a Valentine’s Day discount code for gift cards—the perfect last-minute present. 

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

Email signatures are the brief, personalized messages at the end of your newsletters (usually comprised of a picture, a sign-off, your signature and some contact information). Spreading the love all the way down to your email signature is as easy as adding themed imagery to your profile picture and personalizing the email sign-off.

In this example, Jane ties the newsletter theme into her profile picture and finishes the email with a Happy Valentine’s Day email signature.

Valentine's Day email signature example
Image credit: MailerLite

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 Harry’s

If you’re looking for a light-hearted way to promote your offers directly to the reader—but your products/services don’t exactly translate into a V-day gift—you'll get instant inspiration from this email newsletter. 

Since Harry’s offers skincare products for men, the majority of their subscribers are end consumers. So they use their comedic copywriting skills to make their offer directly to their subscribers.

Harry's Valentine's day email example for men
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. It’s a great time to build brand awareness—and sell the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Say thank you to your customers or create a coupon for the season.

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

Editor's note: This article was last updated in January 2023. It's 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!