Win your customer’s hearts and dollars this Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air. While consumers are fervently trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions, forward-thinking marketers know that when gyms are at their busiest, it’s time to plot Valentine’s Day ecommerce campaigns. In 2023, in the U.S. alone, retail sales for Valentine’s topped a staggering $26BN – an 8% uplift on the previous year. Despite inflationary pressures and stretched household budgets, spending is forecast to increase again in 2024.
With inflation not dampening consumers’ appetites to celebrate their love, it’s great news for retailers, particularly those that sell jewelry, flowers, chocolates or experiences. The key is leveraging a range of marketing tactics to be top-of-mind for when your customer decides they’re ready to purchase. The modern consumer distractedly hopscotch between multiple tabs on various channels, but with the right strategy you’ll be sure to win hearts and dollars this Valentine’s Day.
Early preparation the key to capturing both organized and last-minute shoppers
Valentine’s Day requires a well-timed marketing plan to win the hearts of consumers. Initiating your marketing activities in early January provides a strategic advantage that accommodates both early planners and last-minute shoppers, and ensures your brand is front-and-center in the entire build-up to Valentine’s Day.
With every retailer competing for attention it can be tough to rise above the noise, so starting early establishes a strong presence from the outset. Simultaneously, catering to last-minute shoppers, who become more active in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, puts your brand top-of-mind during their decision-making process and lends ot increased ecommerce revenue.
Wunderkind data has found that the first notable uptick in Valentine’s-related conversions starts about three weeks ahead of the big day, so launching your Valentine’s Day campaign in the second-half of January avoids the new year promotional clutter and engages consumers at a time when anticipation for Valentine’s Day is gaining momentum.
Buying of course is merely the end of the purchasing process. The initial pushes along the sales funnel should be happening in the weeks prior.
Valentine’s Day email best practice
When it comes to driving sales, email has always been one of the most effective channels, especially considering its ability for the hyper-personalization of content and offers that consumers demand. Here are some tips to make sure your email marketing efforts are driving value and converting.
Your value proposition
Make your customers aware of your Valentine’s Day offerings early. Specific products, deals and why they should purchase from you. Giving recipients the option to opt out of Valentine’s marketing is a great way of fostering better brand / consumer relationships and not bombarding them with irrelevant content.
Create a gift guide
This is an easy win for highlighting your Valentine’s specific products and can also be divided into gifting categories such as ‘For her,’ ‘For him,’ ‘For Pet.’
Upsell in the confirmation email
You’ll be sending a confirmation email anyway, so why not take the opportunity to encourage additional sales. Chocolate is a great accompaniment for flowers, and if they’ve purchased a necklace, perhaps there’s matching earrings, and so on. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Don’t forget about single people
Well over a third of U.S. adults are not married or cohabiting – that’s a lot of consumers not interested in love heart-shaped chocolate, but could still be wooed into purchasing something with the right messaging. Do something a little different and promote products and offers to those singletons and give them an excuse to treat themselves.
Say “I love you”
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to tell your customers that you love them. A thank you email, coupled with an ecommerce discount code or bespoke offer, is something that most people would appreciate.
The last-minute reminder
The path of true love never did run smooth. But you can help things by giving consumers last shipping days, offers and options. This is an opportune time to sell experiences or gift cards that don’t need to be delivered physically.
Valentine’s Day text best practice
Real-time engagement is the prerequisite expectation of modern consumers and the immediacy of SMS can fulfill this need. In today’s digital and interconnected world, SMS gives retailers the opportunity to deliver time-sensitive offers and deliver real-time engagement at scale.
Don’t merely mimic your email
Rather than just mirror email campaigns, use SMS as a followup to reinforce the message a day before an offer expires, serving as a time sensitive reminder.
Offer something different and shout about it by text
Valentine’s Day is about all kinds of love. Offer experiences to be shared, gifts for best-friends (Galentines), family, kids or pets.
The one-stop shop
Convenience is something that everyone appreciates, particularly those last-minute shoppers. If your campaign promises to provide the ideal gift, on-time and at the right price, you’ll win the hearts of your customers. Leverage SMS for real-time updates, keep customers informed and to provide tracking information.
Leverage the power of urgency
Nudge customers along the purchasing path by announcing any flash sales or limited-time deals through SMS. You could include a countdown in the message to emphasize the urgency and drive quick decision-making.
Identity is the differentiator
Last year, Wunderkind recognized over 9 billion consumer devices (roughly double the amount of active global consumers). Without getting too heavy into big numbers, this equates to trillions of browsing events across billions of devices. Our data, along with 13 years of creating best practices, is what drives over $5B annually for our clients, hence these suggestions in this blog.
What makes marketers fall in love during Valentine’s Day activity is to convert as much traffic into sales as possible. But the journey can take time. Getting that special person the perfect gift takes some consideration, and as with all purchases, brands see far more visitors browse and bounce than purchase on every visit.
Many brands will chase those visitors around the web with remarketing ads, trying to stay top-of-mind, tempting them back to their website for the opportune time when they’re ready to purchase. 2024 has Google committed to finally curtailing third-party tracking cookies, and the ROAS with display ads will make that route tougher this year.
Identity resolution, and the ability to use it to intelligently trigger the best offer in real-time to a given visitor across multiple channels, is the key to not only scaling revenue but delivering guaranteed revenue-as-a-service on your owned properties. This is what drives brand performance without relying on antiquated third-party tracking cookies or generic, poor-yielding paid ads. Wunderkind is the only solution that guarantees a lift in revenue powered by our unique ID graph and customer data, along with our best practices and white glove service. In fact, Wolverine Worldwide netted a 300% increase in abandoned cart email revenue when moving from Bluecore to Wunderkind’s identity and triggered email solutions. That equates to nearly 20% of their email revenue alone! Here’s a 37 second video explaining those incredible results.
Begin early, personalize, be creative, and provide a lifeline for the stragglers. Appeal to as many people as you can and do as much of the legwork as possible. Provide gifts or experiences that are thoughtful and romantic, but can be purchased with just the click of a button.
Email and SMS marketing is a crucial tool for connecting directly with consumers, without the escalating costs of advertising. What is essential is creating campaigns that resonate with your customers and encourage them along the sales process to ultimately convert. Create an emotional connection with your consumers, provide them with offers they can’t turn down, and go above and beyond to deliver on promises.
And remember what works, or doesn’t work can also be applied to Mother’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond.