U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of $143.56 on Valentine’s Day, an increase from last year’s $136.57, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year.

Now that’s huge. From being criticized as a marketing gimmick to being celebrated in the remembrance of St. Valentine, a Roman priest, this day is as much loved as it is condemned.

But for brands and marketers that cash on to it, it is amongst one of the best days for sales. From an apparel to a jewelry brand to a cafe, every company tries to entice its customers with something “special”. Here are some tips to help you win your customers’ hearts and encourage repeat business this February.

1. Send a newsletter with an enticing Valentine offer or contest

Email works like a charm. It’s one of the most effective way to communicate with your potential customers and subscribers.

Here is an example of PVR Cinemas’ ongoing email campaign for Valentine Day, that makes it noticeable. The company, as a practice sends a mid-week emailer informing people about new movies. However, this week, to leverage Valentine’s Day, the design of the emailer changed from a regular white background to hearts. The mailer offers the details of a promotion that offers lucky couples a chance to win free gold class seat, by just watching any movie at PVR Cinemas between 2nd Feb and 12th Feb. With the ticket the couple has to buy the special valentine combo to be eligible for the contest. To increase engagement further, the rule states to click a selfie with the Valentine Combo at PVR Cinemas and post it on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat tagging PVR Cinemas using #lovebloomsatpvr.
The campaign has all the right ingredients of increasing the sale as well as, engagement of its customers.

2. Become the shopping guru of customer

Valentine Day is a time when everyone wants to do the best for their loved one. Be it gifts or a bouquet of flowers, it has to surprise the loved one. Hence, as marketers instead of letting your customers think, become their think tank and recommend the gifts that will woo their partners.
For that, create a different ‘gift guide’ for ‘him & her’ with multiple options. The segregation can be based on the price or categories or the most popular things people order (basis your internal research). The retailer’s guide makes it easy for shoppers to zero in on the perfect present. Just make sure that the guide should be well-organized and designed in accordance with the Valentine Day theme. For inspiration, check out Macy’s website; they have captured the spirit of Valentine Day quite well.

3. Transform the Mobile Push Notifications To Push out February Offers

Mobile apps have made interaction with customers so easy, one click and boom the app opens. From understanding customer behaviour, pattern and loyalty, an app makes it all easy. on Valentine’s Day, adapt your push notifications before the D-day or even a week when the teddy, chocolate etc. days come into play.

If you already are following the unwritten rules of not sending untimely notifications and annoying customers, then this Valentine’s month gives you a good excuse to send some messages. But, be aware of suddenly sending out more than usual notifications. All you need to do is play along your push notifications timings and modify the wording of your regular message to a thematic one. Also, highlight the special offers or products in the message and share a link to capture impulsive buyers who can avail the offers. Restaurants could send customers special offers or make a Valentine’s Day reservation, florists could announce special times for Valentine’s Day deliveries, and ecommerce stores could send a link to their Valentine’s Day gift guide.

4. Run a limited period Valentine’s Day Themed Campaign

Valentine’s Day is about couples. Therefore, running a limited time period campaigns or offers around two usually ends up garnering attention and, thereby, more businesses during Valentine Day. So if your company has a product that can be sold or given as “buy one, get one free” deal, then you have a winner up your sleeve even before you think of a campaign.
Here is an example of a successful campaign by Burger King (France) on Valentine’s Day. The fast food giant, played around the unspoken truth of “what’s mine is yours” rule of a couple. The bulls eye was when they made the normal act of sharing a drink romantic. Yes, a campaign around drinking a soft beverage.
Burger King came up with a never ever seen before new lid for its soft drink cups specifically for Valentine’s Day. The uniquely designed Valentine lid allowed the couples to use two straws in one drink in order to share it. Now, tweaking a product to fit into the theme, is one of the smartest campaign that a company can come up with and Burger King surely did that.

5. Don’t Forget the Forever Singles

We do understand that Valentine Day is all about couples and every promotion or campaign are designed keeping them at the centre. But then as a brand your customers are a mix, couples, single by choice, and others by chance. So, to give importance to one over the other seems unfair. Therefore, as a brand, make even the singles feel special and loved by devising the Valentine’s Day strategy for them too. Simple things like self-pampering packages for singles (in day spas and salons), or hosting a singles mix-up at a restaurant can make your single customers feel important and thus, giving you their loyalty in return. Also, running a campaign like ‘why being a single is better than a couple’, ‘singles by choice’ etc. on social networking websites can also keep your single customers happy and engaged.

Valentine Day is the one time of the year when people like to spend and make everything special and unique. Irrespective of the size of business, every company can leverage this day from the above simple hacks that are not necessarily expensive but still impactful. Many of these marketing approaches can be used for other festive occasions. So, get ready for your next holiday campaign.

If you have run any interesting holiday campaigns, let us know in the comments below.