Some love it some hate it and whilst it may not be your bag, Valentine’s day is a good opportunity for small business to connect with their customers and offer something fun and engaging.

It’s been shown that some companies can double their email enquires with carefully targeted offers around Valentine’s day. So how can you jump the competition and maximise your marketing efforts during this brief one day holiday?

These strategies are easy to implement, and the best thing about them is that you can use them for different holidays and activities throughout the year.

1. Gift Guides help buyers

Help your buyers to hone down their search time by signposting products and services from your offering that might be relevant to them during the holiday period.

Fill your newsletter with hints and tips for the perfect valentine’s gift for their partner. This will prevent visitors from wandering around on your website and perhaps drifting off to the competition.

Encourage your visitors to create wish list so they can point their significant other to your site and buy the perfect gift easily.

2. Build Trust

Buyers are often sceptical, particularly if they are not familiar with your brand or business.  They can be nervous to click “buy now” buttons because they are wary that the service will not be delivered on time, or to a high standard.

This is especially true around holiday periods when the service or gift needs to be delivered in a time sensitive manner.

To combat buyer nervousness, include reviews or testimonials on our site and in your marketing campaigns to reassure new customers that you deliver when promised.

3. Entice your readers with tantalising subject lines.

We all suffer from crowded inboxes, so stand out by making your subject line irresistible.
Include words like “perfect” “ideal” “expires” “limited” “only” “left”.

Also use appropriate words for the holiday, in this case “love” “care” “Show them you love them”.

All these phrases create a sense of urgency whilst demonstrating you have something amazing to offer.

4. Audience is key

Think about segmenting your marketing list by men and women and adapt your message for each group.  A targeted message is much more likely to get results.

For example the subject heading for the male newsletter might be more urgent “look no further we have the perfect last min V-day gift for your partner.” Whereas the female list might be a bit softer “Make V-day special this year, add your perfect gift to our wish list.”

5. Stories sell

We all love fancy graphics and pretty designs, but stories tug on the heartstrings and get buyers emotionally invested in your business.

The secret it to make the buyer feel like you are talking directly to them. Share why you do what you do.

Help them to visualise the experience and feel the benefits.

For example, if you are offering beauty treatments you could say “Give your loved one that extra special feeling of being pampered this Valentines day. Our massage package will help that special someone in your like ease away all the tension of everyday life.”

6. Find love everywhere.

You might not feel like your product or service can capitalise on the holidays like Valentine’s day but you’d be surprised how a well worded newsletter can make any business relevant at this time of year.

Valentines is a great opportunity to talk to your customers and remind them you are around.  It’s great to generate sales but sometimes a newsletter’s job is just to nudge the customer and not let them forget about you.  Give your customers a bit of value and make them feel loved.

Look around at your competitors for ideas of how you can make the most of the holiday’s. Think creatively and use it as an opportunity to be funny.

If tool companies can make the most of Valentine’s day so can you!

Screwfix valentines

7. Gift cards and vouchers are quick wins.

Sometimes it can be tricky to buy the perfect gift for a loved one.

This is where gift cards and vouchers are a great option for those who find gift buying hard. Promote these in your newsletter, make them easy to buy and redeem and make the customer feel like this is an easy win for them.

You can offer to send a beautifully packaged gift card out to your clients to make them feel like they are handing over more than just an email code. This is a great way to stop losing browsers  to your competitors.

8. Care about the customer

Valentine’s day is all about the love, so use this holiday as opportunity to tell your customers how much you love them.

Promote free add-ons with every purchase (gift wrapping or a free chocolate), allow customers to add personal messages to their purchases, give promotional codes that last for the month of February, offer free shipping costs.

By offering something to your existing customers is a great way to make them feel the love and generate customer loyalty. They may not buy from you today, but you’ll be at the top of the list when they next need to make that important purchase.

9. Design a one-of-a-kind email template.

Valentine’s day like many holidays has a distinct theme, so use it to make your newsletters immediately relevant.

Choose the right colours and images to tell your customer what this newsletter might be able.

Sticking to your normal layout, template and brand guidelines will allow the customer to identify who the newsletter is from even if you have changed the standard colour theme and added some hearts and flowers.

10. Think of different ways to celebrate.

Don’t forget to talk to those people that might not be celebrating or even might actively dislike that particular holiday.

On Valentine’s day for example you could offer an amusing gift or promotional code for those that are single.

Offer your customers the opportunity to buy something for themselves  “It’s not just about the perfect partner, treat yourself this Valentine’s day…” Do this in a fun way and you will make all of your customers feel included during the holiday period.

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