I’m a sucker when it comes to Valentine’s Day … even more so now that I’m a newlywed! But you don’t have to be coupled to celebrate the day.

This holiday has a little something for every type of retailer. It’s all about how you pitch it. I’ve seen anti-Valentine’s Day parodies that encourage singles to celebrate themselves. Some even go as far as celebrating their pets (guilty)! In this Millennial Age, where one could argue that technology often replaces organic relationships, the opportunities for marketers are endless.

Here are some easy-peasy tips and reminders for making your Valentine’s Day email marketing successful:

Target a Variety of Gift Recipients

You can always run your traditional campaigns geared toward shoppers who plan to buy for a significant other, but don’t miss out on the potential revenue from shoppers who have others in mind. Consider introducing promotions featuring gifts for a child or a friend or opportunities to treat oneself. Just be sure you have reliable data on your segments to support your message.

In the example below, C Wonder does a great job making their recipient feel included and special by encouraging her to treat herself with their products. It’s a win-win situation because it’s relevant and timely for the recipient and promotes engagement and potential revenue for the retailer. Quick tip: go personal with your subject line and address your engaged recipients by name, e.g. “To: {recipient}, Love: {company name}.” C Wonder Valentine's campaign

Link to Videos and Social Media

An excellent social presence is so important to the growth of your brand. Imagery and strong calls-to-action are necessary for your campaigns to be effective. It’s all about getting your followers to like and share posts in the hopes of acquiring new brand ambassadors and loyalists, right? Think about what you can do to stand out from the competition and encourage those early adopters to spread the word to your prospects. You might even add a little humor and wit.

In this example, Oasis encourages social sharing by driving their recipients to their social outlets using a branded hash tag, a very simple and effective engagement tool. They also call out their Facebook account, specifically encouraging their subscribers to share Oasis-branded love notes within their social network. This approach not only sustains their current customers’ interest but has the potential to lead new prospects to their website. Consider building an opt-in form on Facebook or sharing a post to link them back to the sign-up form on your site.

Oasis Valentine's campaign

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Yes, we see holiday advertisements and promotions much earlier every year. But the fact is, the longer you wait, the less revenue you could make. Don’t be afraid to get a jumpstart, especially if you’re in the travel industry or restaurant business, where the buying cycle is typically longer than others and requires advanced planning.

Open Table does a great job of reminding their subscribers to book their dinner reservations in advance so they don’t miss out. Sense of urgency is important here, as is standing out from other competitors in the inbox.

Open Table Valentine's campaign

Automation Is Your Valentine

If you’re not doing so already, consider implementing an automated gift reminder message or series of messages to remind subscribers to shop for the occasion. You could simply set up a message to deploy 2-3 weeks before February 14 and then another at 1-2 weeks out. Or you could segment and target singles and couples based on relationship status. Just be sure the data you have on your segments is reliable to support your message. Because it's so highly targeted, you may see much higher engagement and revenue per email than a batch-and-blast message. The biggest benefit of automation is once the message and workflows are created, it all but runs itself, ultimately freeing up your time to focus on other marketing tactics!

Still stumped? Need more inspiration? Take a look at some additional last-minute ideas that could help your business feel the love this Valentine’s Day.