Valentine’s Day is coming up and love is in the air. Whether you’re breathing it all in or digging up your hazmat suit, you can play cupid for shoppers searching for the perfect gift to give their loved ones or themselves.
Last year, consumers spent more than $20 billion on Valentine’s Day, which means there’s plenty of opportunities to turn hearts into dollar signs in 2020. While we can’t equip you with an archery set or a pair of wings, we can give you a few tips that should have a similar effect on your customers.
Whether shoppers are brand new, returning from last year, or consistently loyal to your brand, you can take control of the customer experience by leveraging your channels such as web, mobile, and email to create relevant interactions leading up to February 14th—and beyond.
Let lifetime value (LTV) be your love language this year with these Valentine’s Day marketing ideas:
1 | Become a master of small talk
No one wants to endure a date with someone who only talks about themselves the entire time.
Similarly, your website communicates your brand and products, but it’s also a prime location to ask your customers more about themselves. That’s exactly why you should use website popups to collect information on new customers who are browsing for Valentine’s Day.
Ask if they’re shopping for a person of a certain gender, or ask if they’re looking for themselves or browsing for a gift. Once you collect this information, you can use it during email segmentation to target collections or products towards different shoppers.
You might want to put self-shoppers into a “treat yourself” flow with content that doesn’t emphasize Valentine’s Day but still highlights some of your best-selling products. For shoppers browsing for someone else, direct them to a gift guide.
Depending on your customer’s demographic, you could also create a Galentine’s Day guide suggesting the best gifts for female friendships and then add them to a flow wishing them a happy Galentine’s Day on February 13th.
If your website serves a broad audience, make a more general guide and direct them to it once they answer the questions on your popup form. If they don’t purchase within 24 hours and don’t qualify for a cart or browse abandonment flows, follow up with an email showcasing the most popular Valentine’s gifts under $100, $50, and $25.
You could also ask a question that’s more product-specific if your inventory is split between two categories. For example, once they realized most shoppers tend to exclusively buy either silver or gold jewelry, Maison Miru started asking their customers which they prefer to inform product recommendations.
Once customers selected an option, they were only shown images of the type of jewelry they selected in the following marketing emails they received.
2 | Adjust your approach if you’re ready for something serious
While small talk is great for getting to know each other, deeper conversations are really the foundation of a meaningful relationship.
To better understand your customers’ true intentions, use forms to capture additional information you can use to segment them into long-term flows that will remain relevant throughout the year.
One way to do this is by asking shoppers for their wedding date while they browse a bridal collection page. While many brands use a birthday countdown to offer special promotions around a customer’s birthday, you could implement something similar after collecting a customer’s wedding date in order to provide unique content for brides-to-be as their big day approaches.
Even after tying the knot, this data continues to be relevant if you enroll them into an anniversary flow with a yearly reminder to buy their partner a gift—because “till death do us part” is a great way to increase LTV.
Alternatively, consider implementing a quiz to gather more in-depth information about your customer or the person they’re shopping for. These properties will be invaluable as you build out flows, allowing you to get even more granular with your segmentation.
For example, a chocolate shop might ask shoppers about allergies, whereas a flower shop might ask browsers about their relationship with the giftee since an arrangement from your husband will look a lot different from the one your high school boyfriend of two months sent you.
The added value of these quizzes is that you can use the data properties you collect to ensure you’re sending targeted messages year-round. This information will be particularly useful around holidays, during sales, or leading up to significant dates your customer provides, such as birthdays or anniversaries.
3 | Sweeten the deal with a timely incentive
Some customers don’t take much convincing. They came, they saw, they bought—basically they fell in love at first sight. But others may need more of a push to convert.
Many shoppers are deterred from completing the checkout process once they realize there’s an additional cost for shipping. In fact, it’s the number one reason people abandon their online shopping carts, according to Baymard institute.
But customers may be convinced to come back if they don’t have to meet a minimum, which is good news for the future fiancé who’s saving for a ring and opting for the small box of chocolate truffles this year.
Target customers with a low average order value (AOV) or shoppers who browsed but didn’t buy products priced lower than your minimum with a promo code for free shipping, and make sure there’s enough time for them to place an order and receive it by Valentine’s Day.
On February 12th, consider sending an “It’s Not Too Late” email to engaged customers who still haven’t purchased and offer them free two-day or overnight shipping. Alternatively, you could suggest items that don’t require shipping, such as a gift card or an experience (like a vacation or concert), or promote an in-store sale.
No matter what your customers are willing to spend, you can give them the Happily Ever After they deserve.
4 | Winback your ex-customers
For customers who may have purchased last February but haven’t bought since, it’s the perfect time to put a Valentine’s Day winback series into action to re-engage them when they’re likely shopping again. It may not have worked when you last reached out to your ex, but previous customers may be more receptive.
Put lapsed customers in a winback flow leading up to Valentine’s Day. Whether they’re last-minute shoppers or they’ve been planning weeks in advance, you can send timely reminders to customers who purchased last year and even include a countdown timer to create a sense of urgency. Someone’s fiance who always forgets important dates will thank you.
Considering they likely won’t buy the same gift again and might be looking outside the product category completely, use messaging that’s thematic for Valentine’s Day but not too specific towards their purchase history—because buying your girlfriend a giant stuffed teddy bear might not go over well two years in a row.
Instead, notify lapsed customers of your sale or send a gift guide with ideas curated from multiple categories. By giving them options, you can encourage them to do some window shopping back on your site and then use that fresh data to follow up with a browse or cart abandonment email with more accurate recommendations if they don’t make a purchase.
Alternatively, you could segment past purchasers by AOV and suggest products in a similar price range. This method can apply to abandoned cart email flows, as well, since you’re more likely to convince a customer who’s browsing men’s dress shirts to buy a pair of pants instead of a gold watch.
5 | Stay loyal to committed customers
No one wants to be ghosted before Valentine’s Day, so give your VIPs first access to the best deals and sales if you’re having them.
Set up a content calendar for VIPs that includes a preview or teaser of the sale before it goes live, as well as an informational email that says when the sale will be, the duration, and what collections will be included.
Other customers might have more of a wandering eye for other brands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change their ways. Notify engaged customers once the sale goes live since they’re most likely to check it out.
On that note, it’s equally important to be able to take a hint when a customer just isn’t that into you. Exclude unengaged customers and non-opted-in contacts. Additionally, make sure you clean any lists you’re sending to and double-check segments to ensure the content will be relevant before clicking send.
Creating small, highly-segmented lists isn’t just better for open rates, it also ensures you’re giving people who want to hear from you the best experience by sending them exclusive deals and making them feel like they’re your most important customer.
From fling to the real thing
Let Valentine’s Day set the tone for the rest of the year by digging into your customer data and using it to power more personalized experiences—you may be in an open relationship with your customers, but you can still make interactions feel one to one.
Want more Valentine’s Day marketing ideas or tips to show your customers love year-round? See how brands like Maison Miru and Norman Love are creating brand enthusiasts for life.
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