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I have quite a few Valentine’s Days behind me, but the one I have the fondest memories of is when I was 13 years old.
February 14 was the day my parents yielded to peer pressure and bought a microwave oven, first ever in our household. To celebrate this purchase, I invited friends over to watch rom-coms (remember The Notebook?) and feast on microwaved delicacies.
This day had nothing to do with kisses and crushes, but love was in the air—and it smelled like buttery popcorn.
Fast forward to 2023, spending this holiday the way we did back then has become quite common, with the focus on online togetherness. In fact, February 14 is as inclusive as ever and celebrates all forms of love: romantic, platonic, and self-love.
For business owners, this development opens new possibilities for products and designs way beyond heart-shaped candies and teddy bears.
While flowers and chocolates still remain high on gift shoppers lists, consumers are looking for new ways to celebrate this day, and not just with their significant others, but also with family, friends, co-workers, and pets.
This shift is caused by a more socially conscious and influential younger generation. And they’re the ones in charge: younger millennials, ages 23–29, are the most likely generation to splash out on Valentine’s since they make up the majority of singles looking for love or couples settling down. Gen X is a close second when it comes to spending money on their loved ones, followed by the baby boomer generation.
Gen Z and millennials, however, aren’t as interested in over-the-top romantic content. They’re celebrating Valentine’s Day for the fun of it and aren’t interested in over-hyping their plans.
That said, 50% of 13–36-year-olds still keep an eye out for Valentine-themed sales and promotions, so you shouldn’t be afraid to lean into the holiday. It just needs to be done in a way that highlights all the meaningful relationships people may have.
Here are Valentine’s Day marketing ideas that will help you ride the wave of this well-established holiday and target your audience in a fun and memorable way.
Romantic love is what started it, but the key to a successful Valentine’s Day marketing campaign is thinking non-romantically as well. For example:
Once you’ve established who you want to target, it’s time to tweak your store.
This holiday is the time to get creative with your product catalog. Your competitors also want to take advantage of increased ecommerce sales in February, so here’s what you can do to prepare your store and marketing strategy:
If you’re wondering what to sell for Valentine’s Day, matching t-shirts, customized jewelry, throw blankets, and loungewear sets are the perfect candidates.
Check out Printful’s Product Customization Tool which allows customers to make a product design on their own!
The highest open rates come from subject lines that create urgency. Remind the customers of your delivery times and nudge them to start their Valentine’s shopping as soon as possible.
You should promote your offer not just through email, but your other brand marketing channels as well. Use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to have some fun and interact with your audience through your social media platforms.
Let your visitors and customers get in on the fun through user-generated content:
Include hashtags to widen your reach, but don’t use them haphazardly—they should be an organic part of your #question.
While most retailers still focus on people buying Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones, many brands recognize the opportunity to approach a wider audience and make their Valentine’s Day offerings about pampering and “me time.”
Valentine’s Day is also a good time to give back and show a little love to the world outside your circle.
Showing your playful side will remind your customers that behind your brand there are real humans with a sense of humor and that’s always heart-warming. Take a cue from Google, and have some fun with your logo!
Source: Google Doodles
Everyone shows affection differently, and not all people who celebrate Valentine’s Day are into the lovey-dovey stuff. If it’s in line with your brand, you can create a niche that caters to those with a darker sense of humor.
Anti-Valentine’s Day gifts are also a thing. There are many people who like to show their stance against their perceived commercialization and unrealistic expectations of this holiday. Why not let them have some fun as well?
Slogan t-shirts never go out of style. When it comes to anti-Valentine’s designs, be sarcastic, but don’t be mean.
As you can see, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have any limits—the celebrations can take the form of a fancy date, a movie night with friends, or much-needed “me-time.” Think about how your target audience feels about this day, and tweak your campaigns to suit their taste.
So go out there and make something fun, silly, sweet, or extraordinary—and tell me in the comments how it goes!
This article was originally published in January 2020; it has since been updated.
Madara is a content marketer for the Printful Blog. Her background in linguistics and belief in the power of SEO come in handy when she’s creating content that inspires ecommerce store owners and helps them grow their business.
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