Valentines Day Marketing: How to Connect with Your Customers

5 authentic ways to win hearts on a holiday that’s all about love.

An illustration featuring a person receiving a Valentine's Day card.

Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to show love and appreciation to the folks who support your business—and it can be beneficial to your bottom line, too. In 2019, Valentine's Day shoppers spent $20.7 billion in the U.S. alone, and each of the people who celebrated spent an average of $161.96 on gifts for their loved ones. This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that the totals will increase to $27.4 billion total and $196.31 spent per person.

These 5 tips will help you create personalized, eye-catching campaigns, so you can make the most of your Valentine's Day marketing.

1. Use audience data to figure out what your customers want.

Everyone wants to feel special on Valentine’s Day. Sending personalized content goes a long way in making people feel noticed.

The first step in sending a personal message is to know who your people are. Using Mailchimp as a CRM, you can take a close look at your audience and let the data we automatically collect inform your overview. We provide pre-built segments, which organize people based on information like where they live or if they have opened a campaign recently. If you have a paid account, you can use predicted demographics to speak to people based on their age and gender.

If you’ve got an e-commerce business, you can also take a look at search keywords being used across the web and figure out what people are looking for that’s in your own product inventory.

2. Take thematic photos that look professional.

This holiday evokes a lot of imagery, but Mailchimp’s Associate Art Director of Photography Lizzy Johnston recommends taking those tropes in a more creative direction.

“With Valentine's Day, it's all about emotion,” Lizzy says. “There are a lot of subtle ways to show emotion that aren’t kissing and hugging, such as a person interacting with an animal.”

If you’re trying to get great product shots, Lizzy offers some simple tricks that will make anyone’s photos look professional.

  • Less is more: use clean backgrounds and natural light.
  • Don’t clutter the image with too many props.
  • Bounce light into the image with a reflector or an 8x10 sheet of paper.
  • Use VSCO for an editing tool that’s “easy, fun, and intuitive.”

3. Surface the right products or services at the right time.

Based what you now know about your audience and including the photos you took, make the right products prominent on all of your channels.

Keep in mind that people are particularly indecisive about purchases for this holiday—abandoning 76% of retail carts. So once you’ve got your best Valentine’s Day products on wide display, turn on abandoned cart. That way, if someone places an item in their cart without buying, you have an automated way to bring them back.

4. Send the right message on social media.

All holidays generate a lot of conversations on social media. On Valentine’s Day, it behooves your business to join them.

“Being a brand that's aware of cultural moments is an indicator to your users that you're in touch with what's going on in their world,” says Jay Maldonado, our Senior Manager of Social Media. “And it's going to be trending, so there's an opportunity to potentially prospect, find new users, and get in front of them.”

Like the rest of your Valentine’s Day marketing, it’s important to be authentic on social media. Jay’s practice is to think about each social channel specifically and to brainstorm about the right message for that environment and for your brand. And when in doubt, do a little research to see what works for other businesses—what did they do last year and how do you want to differentiate your brand?

5. Make your audience feel loved and appreciated with a postcard.

Around Valentine’s Day it’s important to be an empathetic marketer. This holiday makes some people feel lonely or sad, but you can connect with your audience by being thoughtful and uplifting.

On a day when many people to receive some token of affection, send your customers a Valentine’s Day postcard. It doesn’t have to contain any over-the-top romantic notions; instead, you can simply thank them for supporting your business (and feature one of the stellar photos you took).

If you’d like to go a step further, use your postcard to invite them to an event you’re hosting or include a promo code for a special offer.