Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to increase engagement with both new and existing customers by using holiday promotions that get everyone in the mood.

Valentine’s Day is a time for connection, whether it is between romantic partners, friends, families, or businesses and their consumers. There is more than enough love to go around this holiday season and our Valentine’s Day promotion ideas will help bring some of that love to your business.

Valentine’s Day sales and promotion ideas

Excite your customers by offering more than your average bouquet of roses.

1. Themed bundles with existing products 

Fountain created the perfect VDay date night gift box with products that they already sell.

Fountain created the perfect VDay date night gift box with products that they already sell

By combining products already offered and adding festive, holiday-themed packaging, you can create a simple and effective Valentine’s Day promotion in a flash. Adding a discounted price to the bundle is a surefire way to get your customer’s attention. 

2. Free or expedited shipping by Valentine’s Day

Free shiping valentines day

3.  Create Valentine’s Day gift lists 

Free or expedited shipping by Valentine’s Day

E-commerce sites, such as Ulta, make shopping for Valentine’s Day easy by creating a VDay gift section on their site. This is an easy promotion idea that doesn’t specifically require themed products. By simply adding Valentine’s Day-themed colors and content to the suggested gift list, businesses can utilize Valentine’s Day buzz to generate sales.

1. Learn to speak your customers’ love language.

Love in the time of COVID-19

Let’s face it, the pandemic has changed the way people celebrate and many are still choosing to stay at home as much as possible. Focusing on how Valentine’s Day has changed is a way to stay relevant. Hulu’s ad stays away from the traditional and in doing so speaks to a wider audience. 

Love in the time of COVID-19

2. Celebrate self-love

While many businesses use Valentine’s Day as a chance to advertise romantic love, this can be alienating to customers who are single. However, the self-love movement is on the rise and VDay is definitely a chance to celebrate.

Companies like Fred and Far are showing their customers that there are no prerequisites when it comes to treating themselves. Why wait for a marriage proposal to wear a diamond ring when you can buy one for yourself? 

The self-love angle is a way to re-frame everyday shopping and give customers a reason to celebrate themselves. Whether your products are more on the romantic side or unrelated, your customers will appreciate the justification.

Fred and Far are showing customers how to treat themselves with a diamond ring

3. Real love with real people

Pandora launched a video campaign featuring real people sharing what Valentine’s Day means to them.

This kind of advertising campaign puts focus on the customer rather than the product. A campaign like this one appeals to the consumer’s emotional side. This intimate look into real people creates an authentic sense of connection between the business and its customers. 

Rather than pushing the product, emotional campaigns tug on the customer’s heartstrings which tie a familiar loving feeling to your brand and make people feel connected on a more personal level.

Valentine’s Day social media campaigns

Connection is something that brings us all together, especially on the day of love.

1. Spice things up with social media contests and polls 

Companies often use social media to post holiday-related content. Using social media to launch contests with VDay prizes is an excellent way to increase engagement around these posts. You don’t need to sell flowers or lingerie to participate. Dunkin Donuts featured a VDay trivia contest on their Instagram stories, the winner of which received a secret promo code for a free drink.

launched a video campaign featuring real people sharing what Valentine’s Day means to them

2. Valentine’s Day giveaways 

Giveaways on social media are a win-win for both the customer and the business. The user-generated content from these campaigns is free advertisement and people are more likely to trust a product if it is being promoted by someone they know, creating opportunities for new and existing customer engagement.  

Ask your customers to like and share a post of yours, or create a campaign in which they post their own photos and tag your company. The giveaway should include something valuable to the customer, incentivizing participation. Even if your product is not Valentine’s Day themes, you can put a romantic spin on the copy to make it relevant for the holiday.

Spice things up with social media contests and polls

3. Use hashtags to spread the love

Hashtags are used across all social media platforms to enable users to explore and discover pages that share their interests. Incorporating your product into a VDay-themed post and adding hashtags as Amazon did below, will inspire customers to use your products in new ways for the holiday. This is a great example of a seemingly unromantic product being used in a romantic way. 

Increase engagement by asking your followers to participate in the campaign. You can encourage them to share similar posts and add a common hashtag. This way customers feel like they are part of the conversation while creating user-generated content and increasing exposure to countless potential customers.

Valentine’s Day giveaways on social media

Valentine’s Day email marketing ideas

Who doesn’t want to receive a love letter on Valentine’s Day? Making your customers feel valued around VDay can be as simple as sending them an email to let them know they are on your mind.

Increase engagement by asking your followers to participate in the campaign

1. Send a Valentine’s Day reminder

Utilize your email lists to send Valentine’s Day nudge a couple of weeks before the big day. Change up the layout and copy to fit the holiday spirit. This email should include different gift ideas available on your site, removing friction and making gift buying as smooth as possible.

Valentine’s Day emails can be sent out again right before the holiday, urging last-minute shoppers to make their purchases before it is too late. Be sure to change up the format of each email according to how much time is left before the holiday.

On February 14th you can send a final email wishing your customers a happy holiday. A simple message will show customers that you value them and want them to feel special.

Utilize your email lists to send a Valentine’s Day nudge

2. Test out enticing subject lines

Come up with a few different ideas for subject lines and A/B test them when sending out your Valentine’s Day emails. A good subject line will catch your customers’ eye and get them interested in what you have to offer.

If you are offering any special discounts, it is a good idea to put this information in the subject line. You shouldn’t feel the need to stick to the traditional hearts and roses, funny subject lines will set you apart. 

When sending your Valentine’s Day reminder emails, you should try different subject lines and see which one your customers are most responsive to. This way, when you send follow-up emails you will know which direction to go in.

When sending your Valentine’s Day reminder emails

3. Make your customers feel valued by throwing in a gift

Opening up an email from a brand you love only to find they are offering a gift with your purchase is exciting and incentivizing. If your product is not romance-related, don’t worry! This time you are the one showing your customer love. Limited-time offers around Valentine’s Day will encourage your customers to shop now while the gift is still being offered. 

Benefit got into the loving spirit with their promotional email by throwing in a gift with any $50 order. Customers are more likely to spend at least $50 with the knowledge that they will be getting something in return. 

If you are feeling especially generous, you can give your customers a gift without them having to purchase anything. This could be a limited-time promo code offering a percentage off any purchase. Remember, it’s the little things that matter.

Make your customers feel valued by throwing in a gift

Make Valentine’s Day a heartwarming experience

Material things are temporary but loving memories last a lifetime.

1. Give yourself a sexy makeover

Making a quality product is only one aspect of running a business. Customer experience is equally as important. Creating the right vibe can be all that it takes to upgrade this experience around Valentine’s Day.

White Castle started Valentine’s Day tradition in the 90s of decorating their restaurants and taking special date reservations for the holiday. This seems like a simple idea, but there is a reason it became so popular. Customers were so pleased with these little changes because they allowed them to form memories with the ones they love. 

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or an eCommerce platform, creating a memorable experience for your customers can be as simple as a few aesthetic changes. You don’t need to be face to face to create an interactive experience for your customers. There are numerous ways to tweak your site and make it memorable for your customers.

Try something new for VDay

2. Create bonding experiences for your customers

People often prefer to experience something with the ones they love, rather than giving material gifts. Even if your company does not usually fit into the ‘experiences’ category, offering a limited-time holiday activity allows your customers to build fond memories around your brand. 

Collaborating with a like-minded company could be a good way to join forces to make this possible, like Williams Sonoma and Bake From Scratch did here. Collaborations also increase exposure and allow for customer crossover between you and whoever you partner with.

Create bonding experiences for your customers

3. Valentine’s Day emails with a twist

When sending out your Valentine’s Day emails, consider including something that will add a little extra oomph. Allowing your customers to go from passive readers to active participants adds a fun activity element to your emails. Customers are more likely to engage with content that asks them to engage!

One example is an email Frank Body sent out which included the option to send a love letter to anyone for free. Another idea could be sending a Valentine’s template that customers can print out and color in with their children.

Valentine’s Day emails with a twist

Get experimental this Valentine’s Day

Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day, try something new to appeal to this audience.

1. Take the humorous route

Valentine’s Day advertisements can feel a little intense, especially if you’re not a hopeless romantic. While there is no harm in taking the traditional route, funny and sarcastic ads shake things up and set you apart from all the pink text and hearts. 

Here, Twitter implemented user-generated content for their Valentine’s Day ads. This is a wonderful use of user-generated content and is more effective than if they had posted lovey-dovey tweets. Remember that not everyone is lucky in love and sometimes customers need a good laugh to get in the holiday spirit.

Twitter not only uses online advertisements but physical ads as well. If you can afford to do so, advertising on and offline is something to consider.

Take the humorous route

2. Appeal to the pet lovers

Today, buying Valentine’s Day gifts for pets is a billion-dollar market. Some people have even reported buying VDay gifts for their pets and not their partners. There is no mistaking the fact that people love their pets so why not celebrate them on this day of love? 

You don’t need to sell dog treats to tap into this market. Collaborating with a pet-friendly brand like Ampersand Design Studio and The Foggy Dog did here is one way to cater to the canine crowd. Once again, collaborations can be an excellent opportunity for cross-exposure between brands.

If you’re not looking to collab, there are still ways you can reach pet lovers this Valentine’s Day. Adding a pet-friendly gift to purchases or simply recognizing pet-owner love as significant in your marketing emails is another way to appeal to this crowd.

Collaborating with a pet friendly brand like Ampersand Design Studio and The Foggy Dog

3. Embrace the haters

If you’re single and especially newly single, the holiday of love may rub you the wrong way. Everyone knows that misery loves company and companies like Burger King were there to commiserate on VDay 2020. The lonely hearts deserve to celebrate Valentine’s Day too.

If your product has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, this is a great angle to push. Social media is how Burger King chose to advertise, but you can encourage single people to celebrate themselves on this day in numerous ways. If you put together Valentine’s Day bundles for couples for the holiday, consider also making bundles for self-love or care packages for the broken-hearted. 

Spice up your merch for Valentine’s Day

Excite your customers this Valentine’s Day with exclusive holiday merchandise.

1. New Valentine’s Day collections

Creating a special Valentine’s Day-themed collection will grab the attention of your customers and attract new customers looking for themed holiday gifts. If the collection is offered for a limited time, customers will want to make purchases before they lose their chance. 

MeUndies designed matching underwear sets along with a significant discount. While underwear is a common VDay gift, many brands that are not typically considered romantic use this holiday to keep their customers interested by offering something new and unique. 

Valentine’s Day falls on a time of year after the lull of the winter holidays and the new year. People have had a chance to recover from the whirlwind of gift shopping and will be excited to see new products being put out. 

The lonely hearts deserve to celebrate Valentine’s Day too.

2. Try something new for VDay

While creating a themed collection with your existing products is one idea, adding something new to your repertoire this holiday season is another way to entice your customers. You don’t have to break the bank to make this happen either.

KFC was designed to scratch and sniff Valentine’s to promote their shared chicken meal. This is a cute and simple way to use the holiday as an opportunity to advertise their product, which does not have much to do with romance or love. No matter what you sell, you can share the love with customers by adding something holiday-related. It’s the little things that count.

Excite your customers this Valentine’s Day with exclusive holiday merchandise

3. Change up your packaging

If you already sell something Valentine’s Day-related or don’t want to release any new products, especially for the holiday, Valentine’s Day-themed packaging is an eye-catching way to make your customers feel the love. Many businesses change their packaging according to the holidays, which alone is an effective promotion tactic even without additional gifts or special collections.

 Smith & Sinclair’s Valentine’s Day boxes take their chocolates from lust to love.

Smith & Sinclair’s Valentine’s Day boxes take their chocolates from lust to love

Send love to those who need it most

Charitable contributions let your customers know that you care.

1. Send proceeds to charity

A Valentine’s Day promotion focused on those in need will motivate consumers to choose your product and feel good about their holiday purchases. People prefer to support businesses that are sustainable and socially aware. Instead of pushing products, Valentine’s Day can be a chance to show your customers that you care about taking care of those who are in need. 

A Valentine’s Day promotion in which your company donates part of the proceeds will mark your business as one with customers proud of the fact that they purchase from you. If you can afford to do so, this is a wonderful way to give back on this holiday of love and make a good impression on your customers

donate to a foundation

Valentine’s Day is a chance to celebrate existing connections and create new ones. No matter the product you offer, you have countless options to jump on the love boat this holiday season. 

Whether your customers are shopping for themselves or the ones they love, these 21 ideas are sure to ignite a spark and get them to love you even more than they already do.