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09.Feb.2020 Archana Gunasekaran - Email Marketing, Valentine's day
“Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!”
“Love is in the air, Gear up with the marketing!”
“Leverage the occasion and land more sales!”
I’m sure every eCommerce store owner has heard these lines over and over again the last few weeks from multiple marketing channels. ( including ours! )
These words may seem repetitive, non-informative and sometimes even overwhelming. But it does not change the fact that Valentine’s Day is indeed the biggest game-changer in the commercial space.
Once again, Valentine’s Day sales are predicted to absolutely skyrocket in 2020 ( estimated to be around $27.4 billion! ). And these sales grow at an admirable rate every year. Check it out:
Now that the context is set, let’s focus on the biggest task at hand – landing more conversions. And one of the best ways to seal the deal is by sending out a Valentine’s Day email.
This blog covers the complete A-Z of email marketing for Valentine’s Day. For convenience sake, let’s split the entire process into two: 1) The email itself 2) The best strategies to send the email
The subject line is the defining piece of content that will either make or break your email campaign.
A majority of users usually decide to open or discard the email based on the subject line alone. So it’s really important to place the utmost care and thought behind the line’s creation.
The ideal character count for a subject line is around 40-50 characters. Shorter the length, the better.
Research shows that email subject lines with approximately 4 words have the highest open rates. Here’s the data:
Now that we’ve got the text length out of the way, the next point to decide on is the tone. You need your subject lines to speak to the reader and convince them to take certain actions.
There are multiple ways that one can draft a subject line.
The subject lines that are popular with email marketers are those that 1) create a sense of urgency 2) are funny 3) create a sense of FOMO 4) address pain points 5) are personal and straightforward 6) appeal to reader’s curiosity 7) contain discount codes 8) are completely different and unexpected
For Valentine’s Day, it’s great to adopt a more informal and fun tone. Play up those puns and add discount codes to your abandoned cart emails to score those last-minute sales.
Here are some Valentine’s Day subject lines that we’re in love with:
So, choose the right tone that suits your brand and the nature of your campaign. This small attention will really pay off and help gain a better open rate.
It’s also a good choice to experiment with emojis. Though it’s a trend that has been excessively used in the last few years, it’s still a great way to set your emails apart and convey a message immediately.
Here are some of the most popular emojis that have helped in yielding better open rates:
This may not seem as important- for the customers need to open the email to check the main content in the first place. But body content plays a key role in creating the brand’s reputation.
Pick and choose words carefully – skip the words that may trigger the spam filter. There are many resources that contain in-depth reports on what words to avoid using in emails, industry-wise. Homework is definitely necessary for this aspect.
But creative wise – the sky’s the limit. You can instill a sense of FOMO, create urgency, be funny or flirty. It’s completely your call and how you want your company to be perceived.
Another area to concentrate on is the images and design. Ensure that you do not use tricky images in your email. Images should be optimized and should not make the email bulky.
Image-heavy emails tend to have a higher bounce rate or may simply end up in the spam folder. It’s a major deterrent to anyone who wants to check out your site. But that doesn’t mean that you should not have fun! Valentine’s is a fun occasion. So use funny, cute and unique images.
Experimenting with GIFs is a great idea. They catch the eye almost immediately. But do ensure that the size does not impact the loading speed of the email.
Create short and sweet text with the occasion in mind. Use great imagery. Red, pink and hearts may sound cliche, but they are the safest bet for Valentine’s Day.
Also, ensure there are no broken links on the email. That would have a negative impact on the customers trying to reach the site. Using Valentine’s Day email templates is a great way to showcase your text and images in an ideal way. Add user reviews, discount coupons, product images to improve customer engagement and give a push to gain more sales.
Another important aspect to consider is the right time and day to send these emails. There is no hard and fast rule to find the right time. It highly depends upon the nature of the business and the client profile. Split testing and A/B testing will eventually show up a sweet spot for your business.
Now that we’ve established what goes into the mail, let’s focus on some great strategies that generate conversions. Here are some dos and don’ts that can help your campaigns work better and land more sales.
It’s 2020. It’s time to step up our marketing game.
No two people are alike, so why should marketing be the same for everybody?. Especially for Valentine’s Day, we need to adapt marketing to suit different beliefs, relationship statuses, orientations, and many other parameters.
Writing run off the mill content surely saves time. There’s not much thought put into it ( and does not land impressive sales). But these days, the modern customer wants the content to be relatable in order to form a bond with the brand.
Cater to those who don’t celebrate the occasion. Experiment with different age groups. In the end, you want your brand to resonate with everyone. Think outside the box as to how you can create the emotional pull and trigger more conversions.
Smart segmentation also works. Segment your customer base in accordance with their preferences and curate emails accordingly.
A user review is a gift that keeps giving. And it’s a shame if you don’t incorporate it in your email campaigns. Nearly 97% of consumers check out reviews before making a purchase. (Source)
One great way to use reviews for Valentine’s Day in adding it to a gift guide. Showcase products that are in trend. Promote your bestsellers. Or maybe recommend products based on the customer’s previous actions. Just sending out emails promoting such products is great. But adding user reviews makes your email more credible and trustworthy.
And just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that customers won’t jump ship ( Love is fickle!). I’m sure every eCommerce store owner will have a cart recovery strategy in place ( P.S: Here’s our kickass guide that will help you better your abandoned cart recovery strategy ). So go ahead and add photos of what they will be missing out on. Don’t shy away from upselling and cross-selling. There is a lot of moolah attached to Valentine’s Day, and it’s up to you to take advantage of the situation.
Let’s be honest. Everyone loves free stuff. It’s a great conversion mechanism. But it needs to be employed with moderation. A customer should not be willing to make a sale only with the involvement of a discount.
Use discounts and freebies for pushing last-minute sales, bringing in new customers or for those who’ve abandoned carts. There is no benefit of just bringing in sales with none of the profit.
Coupon codes, % off on purchases of a certain amount, free shipping, free gift wrapping, buy one get one free. They’re all good. Speaking of which, see how ‘free’ is a magic word here! Use it on your campaigns smartly. Because it is also a spam trigger. Always pay heed to the content.
Know what’s better than a one-time sale? A life-long customer. Form strong bonds with your customers. A great way to stay memorable is by starting competitions. Ask them about their love story this Valentine’s Day. Promote your social media handles on your email campaign. Strike a chord with your target audience. What would they want to see during Valentine’s Day? Pick up a couple of such thoughts and drive conversations around them.
Valentine’s Day is one of those occasions where every single company goes all out on their marketing. And it’s frighteningly easy how one’s campaign can get lost in the crowd. Red, pink and hearts are thrown around paired with outrageous discounts.
So before starting off on your Valentine’s Day campaign ( or any campaign for that matter), take time and figure out how to make your email stand out. It can be content-wise, unique imagery or any other aspect that you desire. Gamification of your email is a good call too.
As eCommerce store owners, it is important to cover all bases.
Kick start your Valentine’s Day email campaign early. Shoppers tend to look out for unique products way ahead of time. So make sure your store is well prepared for the occasion well in advance.
In the same vein, don’t miss out on those last-minute sales. Add a countdown to create a sense of urgency. Promise and deliver on fast on-time delivery. Promote your gift cards and have a strong support team to help harried shoppers.
Over 47% of people use their phones to check their mail. This is no small number. If you’ve not been optimizing your emails for your phone, start now. This is too big a market to miss out on. Ensure that the images don’t affect the loading time. Check if all links are functional and ensure a seamless flow from the email to the website.
Valentine’s Day is just a week away. This is the optimal time to target customers and garner the most sales. It’s the last mile, so chin up and bring out amazing campaigns and watch those conversion rates soar.
Which of these strategies will you incorporate into your Valentine’s Day email strategy? Do you have some unique ideas up your sleeve? Let us know through the comments!
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Senior Ecommerce Strategist9 Years of Experience Working with Multiple Brands
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