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10 Valentine’s Day Digital Marketing Strategies

Berkem Peker
Jan 23, 2023
min read

Valentine’s Day is coming up, meaning love is in the air, and many of your customers will be looking for the perfect treats to gift their loved ones. As one of the year’s first notable retail holidays, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to engage your current customers and captivate new audiences with fun messages and offers that help them celebrate the day. 

The National Retail Federation reports $23.9 billion in consumer spending for Valentine’s Day in 2022, a $2 billion increase from the previous year. Overall, the pandemic seems to have raised the amount that people are spending to show their love to each other, but bear in mind that they love football more. 

With the Super Bowl on February 12th, many retailers are looking to last year’s numbers (when the two days were back to back) for guidance, and the answer is clear. Super Bowl spending outstripped Valentine’s Day 3:1. For eCommerce businesses looking to plan their mid-February promotions, it may be wise to tie the two together to increase spending for both. While ‘his and hers’ holiday messages may work for some brands, the implied heteronormativity may not resonate with younger audiences, so take some time to consider your customer base when deciding to focus more on Valentine's Day, Super Bowl, or a combined strategy.

For some ideas and guidance on Valentine’s Day promotions for eCommerce, check out some of our strategies below. 

1. Identify your target audience. (Hint: They may not be who you think!)

When developing marketing strategies for Valentine’s Day, you may think of couples first, but don’t stop there! Pets alone are some of the biggest gift recipients. One in four people buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets, and 45% of the holiday spending is on gifts for non-romantic recipients. From singles who want to treat themselves, to individuals who want to share the love with friends and family, Valentine’s Day is about more than romantic love. 

To make sure you’re connecting with your audiences with your Valentine’s Day marketing, try conducting A/B split tests with different images and messaging. For example, for a food delivery service, try one ad focused on a couple’s romantic night in, and another with a group of women enjoying a movie night. Let the results inform your future strategies. 

2. Use love-inspiring push notifications

You can generate a lot of excitement around Valentine’s Day with push notifications. These messages can create a sense of urgency letting users know they have a limited amount of time to purchase gifts and take advantage of special offers. 

Your push notifications should feature Valentine’s Day-related messaging and visuals, such as heart emojis and other designs. Again, you can A/B test these notifications to see which ones drive the most in-app engagement. Start early to help boost engagement ahead of the holiday.  

3. Make plenty of Valentine's Day offers

To make sure your business grabs and holds people’s attention in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, determine which types of giveaways, promotional deals, and discounts to offer. You’ll want to choose the offers that yield the best results when it comes to both user engagement and sales.

In addition, your offers should help you meet any long-term business goals you have in place. For example, you might offer customers certain app-exclusive giveaways and discounts, which would encourage more people to download and install your app to access these deals. Don’t forget to promote these deals across all of your marketing channels, including push notifications and SMS texts, social media platforms, your website, and emails.

A visual illustrating a special offer for Valentine's Day. It says "Super Sale - Up to 50% off" on the visual.
Valentine's Day offer

4. Don't neglect social media for Valentine’s Day mobile marketing

To get the most from your Valentine’s Day digital marketing strategy, make sure to include social media. Engage audiences with posts using the themes of love and generosity or lean into the “love sucks” vibe of V-Day haters, just make sure your messaging is consistent and relatable. When used properly, social media can be the key to driving app downloads and installs, particularly if many of your deals are exclusive to the app. You can also up engagement by making your posts interactive. Ask your audience questions, hold contests, or make a game!

5. Use In-App and Web Stories to connect with users

In-app and Web Stories are one of the best ways to connect with your existing audience and make sure they get access to your latest and greatest offers. Not only are Stories full-screen, and immersive, but interactive elements like Story stickers that create emoji sliders and polls help you gather zero-party data on your users’ needs and preferences. By segmenting your audience based on their choices, it’s easy to ensure that app users and web visitors see the most relevant messages right away. 

Plus, with In-Story Checkout, users can buy products and take advantage of promotions without even leaving the Story. Rather than redirecting to a cart, in-Story checkout offers a quick, tappable user flow that offers customization options like color and size, and lets users pay with Apple or Google Pay for near-instant gratification.  

6. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it 

It’s easy to think that every campaign needs a groundbreaking new strategy, but one of the nice things about Valentine’s Day is its simplicity. Hearts and other classic imagery are instantly recognizable, and easy for audiences to understand and connect to. If your brand offers a classic Valentine’s Day gift like flowers or chocolates, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel or change your messaging. Instead, focus on reaching your users and offering them a smooth conversion process (like using in-Story checkout) to help them check the boxes on this year’s gifts.   

7. Market with influencer campaigns for Valentine’s Day mobile marketing

Another way to quickly build trust with new audiences is to work with influencers. You may want to work with micro-influencers within a hyper-specific niche to bigger influencers with more varied audiences, depending on who you want to reach and your allotted budget. These influencers can help get the word out about your offerings ahead of Valentine’s Day.

There are several ways you can connect with influencers to market your app. For example, shopping apps can provide influencers with free products in exchange for content that details their experience and encourages customers to purchase with a discount code. 

If you have a subscription-based business model, such as a music app or magazine app, you could ask influencers to highlight specific features. In turn, people will more clearly see what they’re getting with this version over a free edition. By introducing your service through a voice they know and trust, influencer’s audiences can learn to know and trust your brand as well. 

When utilizing influencer content in your own Stories, be sure to utilize In-Story checkout fast, easy, purchasing. 

A woman shooting a live video on her mobile phone with a tripod. She holds a pink t-shirt and shows it to the camera.
Market with influencer campaigns

8. Partner with complementary brands

This one takes a bit of advance planning, but collaborations can be a great way to expand your audience by reaching out to non-competing brands. The right co-marketing campaign will be beneficial to both brands, increasing hype for each promotion, and helping build trust with new customers. You can even play around with Valentine’s Day-relevant language when establishing your partnership, equating your collaboration to a couple and the perfect match.

9. Use email marketing

One effective means of connecting with existing users is via email. You can incorporate email into Valentine’s Day mobile marketing campaigns to reach existing users who may no longer be using your app, with personalized messages encouraging them to come back to you. Email is one of the most cost effective ways to re-engage lapsed users and keep your brand top of mind. 

Make sure your subject lines and previews are attention grabbing enough to earn an open, otherwise your message may simply gather dust. Audience segmentation and personalization can both help your campaign stand out. 

10. Create gift guides

People often have a hard time finding the right gifts for their partners and others, but you can eliminate some of the guesswork with well-composed gift guides. With interactive elements like Story stickers, it’s easy to ask users about their partner’s style or preference and offer suggestions curated just for them. Personalized gift guides can help your audience feel seen and deepen connections. 

Gift guides are also a great idea for websites, helping reduce shopper overwhelm and easing navigation of your offerings. Web Stories can make it even easier for users to find them with clear, inviting covers that immediately show visitors the types of guides and deals you’d like to highlight. 

A woman giving a Valentine's Day gift in a box to her loved one.
Valentine's Day gift

Drive your Valentine's Day mobile marketing strategy results

A strong Valentine’s Day marketing strategy will help you get the best possible results. By utilizing an omnichannel strategy and engaging your audience with fun, interactive experiences that serve their needs, you can deepen existing relationships with your customers and expand your audience. With the help of Storyly’s App Stories and Web Stories and other mobile marketing tools, you’ll have the ability to meet your business goals and enable your app and brand to flourish well beyond Valentine’s Day and into the years ahead.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Berkem Peker

Berkem is master of none, jack of all trades. Happens to be a Growth Strategist at Storyly. Knows/writes about growth frameworks and user behavior.

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