25 Valentine's Day Marketing Ideas

February 12, 2016

Looking for Valentine’s Day marketing ideas your customers will love? You don’t have to sell chocolates or jewelry to launch a successful Valentine’s Day marketing campaign. In fact, just about any business can take advantage of the following 25 Valentine’s Day marketing ideas to boost mid-February sales.

1. Partner with others

Seek promotional partnerships with non-competing businesses that share the same target audience. Here’s how it works: each of you offers a small discount to give customers a great deal. You all market the promotion and share in any marketing investment, decreasing your spend and increasing your visibility. It’s a win-win-win proposition! Example: a restaurant partners with a movie theater and a spa hotel to offer a special “date night” package.

2. Greeting cards

Valentine’s Day greeting cards aren’t just for couples; your business can print and mail greeting cards to your best customers. More than direct-mail marketing materials, greeting cards can be personalized to express how much you appreciate each customer on an individual basis – which fosters long-term loyalty.

3. Table tents

If you operate a restaurant you can print table tents to advertise your Valentine’s Day specials. If you don’t own a restaurant, you might be able to partner with one to get your Valentine’s Day sales and promotions in front of their customers. Offer to pay for the table tents and advertise what the restaurant wants on one side and place your ad on the other. Consider ways to get customers to take action so you can capture leads: social media sharing, email subscription to receive coupons, etc.

4. Hold a contest

Fun Valentine’s Day contests can be a great way to increase your brand exposure and put your products and services in front of your audience. For example, ask your audience to post their zaniest couples selfies on your Facebook page, and your fans to comment/vote for the best. You can give a prize away to the winner and endear your brand to a larger audience at the same time.

5. Facebook advertising

Speaking of Facebook, continually working your page is a great way to maintain audience engagement. For some businesses, paid Facebook advertising can generate the sales boost you’re after this Valentine’s Day. Make sure you understand how Facebook’s ad targeting system or hire someone who does to get the greatest bang for your buck.

6. Banners

Large vinyl or canvas banners strategically distributed to high-traffic areas in your city, adhesive banners prominently placed on walls over your Valentine’s Day sales items, and banners placed in other targeted locations are cost-effective ways to direct customers to your retail location.

7. Posters

Like banners, posters can be placed in strategic locations throughout your city to increase awareness for your Valentine’s Day sales and other Valentine’s Day events. Posters, however, are even more cost-effective and versatile.

8. Host a Valentine’s Day event

Consider what type of event you can host for Valentine’s Day. You might sponsor a local couples (or singles) dance, especially if your products or services align with romance or song. Or, you could host a Scotch doubles bowling tournament to benefit charity. Such events might not generate immediate sales, but they’ll certainly help increase awareness of your business and could present follow-up sales opportunities.

9. Flyers

Blanket your town with cost-effective flyers to promote your Valentine’s Day event, sales, or partnership package. If you operate a pub in a busy entertainment district, you might also employ a “street team” to hand club card flyers to passers-by. Offer an incentive, such as a free drink or appetizer to entice Valentine’s Day celebrants to visit your establishment.

10. Catalogs

Direct-mail catalogs sent to a well-targeted audience in advance of the holiday are great ways to drum up Valentine’s Day sales. Use your catalog not just to showcase your products, but to also explain why certain products make perfect Valentine’s Day gifts. Offer incentives such as coupon discount codes, and make it super-easy to order to boost catalog-driven sales.

11. Newspaper inserts

Print sales sheets to insert in your local newspaper to advertise your Valentine’s Day sales. This is a great way to get your promotion delivered to thousands of households at a cost-effective rate. You’ll lose targeted (save for geography), but you’ll gain volume. This strategy is especially effective in well-defined local markets.

12. Coasters

Print special Valentine’s Day coasters and give them to restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues to help promote your brand. You might even include a QR code or URL with an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter via smartphones. You might have to sweeten the deal to get establishments to distribute your coasters, such as printing their information on one side and yours on the other.

13. Car door magnets

Are you (or your employees) on the road a lot? Print car door magnets to advertise your Valentine’s Day specials on-the-go. Make your design attention-getting and keep your copy short, plus include a memorable call to action, so potential customers can tell at a glance what to do next.

14. Postcards

Direct-mail postcards are excellent Valentine’s Day marketing tools. Use postcards to send a single product or service offer to a well-defined target audience. Or, print postcards as “mini-catalogs” and lead customers to your website to view your full Valentine’s Day product lineup. Add a coupon code incentive to sweeten the deal.

15. Booklets

Booklets can be powerful Valentine’s Day marketing tools when you use them to help with big purchases or planning. For example, a jeweler might print a booklet that explains how to choose the perfect engagement ring or make the perfect proposal. A wedding planner might print a special booklet on how to plan the perfect wedding. In these examples, you can see how the booklet establishes trust, credibility, and authority for the business and will ultimately generate new customers.

16. Free add-on’s

People are busy these days and don’t want to be hassled with any unnecessary tasks. They’re also frugal and deal-savvy. Free add-on’s can make your Valentine’s Day offers more attractive. For example, a gift retailer might offer free gift-wrapping for Valentine’s Day; or, an ecommerce store might offer free two-day shipping for last-minute shoppers.

17. Magnets

Print magnets to promote your products or services for Valentine’s Day. Make them useful and relevant to your customer base to encourage them to place your magnets on their refrigerators so they’re exposed to your brand every time they’re in the kitchen. For example, a flower shop might print a magnet that says “Say ‘I love you’ every day” along with a photo of a bouquet or a dozen roses. Another idea: a funny magnet with “5 rules for a happy marriage.”

18. Email marketing

Email marketing can help drive customers to your website or brick-and-mortar location. You can rent email lists, but the most effective email marketing campaigns are sent to customers who have already opted to receive your newsletters.

19. Window clings

Perfect for gift retailers in busy shopping districts, window clings can draw passers-by into your shop for impulse purchases. Print window clings that promote your Valentine’s Day specials and/or offer an incentive for stepping inside.

20. Wine bottle labels

Want to wow your best customers this Valentine’s Day? Get a few bottles of their favorite wine, soak off the labels, the print your own custom wine bottle labels to place on the bottles. Make each one personalized in some way and brand your company, then send bottles of wine to your best customers. What a memorable way to endear yourself to your customers!

21. Bundle products

Do you have products that perform so-so individually but could be bundled into an attractive Valentine’s Day gift basket? This is a great strategy for moving inventory and offering value to your customers. Perhaps you have some specialty soaps that aren’t moving as well as you’d like; you could bundle them in with a popular bubble bath in an attractive basket and sell it as a Valentine’s Day at-home spa kit.

22. Stickers

Stickers can be fun Valentine’s Day marketing tools. Print stickers with Valentine’s Day themes that are relevant to your customers and your company, then give them away to customers to encourage them to come back to your store.

23. Content promos

Do you run a blog on your website? If so, start creating Valentine’s Day-themed content in advance of the holiday and drop references to your products and services in the copy. Come up with a special promo for your readers (consider partner opportunities here) to turn readers into buyers.

24. Hang tags

Promote impulse in-store purchases by printing attention-getting hang tags. You can use large numbers and symbols to market your discount sales; or, employ clever branding techniques such as bold headlines and images to tell customers why a given product makes the perfect gift.

25. PR data

Finally, you can generate free publicity for your business by conducting surveys or providing other newsworthy data journalists will want to publish. For example, you can track last year’s Valentine’s Day sales to come up with data such as how much the average person spends on Valentine’s Day gifts or a top ten list of the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day.

 

All of these Valentine’s Day marketing ideas can be powerful ways to boost business. Start planning your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign today!

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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