Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and whether you personally view it as the most romantic day of the year, filled with love and hope, or an annual ordeal splashed with tacky red and pink dÃ©cor, there’s no question it can have a positive effect on many small businesses.
One of the best ways to take advantage of this potential bump in profitability is through email marketing. Email is a very effective way to bring highly-tailored messages to specific audiences. And since many people are prone to read into the gifts they receive from a significant or semi-significant other, it gives you an opportunity to use Cupid’s arrows to target your customers and prospects in order to move them to action.
Following are 12 things you should do, beginning today, to make sure your Valentine’s Day doesn’t pass with a lot of empty promises and wilted dreams.
1. Start now! It’s about a month out from the big day so best to start compiling your copy, imagery, offers, etc. now. You don’t want to inundate your recipients by email, but a rough schedule could entail:
a. Email 1: Initial offer
b. Email 2: Wednesday, Feb 3rd: Offer Reminder
c. Email 3: Thursday, February 11th: Reminder 2 – “Three days left `till Valentine’s Day!”
d. Email 4: Wednesday, Feb 17th: Thank you follow-up email to all customers who took advantage of the offer. Say thank you and extend another offer to these loyal customers.
2. Use a Valentine’s Day template with a nice balance of valentine-specific copy and imagery to get people in the mood and thinking about the event.
3. Segment your list. Split out your list by gender. Send female oriented offers to the guys and male oriented offers to the ladies. But think about your audience before doing this sort of segmentation! Your offer may not be appropriate for all audiences.
4. Make sure your offer is compelling. Most people are still paying off their bills from the Christmas holiday season, so make sure the offer is affordable and is compelling enough to encourage them to act.
5. Partner with companies who offer complementary services or products for an offer that can’t be ignored. Example: Spa services and floral shop (walk away from your spa treatment with a dozen red roses), Restaurant and flower shop (have a bouquet of flowers ready at the table when you arrive), Jewelry shop and Spa service (buy a special piece of valentine jewelry and get a free massage, buy a spa service and get a pair of earrings), boutique hotel and highly recommended restaurant (get discounts at both places when you book a night and make reservations for dinner), etc. Get creative as the possibilities are endless!
6. Target a special email to people who bought from you last year around Valentine’s Day with an even better offer for this loyal audience. If the offer is right, they will most likely buy from you again.
7. Make it super easy for people to take advantage of your offer. If fulfillment is to come to the store, give clear directions or a store finder link, if by phone, make phone numbers prominent, or if online, make the button or text link stand out in the email. Best to place it as close to the upper-left corner of the email as possible. Printable coupons or promo codes always work well.
8. Use testimonials and reviews. Most people will buy if they know if another person has had a positive buying experience with your product or service. Highlight great reviews and testimonials in your emails to bolster the offer.
9. Give people Valentine’s ideas in your next newsletter. How many times have you wondered what you’re going to do for your sweetie for Valentine’s Day? Guys in particular often have a hard time coming up with ideas for Valentine’s Day. Do the work for them and provide a list of the top 10 best Valentine’s Day dates or gifts, for example.
10. Help spread your message to more people by using forward-to-a-friend functionality. Encourage people to forward your offer on by including forward to a friend links.
11. Use email to promote a special Valentine’s Day draw to win a prize – to collect emails and grow your email subscriber list.
12. Send a Happy Valentine’s Day email postcard to show customer appreciation – thank loyal customers by providing complimentary redeemable points (if you have a points program) or a free gift for Valentine’s Day. This supports customer retention.
The Valentine’s Day colors may officially be red and pink. But follow the tips above and you’re sure to be seeing green by the end of the day.
About The Guest Author: Wendy Lowe is director of product marketing for Campaigner. Campaigner is provided by Protus, provider of the highest quality Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) communication tools for small-to-medium businesses (SMB) and enterprise organizations.