Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for winning shoppers’ hearts

Nicolas Algoedt

Nov 4, 2021

Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for winning shoppers’ hearts Featured Image
Nicolas Algoedt

Nov 4, 2021

It’s that time of year again, when chocolate, red roses, and Be Mine candy hearts invade. 

How are you going to keep your Valentine’s Day marketing fresh? How will you stand out with more people buying online? 

We’ve compiled a couple of personalized Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for today’s cross-channel shoppers. Happy reading! 

Table of Contents
  1. Valentine’s Day Promotion Ideas for Digital Business

  2. Move beyond Hi, {First Name} Valentine’s emails

  3. Make Valentine’s purchases fun with gamification

  4. Build trust with Valentines’ Day shoppers using social proof

  5. Individualize Valentine’s Day product and content recommendations with AI

  6. Use rich push notifications to curb Valentine’s Day cart abandonment rates

  7. Retarget Valentine’s shoppers with a high likelihood of purchase with AI

  8. Orchestrate multichannel customer journeys for each Valentine’s shopper with AI

  9. Shape Better Experiences with Personalized Marketing and AI

Valentine’s Day ideas for digital commerce

$21.8 billion… that’s how much people spent on Valentine’s Day gifts last year. Now imagine capturing a slice of that. Using the right Valentine’s Day marketing strategies, you can.   

With more people flocking to digital, it’s harder and more expensive to make your brand stand out.

In this blog, we’ll look at how marketers and eCommerce brands can increase revenue on Valentine’s Day. Nothing you see here requires a team of developers, a mastery of design, or endless implementation by expensive outside consultants. 

In other words, the Valentine’s Day marketing strategies you read about here are all about agility.

Basic emails aren’t going to cut it

Cute heart emojis… consumers’ inboxes are full of those.

Firstly, they may attract their attention, but they’re not providing much value.

Secondly, your email needs to be tailored. Generic content on Valentine’s Day isn’t going to drive sales.

Thirdly, you need to show consumers you get them. Make their experience easier and more rewarding.

In comes smart recommendations.

So what are smart recommendations? In essence, they’re recommendations based on each
consumer’s past purchases and browsing behavior.

Valentine’s email personalization with AI

For example, email personalization starts with understanding your prospective and existing customers. 

In other words, it involves:

  • What a visitor browsed, added to their cart, ads they engaged with
  • Which emails they previously opened and clicked-through
  • What products they bought over a specific time frame

Next, those insights get layered with AI recommendations.

Finally, you can drag-and-drop those recommendations into super personalized emails.

Valentine’s Day email strategy for eCommerce

For example, you’re an online fashion retailer. A visitor browses Valentine’s Day products on your website. 

Even though they added a ring and a red sweater to their shopping cart, they haven’t checked out yet. Bummer.

In this case, you can send them an email with those products. The shopper will recall them from their search and see instant value.

Further, by limiting their choices and focusing on what they want, you give them a reason to buy now.

Related Content: Email Marketing Reinvented for Growth 

Valentine’s Day email strategy for a women’s fashion retailer showing product recommendations based on the shopper’s browsing behavior

Make Valentine’s purchases fun with gamification 

Decisions. Decisions. Analysis paralysis. We’ve all been there. 

The pressure to find the perfect gift is too much.

However, with gamification can incentivize shoppers to take a specific path.

First, imagine you’re a digital business that sells soaps, chocolates, and essential oils.

So you probably have lots of SKUs. And if a shopper is buying last minute all that choice can be overwhelming.

Therefore, use gamification to make shopping fun and rewarding.

Next, offer each shopper a specific discount to drive them towards a product or category.

Gamified template incentivizing Valentine’s Day shoppers with specific product category rewards

Furthermore, you turn a blah onboarding experience into a fun one, turning anonymous visitors into known customers. 

After you have a visitor’s name and email, you can get to know them.

With Insider’s Unified Customer Profile, you can see each person’s interactions and purchases in a neat dashboard. In other words, you can market and build customer experiences with ease and agility.

Build trust on Valentine’s Day with social proof 

Build trust and create urgency with social proof.

What is social proof? It’s messaging that gets shoppers to act. It’s a perfect Valentine’s day marketing strategy to drive sales.

For example, “9 people have bought this item” or “only 3 left in stock” are common examples of social proof messaging.

Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for jewelry retailers 

In this case, let’s say you’re an online jewelry retailer.

Buying jewelry online isn’t as simple as it sounds. So what are some of the issues that throw customers off?

  • Confusing terms – karats, clarity and color scale, gem cuts, etc.
  • Images and scale – It’s hard to imagine what a piece will look like on a person. In addition, mobile and desktop screen sizes make it challenging to perceive scale.

In summary, social proof can be the missing link between consideration and purchase. 

Social proof messaging that shows a jewelry shopper considering a near $200 purchase that others have purchased this gift

1:1 Valentine’s Day recommendations

How can you turn up the heat on Valentine’s Day marketing? Make AI-based recommendations. 

In this example, you’re an online book retailer who wants to promote Valentine’s Day authors and products. Using onsite personalization, you can customize your website to reflect visitor behavior and interests. 

Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for book retailers 

For instance, you have a visitor who loves reading romance novels. In addition to eyeing specific titles, they have even added a few books to their cart.

Consequently, you can run product recommendations on their shopping cart page based on these insights. For example, show them Valentine’s Day books, card sets, and related products and increase their average order value (AOV).

In addition, display a progress bar. This shows visitors how much they need to buy to reach the reward threshold, like free shipping or a discount code.

Progress bar showing the shopper how much they have left to spend towards free shipping, incentivizing them to spend more.

Squash Valentine’s Day cart abandonment rates

As more people shop for Valentine’s Day gifts on mobile devices, rich push notifications can remind them about items they left in their carts. In other words, these reminders can get them to finish what they started.

As more brands adopt push notifications, rich push notifications can help you stand out. By using visually compelling alerts, you can overcome push-blindness and drive engagement and conversion.

Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for consumer electronics retailers  

Imagine you’re a consumer electronics store. You have a visitor eyeing 4K TVs. You see they’ve added a 55″ model to their cart but haven’t crossed the checkout finish line. 

What to do, right? 

Send the visitor eye-catching visuals of the new 4K TV. Sweeten the pot with a discount or free shipping and increase the chances of getting it into a happy customer’s home.

Related content: The Definitive Guide to Mobile Marketing 

App push notification instilling urgency and incentivizing the shopper to buy before Valentine’s Day

1:1 cross-channel customer journeys

Valentine’s Day shopper behavior is evolving. As a result of the pandemic, many consumers adapted to buying essentials, gifts, and paying their bills online. 

As smartphones become increasingly important in browsing and consideration stages, marketers need to be aware of customers’ cross-device behaviors. More importantly, they need tools and strategies to meet consumers where they are. 

One solution to multichannel consumption patterns is customer journey orchestration, which enables marketers to create high-converting user journeys based on visitors’ historical and predicted behaviors on email, mobile apps, ads, web push, and onsite. 

Insider’s customer journey orchestration tool, Architect, allows marketers to deliver personalized 1:1 customer experiences across channels. In turn, these consistent and relevant journeys drive conversions and customer loyalty. 

Valentine’s Day marketing strategies for travel

What better way to inspire love than with a romantic getaway? 

In this case, you’re a travel booking site. Your goal is to attract visitors and get them to book Valentine’s Day getaways. 

The following scenario shows how you can convert a “just browsing” shopper to a buyer:

Architect created customer journey showing how to convert a consumer shopping for getaways across multiple channels
  • Visitor looks at romantic weekend getaways, reads some blogs about nearby destinations, but does not make a purchase. 
  • Wait one hour to see if the visitor is reachable via the mobile app. Send them a mobile app push reminding them of the two-night hotel packages in Vermont they considered.
  • Wait one day.
  • No bites? To create urgency, send the shopper a personalized web push notification with social proof. Tell the shopper how much people love visiting Vermont and how hotels in the area are filling up fast. 
  • Wait 3 days. 
  • Nothing? Send the Valentine’s Day shopper a personalized email, with a special offer (in this case save 10% on Vermont getaways) if they act within a specific time frame.  
  • Send a transactional WhatsApp message if the visitor makes a purchase to keep the conversation going. Cross-sell and up-sell them with offers such as breakfast for two and couple’s excursions. 

Related contentInteractive customer journey with Architect for eCommerce.

Want more Valentine’s Day marketing strategies?

We hope you walked away with some Valentine’s Day marketing strategies. However, AI, cross-channel messaging, and personalization aren’t seasonal – they’re part of a year-round marketing strategy. 

Drop us a line and let us know what you’re looking for here.


Nicolas is VP of Marketing EMEA at Insider. Passionate about new technologies and e-commerce, Nicolas has held various position at leading e-commerce and tech companies including Groupon, Microsoft and Bwin.