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For a holiday centered around love, Valentine’s Day conjures up a lot of mixed emotions.
Depending on their current romantic situation, your customers might adore or abhor February 14. Dating is different in the age of social distancing, and that can make it tricky to devise a marketing campaign. But it’s also an opportunity to get creative and have fun with the holiday, something consumers might welcome even more these days.
Here are some ideas that will make your customers fall in love all over again (with your business, at least).
Celebrate Galentine’s Day
Celebrate the strongest bonds and most unconditional love out there: female friendships. Every February 13 — the day before Valentine’s Day — best friends, sisters, and moms and daughters celebrate the strong female relationships in their life with Galentine’s Day. A recent study from the National Retail Foundation found that the amount consumers are spending on friendships is increasing as more customers are looking to celebrate friends and not just significant others.
If you have a boutique, offer curated Galentine’s Day care packages with some of your most popular products for customers to send to their friends, along with delivery options so customers can adhere to social distancing requirements. If you have a cafe, offer special “Galentine’s Day” drinks or menu items that can also be enjoyed at home.
Use email marketing software to email your customers and share your themed promotions on social media, urging followers to share with their friends and tag them. (If you don’t know about Galentine’s Day, read more here.)
Promote gift cards
Gift cards can be an effective way to help customers give Valentine’s Day gifts, even if they’re not ready to come into a physical store or if they’re having trouble making a decision. Research from InMarket found that gift card purchases doubled in the first week of December 2020, compared to the same time period in 2019.
The perfect gift is always hard to find. Around Valentine’s Day, and other holidays, ramp up your promotion of digital gift card sales for customers who are struggling to find the perfect gift. Gift cards can also be the perfect solution for customers wanting to give friends a Valentine’s Day gift that doesn’t come off as romantic, but still shows their appreciation for their friendship.
Create at-home Valentine’s Day care packages
This year, most couples will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at home, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be celebrating.
In 2020, candy, greeting cards, and flowers were the top three Valentine’s Day gifts, according to a survey by NRF. If you run a retail store, create promotional bundle packages that include these items or other products designed for people spending more time at home, like candles and blankets. Use festive packaging for the gift givers, and for customers treating themselves to a cozy at-home celebration.
If you’re a restaurant, offer a pre-fixe menu with festive takeout containers that customers can order for pickup or delivery through your online store.
Connect with customers on a livestream
Live classes, like cooking classes and painting classes, are a popular Valentine’s Day activity. While you might not be able to hold a live class this year, you can still connect with customers over a live stream and provide a fun Valentine’s Day activity.
Promote random acts of love
Valentine’s Day can get a bad reputation for being all about grand romantic gestures: the elaborate meal from a four-star restaurant, the pricey piece of jewelry, the giant bouquet of red roses.
Instead, get back to basics and urge your social media followers to commit random acts of love and post them with a designated hashtag on Instagram. It could be as simple as making the bed for your partner or buying coffee for a stranger. Repost your favorite ideas and spread the love with a discount code.
Show your love for a local charity
Spread the love by teaming up with a local charity to organize a Valentine’s Day fundraiser. You can add a donation option to your online store to make it easy for customers to support the charity when making an online purchase.
Promote the partnership on your social channels and add some signage in-store or in your restaurant to provide in-person patrons the option to donate, as well.
Perhaps the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself, so encourage your customers to be good to themselves on a day they otherwise might dread.
Encourage your followers to post a selfie (or photo of just themselves) on social media and ask them to share one way they’re planning to be kind to themselves on Valentine’s Day. Offer them the opportunity to treat themselves with a special sale, redeemable in the way they feel most comfortable.