7 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas

7 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas
Your customers might adore or abhor February 14. That can make it tricky to devise a marketing campaign, but it’s also an opportunity to get creative and have a lot of fun with the holiday.
by Maya Rollings Feb 06, 2024 — 4 min read
7 Valentine’s Day Marketing Ideas

On a day where most of the world is indulging in the love of their partners, friends, family, or even themselves, Valentine’s Day can be a lucrative holiday for businesses. In the retail space, the National Retail Federation reported that $25.9 billion dollars were spent on Valentine’s Day in 2023. For restaurants, 74% of consumers planned to order takeout or dine-in in 2023. This increase in traffic can also have a direct impact on beauty businesses as consumers seek ways to practice self-care and do what makes them feel and look good for themselves and their night out (or in). 

So no matter your industry, the day of love can be a significant revenue driver for your business. One way to maximize your opportunity is to leverage your marketing campaigns in unique and creative ways to ensure you’re reaching your target audience. Are you interested in reaching singles, couples, or families? Make that clear so customers know what to expect from your business. 

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, moms and daughters celebrate the strong female relationships in their lives 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 give to their friends, along with delivery options so customers can share the love no matter where their loved ones may be. If you have a cafe, offer special Galentine’s Day drinks or menu items for the day. You can even consider adopting a theme to make it even more fun and engaging (a Taylor Swift-themed “You Belong With Me” platter, anyone?).

Use marketing software to email or text 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, especially if they’re having trouble making a decision. Research from the NRF found that gift cards were one of the top Valentine’s Day gifts in 2023, with 20% of shoppers planning to purchase them.

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 branded merchandise.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to tease branded merchandise. As customers shop for gifts that express their love for themselves or others, it’s important to remember that some customers have deep love for the brands they frequent. In fact, some restaurants are planning to build upon this to expand their businesses. The 2024 Square Future of Commerce report found that 34% of restaurants plan to sell merchandise or other non-food products to expand over the next 12 months. If you run a coffee shop, consider creating limited-edition items such as a Valentine’s Day mug that says something reflective of your brand and the holiday.

Remember to use festive colors and designs to ensure your merchandise stands out. Share your merchandise on social media and create a way for shoppers to buy online to help broaden your reach. You can even make the merchandise a free or discounted offer on your loyalty program for customers who already have an affinity for your brand. 

Offer an experience.

Live experiences, like cooking classes or shows, are a growing popular Valentine’s Day activity. Research shows that last year, 32% of consumers planned to give the gift of an experience, a figure that was up 26% from 2022. Experiences allow your customers to connect to each other and your business in a unique way, and depending on the offering, it can also help you reach a wide range of customers, not just couples. Friends who are looking to learn a new skill, or even family members wanting to find a new way to connect, could take an interest in your offering and, by extension, the rest of your business.

Be sure to sell tickets and promote your class via email, text, or social media so customers can plan accordingly. Consider creating a sign-up list where customers can reserve a spot to join your class so you can have an accurate count of what’s needed beforehand.

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.

Celebrate self-love.

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. You can also offer them the opportunity to treat themselves to a special sale or offer sweet freebies in store.

Maya Rollings
Maya Rollings is an editor at Square where she writes about all things customer experience, from building a solid customer base to leveraging tools and technology that meets them where they are in their journey.


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