Valentine’s Day is a day for romance, telling others how much you care for them and buying them things. It’s also a nice reason to lift the winter gloom with socializing and celebration. For email marketers, it’s a time to show your subscribers some love and capture their share of that Valentine’s Day spending. Are you ready for the big day? We have all the information you need to make this holiday shine with these exciting Valentine’s Day email ideas.
It’s time to wake up, sleepyhead! Valentine’s Day is coming, and you must warm up your subscribers with early Valentine’s Day shopping signals.
Shake off your post-Christmas drowsiness and turn your mind to thoughts of love because your subscribers need to start looking for that perfect gift for their perfect someone, and they’ll need your help.
Valentine’s Day is the first major shopping event of the new year and second only to Mother’s Day and Thanksgiving through the Christmas shopping season as a consumer spending marathon.
This celebration of love is an opportunity for your brand to shower your customers with attention and give your Q1 revenue a healthy boost. Pre-season projections estimated Americans would spend $23.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2022, with up to 48% of shoppers planning to make those purchases online.
How will you catch people’s eye in the inbox, win their affections and earn their loyalty with your Valentine’s Day campaigns?
We’d love to help you with that.
Check out our top tips and best practices for creating Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns your subscribers will adore. And if you’re looking for inspiration for a different time of the year, this email newsletters examples blog has got you covered.
The trends that will shape 2023’s Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns
As marketers prepare for the first big shopping event of the 2023 season, the retail outlook is hazy. Will consumers’ spending habits match 2022’s positive numbers or recede as they recover from Christmas spending hangovers?
Whatever direction the economic winds blow, we predict that fortune will favor the prepared, and the early marketer will get the sales.
Here are the trends and statistics behind our predictions for the Valentine’s Day shopping season:
🏹 People will look for gift suggestions and make purchases earlier than during past holiday seasons
Procrastination may still be the modus operandi for many Valentine’s Day shoppers, but after two years of supply chain challenges, consumers may have learned that delaying their gift-buying decisions has consequences. Or they may be responding to retailers who are pushing up seasonal shopping dates as a hedge against inventory and shipping delays.
Whatever the reason, early birds will be looking for that perfect gift soon. Diving deeper, a gender gap emerged in previous seasons, with data indicating that women may begin shopping earlier than men.
🏹 Marketers will push up the start date of their Valentine’s Day campaigns
Compared to the winter holiday shopping season, the Valentine’s Day season is short. However, expect Valentine’s Day ads to appear earlier this year than during previous seasons, following the precedents set by the extra early kick–off of 2022’s winter holiday shopping season.
🏹 The number of people choosing to celebrate in non-romantic ways is on the rise
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers anymore. In 2022, the National Retail Federation reported that around 45% of Americans surveyed planned to not celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, 27% of those non-celebrants still planned to mark the occasion by buying anti-Valentine’s gifts, treating themselves, or getting together with friends.
Altogether nearly two-thirds of US survey respondents planned to do (and spend) something to acknowledge February 14. Galentine’s Day, Palatine’s Day, and Anti-Valentine’s Day are alternatives to traditional Valentine’s Day marketing themes. And pets. Pets make many people’s short lists when purchasing Valentine’s gifts. 🐶🐈
That said, Romance remains a major motivator for Valentine’s Day spending. According to a global survey by GWI, 88% of Americans in relationships planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2022.
🏹 The best Valentine’s Day gifts don’t always come in a package (small or otherwise)
Goods are losing ground to experiences in the battle for consumers’ hearts. Physical gifts including jewelry, cards, and candy are still in vogue, but more people are choosing experience gifts to give and receive.
How many people would prefer experience gifts? One study conducted by a travel agency reports that 62% of respondents preferred experiences over physical items as gifts. (I say, why choose when you can have both?)
🏹 Not everyone wants to hear about cupid
Like other holidays with emotional implications, Valentine’s Day messages can trigger negative emotions for some of your subscribers. Stationery company Papier Ltd. told the Wall Street Journal that 1.8% of its subscribers opted out of receiving Valentine-related email messages in 2022. (In comparison, 2% opted out of receiving Mother’s Day emails and 2.5% opted out for Father’s Day.)
Subscribers who aren’t affected by holiday emails personally appreciate the empathy shown by companies that offer choices, a survey by Capterra found.
Keep these conditions in mind as we explore how to build captivating Valentine’s Day email campaigns for your subscribers and look at some inspiring examples from Valentine’s seasons past.
Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign best practices for 2023 (Plus 32 examples)
Winning the hearts and dollars of this season’s savvy shoppers won’t be easy. Email marketers will need to deploy all their skills and assets to impress subscribers. Follow these tips and best practices to be the one that they want and earn their attention in the inbox.
💓 Win your subscribers’ affection this Valentine’s Day with careful planning and attention to detail
At the heart of every successful email campaign is a sound plan. Identifying the ”who, what, when, and how” of your Valentine’s Day emails starts well before your messages arrive in inboxes to surprise and delight subscribers.
If you don’t have a plan yet, start your preparations now, so your brand is the one on subscribers’ minds when they start their search for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for someone special–or for themselves.
Identify what your Valentine’s Day theme will be and your email campaign objectives.
Once you have this framework in place, narrow down the details, such as which and how many segments you’ll target, the number of messages you’ll include in your campaigns, and when those messages will be sent. Coordinate your email campaign schedule and messaging with your other marketing channels to create a continuous brand experience for your audience.
After completing your list of segments and corresponding campaigns, develop individual conversion goals for each campaign. Then brainstorm the special Valentine’s Day offers you’ll use to achieve those goals. Aim to maximize not only conversions but your ROI!
💓Coordinate your Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns across channels
Today’s consumers move between channels with ease and expect you to keep up.
Avoid sending mixed messages or miscommunicating shipping deadlines and discounts by building omni-channel campaigns. Include both online and offline activities and use your email campaigns to promote social media engagement and real-world or virtual pop-up stores, events, or brand activations.
💓 Offer subscribers the choice to opt–out of Valentine’s Day email messages
It may seem counterintuitive to volunteer to not market to people, but doing so will strengthen your relationships with subscribers and build brand loyalty.
While holiday opt-outs still aren’t commonplace, the number of brands offering subscribers this preference choice increases each year.
Get in front of this trend and demonstrate your commitment to subscriber consent by making your first Valentine’s Day email of the season an invitation to opt out.
When sending your opt-out messages, express empathy but avoid focusing on the reasons people might not want to receive holiday messages–those who want to opt out already know why.
Also, avoid adding design elements that highlight the holiday, as that will cause the discomfort you’re trying to avoid by offering the opt-out. (These tips may seem obvious. But when I reviewed opt-out messages… Well, let’s just say not everyone got it.)
Finally, add holiday opt-outs to your email preference and consent management center so your subscribers can update their wishes at any time.
💌 Nio Cocktails gives a nod to the Thoughtfulness Movement in its opt-out message. The Thoughtful Marketing Movement began in 2019 when florist Bloom & Wild invited subscribers to opt out of receiving Mother’s Day messages and encouraged other retailers to do the same. In this opt-out invitation signed by the brand’s CRM manager, Nio Cocktails references its participation in the movement.
“Valentine’s not for you? – Opt-out here…”
This opt-out message is signed by the brand’s CRM manager and prominently displays a contact email address emphasizing that communication with the brand goes two ways. Using merge tags personalizes the greeting, and the design is simple with minimal HTML which is appropriate for the tone of the message.
💌 Paperchase puts subscribers’ feelings first. Valentine’s Day is an important season for stationery, card, and gift shops like Paperchase. But the brand doesn’t let the significance of the season prevent it from considering its subscribers’ feelings. This opt-out message is brief and to the point, offering subscribers an out with empathy.
The subject line and preview text for this message were, “We know Valentine’s isn’t for everyone – Let us know if you’d prefer not to receive any Valentine’s Day…”
The brand avoided sending a mixed message by using distinctly non-Valentine’s colors for this message. Also, the large CTA button with a clear message allows recipients to understand the message and take action without having to dwell on the copy.
💌 Baked In offers subscribers a menu of opt-out options. Novelty baking retailer Baked In’s invitation to opt out is colorful and maintains the brand’s cheery tone of voice, while acknowledging that holidays aren’t fun for everyone.
Baked In’s subject line, “Hey, can we just ask?” is deferential yet light. Inside, this holiday opt-out invitation allows subscribers to head off future discomfort with separate CTA buttons linking to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day opt-out landing pages.
The un-sign-up process Baked In uses requires subscribers to enter their email on each list separately. Adding all of your holiday opt-out choices to your preference center and telling subscribers about this feature is an alternative way to help them get this potentially painful interaction over with quickly.
💓Understand your audience’s values before crafting your Valentine’s Day emails
While Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of romantic love, the holiday has expanded to be an inclusive celebration of affection for family, friends, and community.
Finding the right balance for your brand’s messaging can be challenging, especially when it comes to topics like romance. Your Valentine’s Day messaging can either be general enough to appeal to everyone or tailored to match your audience’s distinctive point of view.
Knowing your audience (and creating segments) will help you ensure your message hits the mark. The Valentine’s day email examples below illustrate how a targeted approach has the potential to include everyone in yourValentine’s Day emails.
💌 AeroGrow makes its pitch for singles. The day after Valentine’s Day is Single Awareness Day but most marketers don’t wait until after Valentine’s Day to approach their single subscribers with promotions and support.
This message from AeroGrow was sent to subscribers on February 5 so they could place their order and get delivery in time to celebrate their singledom.
“Single Awareness Day Doesn’t have to Succ – Treat Yo’ Self to Year Round Flowers | 50% OFF”
Filled with images of the colorful flowers customers can grow with the brand’s seed pod and growing kits, the copy of this email is fun and encouraging.
After repeating the subject line and preview text, a secondary header says, “Dear Cupid: Forget the romance, just send flowers.”
Additional copy such as “Fall in love with yourself,” “treat yourself to some homegrown flowers,” and “It’s true you don’t need to have a Valentine to celebrate #selflove!” continue the email’s supportive theme. That hashtag in the copy is one that subscribers may use when they accept this email’s pre-footer invite to join the brand’s community on social media.
💌 Lucky Brand celebrates romance in its fragrance promotion. How each person pictures romance and relationships is different and including every ideal in a single email would be hard to do. Lucky Brand uses an animated GIF to illustrate different couples in this “Lucky Valentine: Love at First Scent” email campaign.
“Love Is In The Air With New Fragrances for Valentine’s Day – Order With Ground Shipping TODAY To Get Your Gifts By 2/14”
The copy inside this Valentine’s Day email sticks to the romantic theme, inviting subscribers to “Fall head over heels for our exclusive assortment of tops, tees, dresses, and accessories,” while reminding them to “order today to get it by Valentine’s Day.”
💌 Craft Beer Club celebrates romance (in its own way). The theme is Valentine’s Day but humor takes center stage in this mostly text email from Craft Beer Club.
“Romance advise: *pours a glass of beer*”
The brand notes that Valentine’s Day is only 18 days away so people who have a significant other (SO) or just want to get a gift for themselves need to get moving.
The copy then asks if recipients think a gift like chocolate or flowers that doesn’t last is “how you want to celebrate your undying love and grand admiration for your significant other, and/or yourself?”
“Hell, no!” the copy continues, asserting that recipients and their SO’s “deserve to enjoy endless romance that is reinvigorated each and every month like clockwork,” with a beer of the month delivery.
I have to admit, I’m intrigued. Maybe a coffee of the month plan for me, though.
The email also offers some options for those who wait until the last minute to order their subscriptions. They can opt for expedited shipping or download a card that announces their gift. Keepin’ it classy. 🍻
⚠️Although tailoring your message based on demographic and psychographic information helps you deliver personalized emails that are more relevant and provide value to subscribers, there are risks to getting it wrong.
Look at your customer behavior data, sentiment and feedback analysis, and the results of your multivariate testing to help you avoid making inaccurate assumptions about your list members.
💓 Don’t wait until the last minute to tell subscribers how you feel
Valentine’s Day may be a one-day event but your Valentine’s Day marketing season lasts much longer. Valentine’s Day email campaigns may begin as early as January and extend through a post-Valentine’s Day promotion.
When should you begin your Valentine’s Day email marketing?
January is a good time to begin warming up sleepy subscribers and setting the stage for subsequent Valentine’s Day communications. Some brands were sending their first Valentine’s Day mentions by January 11 in 2022.
Select the best timing for your campaigns by evaluating your data.
Map your customer’s journey and identify their usual buying cycle. Then factor in external conditions such as supply chain issues and seasonal demand.
For instance, if you are marketing a restaurant or event venue with limited Valentine’s Day inventory, give your subscribers an early reminder to make their reservations. With a legitimate cause to promote scarcity, this may be a good opportunity to leverage exclusivity or reward loyalty. Consider sending out a special early-reservation invitation to your VIP customers.
This strategy also ensures that you don’t miss an opportunity to convert those who plan ahead. (I’m not personally familiar with life strategy but I hear it happens.)
Brands offering consumer or resell products can get ahead of the rush by mentioning Valentine’s Day before February, too. Use your early Valentine’s Day promotional campaigns to help your subscribers help themselves.
Individual customers don’t want to be caught empty-handed on Valentine’s Day and retailers don’t want to miss out on sales during this narrow seasonal window. Remind them that they can avoid the perils of sellouts and supply chain snafus by buying now.
💌 Red Cap Cards gets an early start to the season of love. Who better to kick off Valentine’s Day email marketing than a greeting card shop?
Before subscribers rang in the new year, this Los Angeles-based card shop sent a “Valentine’s Day mini-release” announcement encouraging people on its mailing list to place their orders soon for these specially designed Valentine cards.
With Valentine’s cards as their product, choosing the hero image for this email message seems almost too easy. You can use your products to achieve a similar effect. Play with different combinations of product colors and shapes to communicate your holiday theme and showcase your merchandise.
Not sure if your image will strike the right note with subscribers?
Real-time A/B testing can help you make the call. For example, Red Cap Cards could try different Valentine cards for the hero image or trial a single card image versus an array of cards.
Red Cap Cards sells its cards to individuals and resellers. This email’s message, “Don’t forget to place your Valentine’s Day order soon,” works for both its B2C and B2B audiences. Using a message with broad appeal is a good strategy for communicating with new subscribers when you have limited information. Once you learn more about your list members, use segmentation to tailor your message to their needs.
Besides choosing which day to begin your email campaigns, consider also what time of day to send your messages to maximize their effectiveness. This too will require looking at your customer and performance data to pinpoint the best time to send emails. You may discover that your subscribers have distinctive behavior patterns that merit creating “time to send” segments.
💓 Keep the romance alive with a series of email messages
If only you knew exactly when each person on your mailing list was going to shop. But alas, the heart is fickle and unpredictable. You can get some idea of when your subscribers might be ready to make a Valentine’s Day decision by looking at your performance data. But still, it’s best to not count on a single email to win over selective shoppers.
When planning your Valentine’s campaigns, develop a series of complementary emails that will nudge your subscribers forward on their buyer’s journeys. Don’t forget to update your triggered and transactional email campaigns to include Valentine-themed promotions and CTAs!
💌 Biossance sends a steady cadence of Valentine’s Day enticements. Starting with a kickoff message on February 4 announcing that the “VDay gift shop is officially open,” skincare brand Biossance engaged subscribers through the 2022 Valentine’s Day shopping season with a series of engaging subject lines and enticing offers.
My favorite subject lines from this sequence are, “Ditch the flowers for this one-of-a-kind rose,” for a message promoting a rose oil product, and “Outdo Cupid with the best gifts in the game” for the messaging promoting the brand’s Valentine’s gift shop. The February 14 cap to this series includes a thank-you message and a $25 gift promotion.
💓 Use Valentine’s Day email templates to streamline your production process
You may have noticed that the Biossance email series I shared uses the same imagery for more than one message. This is one way to speed production and maintain a consistent style across a long campaign.
You can change up your messages’ design and copy while still using a standardized set of templates. Just swap out the panels or backgrounds to customize your email. Sticking with your standard header and footer helps prevent errors such as typos, broken links or missing information in these important sections of your email messages.
Prepare your Valentine’s Day email templates by employing all your email newsletter design and copy best practices. Then, pass these templates through all your standard quality assurance checks so that they are updated and ready to use for any holiday or event.
💌 LoveCrafts shows subscribers some love with a newsletter decked out for the season. In a special Valentine’s Day email blast, LoveCrafts sends subscribers a heart-filled message complete with an animated GIF, 20% off discount and free craft patterns.
Staying on theme from start to finish, the subject line for this email announces, “We love you! Open for a Valentine’s treat 💘” and the discount code is “LoveLetterUs.”
LoveCrafts adds a seasonal touch to many of its newsletters, including the one featured above and this Palentine’s email sent on Feb 13.
“It’s Palentine’s Day Share 20% Off With Your Pals! – FREE Patterns for #GreatYarnChallenge >”
This day before Valentine’s Day newsletter blast invites subscribers to “Refer and friend” and “share the joy of making!” Both referrer and referred receive 20% discounts as rewards. The newsletter also includes the brand’s regular promotions and navigation blocks.
LoveCrafts uses its regular newsletter template to produce seasonal promotions throughout the year. The header, footer and navigation panels remain mostly unchanged except for necessary updates to the terms and conditions.
💓 Work your products, services, or brand style into your Valentine’s Day email template designs
If your brand has a very not-Valentine’s Day design style, you’ll have to decide whether you’ll stick to your standards or shake things up for the holiday season.
Sometimes, you can find an acceptable compromise between going completely hearts and flowers and sticking to the same ol’ look. Shutterstock’s Grace Fussell shares a stunning collection of color alternatives in her article, 10 Non-Traditional Valentine’s Day Color Palettes.
For example, some brands acknowledge the season with a few hearts or a color change. Others use copy to communicate their Valentine’s theme and keep their design the same. Still, others use their products, animated GIFs or other imagery to set their message’s tone.
Use products to boost your Valentine’s theme by choosing seasonal favorites such as party dresses or romantic gifts, selecting pink and red versions of the products you want to feature, or arranging your merchandise in ways that express love and romance.
💌 Anthropologie tells a love story with product staging. Anthropologie UK uses a combination of product selections, staging, design accents and fonts to create a romantic feel for its January 30, 2022 Valentine’s Day newsletter. The effect is subtle and allows subscribers to imagine their own love story featuring the curated products.
“forward this to your Valentine… – 20% OFF In-Stock Upgrades, ends Tonight!”
Champagne flutes, perfumes, vases are among the suggested gifts. The staging of these images was well-thought out. A selection of initial charms are arranged to spell the word “amore.”
The light CTA above the navigation panel includes the brand’s 2022 Valentine’s tagline, “Love is in the air” and invites subscribers to “visit the Valentine’s Day Shop.”
💌 Jane GIFs subscribers a preview of Valentine’s gift ideas. Valentine’s Day colors? Check. Treat yourself entreaty? Check. Valentine’s Day themed gift suggestions? Check that, too.
Gift and clothing retailer Jane.com invites subscribers to “Make this V-Day an I-<3-Me-Day” with a selection of gifts for $14 and under for “you, you, & you.”
The subject line and preview text of this Valentine email newsletter encourage opens with the copy, ”Give yourself a treat today – Snag cuties under $14!”
Inside this email, the top product panel includes heart–framed product image GIFs that rotate through items such as personalized bags, heart-shaped jewelry and accessories and red nail polish.
The brand also gets a head start of upcoming holidays introducing St. Patrick’s Day and Easter goods in subsequent panels.
💌Lucious colors and animated details bring Erika PeñA’s Valentine’s Day promotion to life. I confess, I’m a sucker for a pretty dress (on my wife, of course). But I think even an anti-fashionista would have to be intrigued by this beautifully designed Valentine from the Erika PeñA Boutique.
“Happy Valentine’s Day to you…– Valentine’s 20% off gift inside. Your Goddess energy starts here.”
The VALENTINE copy behind the hero image and the playing cards in this email are both animated GIFs. The email’s message to recipients? “It’s time to own your Goddess energy… with powerful thoughts of self-love, deep gratitude and appreciation for the beauty of being You.”
There’s also a nice 20% off offer with the code: VALENTINADAY.
The color choices for this email are a knockout. They embrace the colors of the season, then take them to new depths. The effect is attractive and product-focused.
💌 Dylan’s Candy Bar email presents a classic Valentine’s gift in a classic shape. With such a perfect Valentine’s Day gift, what more needs to be said. Limited copy paired with bright images present an irresistible combination in this sweet Valentine’s promotion from a bulk candy and gift shop.
This email’s subject line, “Make Their Heart Sparkle!” has a double meaning. Customers can customize a heart–shaped gift of candy (complete with sparkly wrappers) for their Valentine at this brand’s candy store.
The email introduces several Valentine’s appropriate candy gifts and sticks to the company’s bright color palette while emphasizing Valentine-related hues of pink, red and purple.
💌 Triwa’s email skips the pink, shows the love. This promotional email from watch seller Triwa skips the traditional Valentine’s Day color scheme.
“Celebrate love with 20% off – code VALENTINES20”
Two hands placed to shape a heart image are the focal point of the email’s bold, minimalist hero image. In case viewers miss it, the overlaid words “Celebrate LOVE” hint at the shape of a heart, too.
The dark-toned watches that models are wearing contrasts nicely with the background and white text in the graphic. More product selections are featured below the image and the “Valentine’s Treat” in this email is 20% off with the code “Valentines20.”
💓Snare attention in the inbox with these sensational Valentine’s Day subject line and preview text best practices
Before you craft your Valentine’s, Galentine’s, Palentine’s, Single’s Day, Un-Valentine’s or Anti-Valentine’s subject lines, crack or click open your favorite thesaurus.
Look for fresh ways to spice up your Valentine’s copy with the words of amore, love, affection, fondness, admiration, passion, desire, obsession, devotion, belovedness. You get the idea.
For fun and puns, look for words that are close but not quite, have a similar meaning or other types of wordplay.
But remember, despite all the fun, your Valentine’s Day email subject lines and preview text still have a serious job to do. Think of your subject line and preview text as that BFF that introduces you to that person you’ve been dying to meet. They’re your best route to earning the open.
Use the themes of the season along with the best email subject line strategies to convince subscribers to choose your messages from among all the suitors in their inboxes.
Follow these tips to make your inbox appearance catch subscribers’ eyes:
- Keep your subject line short and sweet. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, your subject line can be nearly 1000 characters long. However, if your subscribers are viewing your messages on mobile, they may only see the first 40 characters or so. Those first 40 characters are where you want to put the good stuff that will make them want to read more.
- Use emojis to add color and draw people’s eyes to your inbox line. Emojis can help your subject line stand out and add personality to your text. There are lots of Valentine’s themed emojis that can complement your copy so think beyond red hearts. However, be careful about how you use emojis in your subject lines and preview text.
If your emojis don’t render, will your inbox copy still make sense?
For example, “ is in the air” doesn’t quite hit the same as “❤️️is in the air.”
When in doubt, use both the emoji and the word: “Love is in the air ❤️️.”
- Add preview text that complements your subject line. Preview text can be complicated. Because not every email client displays preview text and character limits vary, your preview text should be your subject line’s wing person. Supportive but not essential. If the preview text information is essential, repeat it in your email’s body.
- Use HTML code to designate and format your preview text. Preview text is actually preheader text that you’ve added to your code then assigned hidden status to. (You can also make this text your preheader copy by just putting it at the top of your copy and not marking it as hidden.)
If you don’t designate your text, many email clients will just take whatever appears first in your email’s copy. This may mean that the phrase “View in browser” or “Logo_ID” or some other nonsense appears next to your amazing subject line.
Talk about ruining the mood!
Use an HTML code designation to make sure the copy you prefer appears in your subscribers’ inboxes.
That’s not all you can do to use HTML to improve your preview text, though.
In the example below, some of the preview text fills the entire inbox line and includes preheader and body copy from the actual emails. Others have blank space after the preview text appears.
How can you add that intentional space to your preview copy?
Use Good Email Code’s preheader spacing hack to ensure that only the copy you want to appear shows up in the inbox display.
- Test different character and content combinations for your subject lines.
Your email’s subject line is often the deciding factor when subscribers decide whether to open or not. These critical components of your campaign should have BAE status for A/B testing and other experimentation.
Numbers, capital letters, questions, emojis, punctuation and the tone of your subject lines and preheader text are worthy of your consideration–and worth the investment.
Need inspiration? We have inspiring Valentine’s Day subject lines ideas waiting for you at the end of this article.
💓Charm your audience with copy that embraces a Valentine-related theme
Valentine’s Day offers you an opportunity to let your creative spirit free.
This is a holiday made for puns, poetry and everything in between. Capture recipients’ attention and click-throughs with witty wordplay, wry humor, luscious language and joyful affirmations.
Phrases referring to the heart are popular for Valentine’s message and Cupid appears often, too. Brands want to help Cupid, help you impress Cupid, or beat Cupid. Love, jealousy, passion, friendship and self-love are all potential Valentine’s themes.
For example, in keeping with the holiday theme, shoe brand Nine West used the phrase “Currently coveting” to highlight the featured item in this 2022 Valentine’s email blast.
How can brands selling goods capture audiences seeking experiences?
Emphasize the experience your products deliver by offering specially curated bundles, showing unboxing videos and demonstrating how people use your merchandise to create experiences.
Here are two examples of how brands use different styles to deliver their Valentine’s Day emails.
💌 Snowfeet reveals its anti-Valentine stance (or does it)? Inside this email with the subject line, “Which Olympic Sport You Choose? 😎”, Ski equipment seller Snowfeet exposes how it really feels about Valentine’s Day. (If brands can have feelings.)
”Valentine’s Day Sucks. Get Snowfeet* for your most significant one… yourself!” reads the mid-message header.
The copy continues, “Single? So what? Show yourself some love, you’re worth it! Get red, yellow or blue Snowfeet for $15 off and let yourself be seen. Remember, you can find your soulmate anywhere.”
The emai’s design eschews the traditional pink and red color theme, but doesn’t lose the hearts. They’re a cool shade of teal.
Oh, snap! Did you see that? Singles betrayed! The last third of the email gets all lovey–dovey with a “One for you, One for your love” header.
“Not single this year?” asks the text. “Well, nevermind… You can be a hero for this Valentine’s day and get Assled, Snowfeet, Skisakes or Snowblades in a set of 2 products for a special price.”
Ah, I guess they didn’t want the cuffed people to feel left out. Good thing Snowfeet subscribers are used to the brand’s distinctive sense of humor.
This email is packed with animated emojis of the brand community playing in the snow, too.
Finally, you may not have noticed it among all the action images, but this email message also included a real-time countdown timer (located between the anti- and pro-romance sections) to push subscribers’ urgency buttons.
💌 Gillette’s Valentine product promo gets in the mood. Gillette’s products aren’t the most romantic, but the brand still used the language of love in this Valentine’s Day themed promotion for razors and shaving care items.
The subject line and preview text kicks off the V-Day theme saying, “Ends today: Get 20% off a shave you’ll love – Handcrafted with care for the ones you are about.” Inside, after announcing that this is the last day of the sale, a subheader says, “We’re crushing on these picks for Valentine’s Day.”
Paired with the hearts in the hero image, this copy is just enough to acknowledge the holiday without getting gushy. On-brand and not over the top.
For a refresher on how to craft masterful copy by popping over to our epic guide, How to Become an Email Copywriting Master. And don’t forget to use dynamic email content to personalize your Valentine’s messages and make your recipients feel extra-special.
💓Cue your Valentine’s next best action with irresistible CTAs
Thinking about how to appeal to your audience during the Valentine’s shopping season isn’t an idle pursuit. Your Valentine’s Day email campaigns have an objective. Make sure your CTA brings home the win with proper placement and clear copy.
Use your email’s design and messaging to lead your subscribers toward a call to action that takes them to the next step in their buyer’s journey. We detail how to bring everything together in our email Call-To-Action guide.
Try some of these CTAs for your Valentine’s emails:
- Get your gift now
- Yes, please
- Get [discount] now
- Ship it to me, baby
- Book my experience
- Claim my reservation
- Share the love
- Refer a friend
- Find the one (Hat tip to RallyHouse.com specialty sports store for this one.)
- Discover more
- Shop the gift guide
- Shop Valentine’s Day gifts
- Shop Valentine’s Day sale
- Send love or Send with love (Gift delivery services.)
- Shop sexy looks or Shop date night looks (Credit to Forever 21.)
- Give green (Plants and eco-products.)
- Find a store or Find your store
- Get your gift card here
Looking for short phrases to pep up your Valentine’s messaging? Try a box of conversation hearts.
💓Show your subscribers you care by making sure Valentine’s Day emails are mobile-friendly and accessible
Love looks different depending on who is looking and so do your emails. Make sure your Valentine’s messages reach all your subscribers by following the best practices for mobile-friendly design and accessibility.
Ensure your audience can read (or hear) your email message by:
- Using single column designs.
- Setting your minimum and maximum widths for mobile and desktop viewing.
- Adding responsive settings for mobile viewing.
- Including a plain text version of your message that has been edited to include image descriptions and raw (fully written out) URL links.
- Adding alt-text to non-decorative images and GIFs.
- Checking your typefaces, font sizes and colors for readability and legibility.
- Assuring sufficient color-contrast and using text along with buttons for important elements such as your CTA.
- Testing your copy using a screen reader.
- Reviewing how your messages download and render across multiple devices and email clients.
It’s also a good idea to tone–check your emails. Ask people with tastes, lifestyles, ages or other characteristics to read your email’s copy and tell you what they think of it.
Okay friends, now that you know how to say it best, let’s look at some ideas for what to say this Valentine’s Day to win your subscribers’ affections and loyalty.
A bouquet of Valentine’s Day email campaigns ideas to win subscribers
Many of the ideas and offers that your company uses for other holiday blast campaigns and newsletters will work for your Valentine’s Day email campaigns, too. Like your templates, these ideas just need a little tweaking to give them the right vibe for the season.
But just in case you missed our spectacular Christmas newsletter article packed with 56 content ideas, here’s a quick list of Valentine’s Day email campaign ideas and suggestions to inspire you.
💐 Warm-up your Valentine audience before your big proposal
Put your subscribers in a Valentine’s shopping state of mind with early nudges such as coming soon announcements and sneak peeks of seasonal products. You can also leak the details of upcoming menus or entertainment coming to your venue for Valentine’s Day.
Inviting your subscribers to join waitlists or become loyalty members for VIP access are also effective early holiday warm up techniques.
💌 Virus sportswear heats things up with a 50% off early access sale. Encouraging early orders with a sale can help you get a feel for demand and get out in front of shipping deadlines. In this February 2 email promotion, Virus invites subscribers to Shop now and share the love with up to 50% off select items.
“❤️️ is 50% Off! Early Access – Share The Love Sale – Be the first to shop here!”
A large hero image featuring a hand-holding couple wearing the brand’s clothing is the main attraction in this message. Supporting the Valentine’s Day theme, red and black are the dominant colors of the clothing, and design with a few hearts worked in here and there for good measure.
Pre-spring is a great time to turn your subscribers’ attention to romance and new athletic wear. A smart combination for Virus.
💌 Hampers with Bite stresses getting an early start on Valentine’s gift shopping. Urgency, scarcity and FOMO! Oh, my! Hampers with Bite pushes all the right buttons to convince subscribers to get their Valentine’s Day shopping completed early in the February 2 email newsletter pictured below.
The subject line, “This Valentine’s Day Deal won’t last,” is paired with preview text that urges subscribers to “BE QUICK! Up to 20% off ALL Valentine’s Day Gifts ends this…”
Colorful design elements, an array of attractively displayed products from which to choose and an unboxing GIF give subscribers plenty of reasons to click through to grab the early bird deal which ends on February 7. (The feature gift, btw, is a men’s robe hamper. Do you think Hampers with Bite knew about the “women shop earlier” data?)
The brand also offers links to curated gift recommendations such as “Chocolate gifts,” and describes the available adds on such as a card or rose petals. To reassure reluctant shoppers, there are also customer reviews (with pictures!) and links to key information about delivery times and customer services.
Offers, answers, and great images make this a winning proposal.
💌 For Snapfish pushing early orders is a necessity. Photo gift seller Snapfish has to get subscribers moving if it wants to deliver their completed gifts in time for Valentine’s Day. It pushes subscribers to get a move on with a sale that ends on February 2.
“LAST DAY to save on something sweet!”
Shades of red and pink and sprinkled hearts in the top panel, along with the punny phrase, “Love at first snap!” mark the occasion for this message. The theme is one of urgency though. The email’s header states, “Be sure to order early for Valentine’s Day gift!” This is a reasonable request since each item needs to be custom printed using the customer’s photos.
Snapfish incentivizes early action with a series of gift codes, a series of gift recommendations sorted by price and an “ending today” sitewide 50% off sale.
You may not be able to tell from this example, but all the product images in each panel are friend, family, romance or love related. The images of pets, kids, romantic partners, friends, hearts, flowers serve as product examples and how-to inspiration for shoppers!
💐 Make sure your subscribers don’t run out of Valen-time
Valentine’s Day is one of those dates that if you miss, you may not get a do-over. So ensuring that your subscribers’ gift purchases arrive on time should be a top priority in the days leading up to February 14. Use shipping and delivery disclosures and, as the big day draws near, countdown timers to keep your subscribers informed.
Also send inventory updates such as low- or back-in-stock advisories so your audience knows what items are available and for how long.
💌 Sldiebelts helps subscribers avoid showing up empty-handed. In a last-chance email alert, belt, watchband and wallet retailer Slidebelt reminds subscribers of the exact dates and times by which they have to place their orders for them to arrive on time using either First Class or Priority shipping.
What happens if they don’t order their gift in time?
The subject line and its heartbreak and embarrassed face emojis tell the story. But every good story has a hero. In this one, that hero is announced by the preview text:
“💔LAST DAY to get your gift by Valentine’s Day with First Class shipping! 😳” – But gifting help is here”
This email also contains links to a best sellers list and his and her gift guides to help procrastinators choose the perfect present.
💌 Papyrus crosses the online-offline divide to help last-minute shoppers. Realizing that the procrastinators among its subscriber list may need an assist, Papyrus sends them a February 10 Valentine’s Day email message with a prominent link to its store locator.
The message of this email is that “It’s almost time for Valentine’s Day” but not too late to head to a local Papyrus retailer to get the perfect card. The hero image is a GIF that rotates through several Valentine-themed cards to show subscribers what they can expect to find when they go shopping.
💐 Invest in building long-term relationships with your brand’s community
Valentine’s Day is a relationship-focused holiday. Take this opportunity to build your relationship with subscribers by sharing a holiday greeting, a message of appreciation, news about your community or value-adding information that gives without asking anything in return. Here are some examples of relationship-reinforcing Valentine’s Day emails.
💌 Woolx shows its soft side with a staff photo. Showing the humans behind the brand, this Valentine’s Greeting from Woolx features a photo of the founder and director of fun inside the clothing retailer’s distribution warehouse.
“Happy Valentine’s Day From our Director of Fun. – From the founder and director of fun at Woolx!”
Smiling faces, balloons and a 20% off code. What’s not to love?
💌 Paws shares an informational blog with love. Recognizing the season in its February 12 newsletter, pet brand Paws shares a blog article titled “14 ways your pet says ‘I love you’” with its subscribers.
“The ways our pets show us affection – Some are stranger than others…”
Paws stimulates a little curiosity with that preview text, and I noticed that both cats and dogs were represented in the images. Awwww. 🤗
Your holiday-themed email blasts and mass emails don’t have to be promotional. Giving them value-added content enhances your credibility and strengthens brand loyalty.
💐 Help your subscribers find the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day
Guide your subscribers to the perfect ending to their love story with gift guides, trigger a little FOMO with best-seller lists, or offer them self-treat suggestions that will make them smile.
Add user generated content and testimonials for extra persuasive oomph.
💌 Love yourself or someone else, either way Sambag’s got your gift. Embracing Valentine’s Day from every angle, shoe and accessory brand Sambag invites subscribers to shop its Valentine’s Day edit “for self-love, your ‘Gal-entines’ or significant other…”
It’s all good.
“Gift or be Gifted – We’re in the mood for LOVE…” is the inbox lede for this email message.
In addition to featuring a selection of products for gifting, Sambag draws its community close by featuring an independent artist’s work in its evocative hero image and inviting subscribers to join them on Instagram at the bottom of the email.
💌 Terrain delivers Valentine’s gift ideas for all the ones you love. Home and gifts brand Terrain takes the stress out of shopping for gifts with a Valentine’s themed email that features gift guides for several categories including book lovers and home cooks.
“Valentine’s Day gifts for loved ones – from the heart”
Sent to subscribers in January, the message’s copy, “Our most heartwarming gifts for everyone you dig. Explore the Valentine’s Day Shop,” sets the tone. But it’s thematic product images like the heart shaped-bowl that really do the talking in this email.
💌 Urban Outfitters offers a fashion assist before the big day. This appealing email from Urban Outfitters strikes a BFF tone with a you-focused headline and a smiling model in the hero image. Inside, the copy invites subscribers to “Show some love and share some love with date-night dresses, gifts and more.”
“We love this for you – Valentine’s day gifts, red + pink everything, romantic tunes and…”
To nudge clicks and conversions, Urban Outfitters placed its “free shipping on orders of any size” offer at the top of this message.
Did you notice that the images and background colors begin with reds and pinks but transition to other colors of the rainbow as the message progresses? Inclusiveness is the underlying theme of this Valentine’s Day email.
After opening with free shipping, a free Spotify playlist closes out this email message.
💐 Seduce your subscribers with savings and value
Who doesn’t love to save money? Use selective discounts and other offers to move inventory, encourage early orders and lift average order values.
Then, let’s hear it for stickiness! Deals that allow your subscribers to gain reward dollars, future discounts or credits can convince them to click the buy now button and gives them a powerful incentive to show with your brand again later.
Gift card and referral offers are also great ways to extend the impact of your Valentine’s Day shopping promotions and increase your revenue.
💌 Misfits Market makes the moment last with a buy now, save later offer. This email from Misfits Market has a lot to love about it. First, there’s the tantalizing heart-shaped hero image created using fresh produce in beautiful shades of red. Then there’s “Give $15, get $15” referral bonus offer.
The email also includes a link to recipes using the fresh produce Misfit Market sells and information about the current week’s produce selections. Tasty!
“Give $15, Get $15 + What’s in Our Boxes This Week – Plus our favorite veggie-packed desserts”
Inside this Valentine’s Day update, Misfits Market encourages subscribers to “Keep spreading the love with this sweet deal,” writing “Here’s your chance to celebrate love month a little bit longer, with the gift of delicious food.”
💌 Hearst Magazines supports sharing as caring (and self-love). Thoughts of pairing up or sharing the day with friends naturally inspires thoughts of two-for-one deals. (Okay, maybe just for marketers.) Well, anyway, Misfits Market wasn’t the only brand encouraging subscribers to do for others and themselves for Valentine’s Day. Heart Magazines sent a twofer offer too.
“Share the love with TWO for ONE on beauty boxes – A treat for you and a gift for someone special”
This promotional newsletter gave subscribers the chance to pick up a beauty box for a friend or loved one and one for themselves. Double treat! The email’s hero image features items from the beauty kit appropriately arranged in the shape of the season. Throughout the message, animated GIFs reveal the details about what’s inside each gift set.
This email leverages several persuasive best practices. Not only does it emphasize the value of specific items in each set, but it also includes customer testimonials. The copy also name drops the brands whose merchandise is included in the gift sets under the heading, “The bestselling brands you’ll find in our boxes…” Savvy.
💐 Save your subscribers’ bacon with last-minute Valentine’s gift offers
Can you believe it? You started marketing for Valentine’s Day back in January. Yet here it is, the day before–or even the day of–and some people still didn’t finish their shopping. Can you save them? Yes, you can.
February 13 and 14 are “Purchase an e-gift card” days. Send your forgetful subscribers a relationship-saving offer.
💌 Home interior goods brand Sack it save the day, er, date. “Did you forget?” asks the personalized subject line of this email blast that went out to Sack it subscribers on February 13. “Don’t worry! We’ve got your back…” reassures the preview text.
Inside the message, the brand presents the problem and offers a solution with witty copy.
The header, “”Do you know what day it is tomorrow?” is followed with a hint: It starts with “Valen” and ends with “tine.”
The CTA button in this last chance message makes the need action clear– Click it to “Get your gift card here.”
The brand also generously offers to take the blame for a late delivery if subscribers want to take advantage of a 15% off offer and purchase an actual Valentine’s gift signing off with, “We are totally okay with you blaming shipping issues as an excuse to why the gift hasn’t arrived before Valentine’s Day.”
💌 Drizly offers Valentine’s procrastinators a rescue in almost real-time. Drizly is a delivery service for alcoholic beverages. They reached out to subscribers on February 14 to remind them they could still get a gift delivered to their door in time to celebrate the day of romance or “whatever.”
“Last minute drugstore candy won’t cut it. – Hurry and send your [whatever]-entine something.” is the subject line preview text combo for Drizly’s down-to-the-wire promotion. Continuing this humorous tone inside the message, the brand writes, “The heart wants what it wants. And spoiler: It wants drinks this year.” The CTA invites subscribers to “Send Love.”
I have to share a bit more of the copy from this message as it illustrates a nice thematic use of humor.
The below CTA paragraphs says,
”You know what’s scary? A flying baby wielding a bow and arrow. You know what’s even more scarier? Waiting until the last minute to get Valentine’s Day gifts. So make sure your vel-entines, pal-entines, gal-entines and [insert relationship status] -eintines can feel the love tonight. How? By sending them a drink. Or two drinks.”
Employing humor is a good way to deflect from implying guilt. Use humor in your last-chance message to save your subscribers and make them smile.
💐 Capture after-Valentine’s Day conversions with timely sales messages
We all have that one person in our lives that just isn’t good at buying gifts, don’t we? They either forget or choose something you don’t want. Your subscribers have those someone’s in their lives too.
Help them overcome Valentine’s Day disappointments with treat yourself promotions like the examples below.
💌Capitan Boots invites men to engage in self-love, too. Men can be disappointed on Valentine’s Day, too. Capitan Boots’ wry post-Valentine message empathizes with subscribers’ plight an email that says, “Did she really get you chocolate and new boxer briefs again this year? Get what you really wanted… BAD ASS BOOTS.”
“Chocolate again? – Get what you really wanted”
I hope the brand got their segmentation right for this one. 😅
💌 Slate & Tell offers subscribers a chance to get the gift they wanted. Jewelry shop Slate & Tell sent this email the day after Valentine’s Day inviting subscribers to engage in some self-love and get what they want on sale.
“Go gift yourself! – SALE EXTENDED: 30–40% OFF!”
Whether you call it self-help or self-love, Slate & Tell offers a solution to its subscribers whose significant others failed to deliver on Valentine’s Day. The email’s message, “Didn’t get what you want? Time to gift yourself!” is confident and encouraging (while also encouraging conversions).
A free gift offer, sorted-by-price recommendations and free shipping and returns add to this promotion’s appeal. A countdown timer ticking away the remaining moments of this extended offer tops off the email with a touch of urgency.
Bonus: 70 Valentine’s Day subject lines ideas to entice and engage your subscribers
We figured you may need a bit of help getting your creative juices flowing. This cold weather is no joke! ☃
So let’s get you warmed up with these inspiring Valentine’s Day subject line ideas.
General Valentine’s Day subject lines:
- Make this Valentine’s Day magical
- Keep the romance going (subscription services or lasting items)
- Share the love with [discount] off
- Share the love with [community or group] (good for charitable campaigns or friend-focused emails)
- Fall in love with [product, service, or travel destination]
- Love is in the air
- Everything your heart desires
- Make their dreams come true
- Something special for you this Valentine’s Day
- Get [discount] off [products] you’ll love
- You’ll love these deals
- Fall head over heels for
- Celebrate love with… (love, friendship, romance, etc.)
- You’ll both adore this…
- Everything you need for one enchanting evening
- Express your affection
- Calling all Valentines: Order your gifts now (Credit: Lucky Brand)
- Make this the best Valentine’s Day ever
- Tell them they’re still the one with…
- It’s Valen–time to celebrate (Credit: Louisa)
Cute or punny Valentine’s Day subject lines:
- Happy hearts day
- Cupid approved
- Make Cupid jealous
- Who needs Cupid?
- Give Cupid some help
- Love is in the hair (Credit: Mayraki hair care)
- Love is in the pair (Credit: Conscious Step socks)
- Get their heart racing
- Better than flowers
- Skip the flowers
- Candy is so yesterday
- Valentine’s Day again, didn’t we just do this last year?
- It would break our hearts if… (Credit: Biossance)
- Some things just go together (Credit: Newbridge Silverware)
- [Product, gift category, etc.] that [seduces, enchants, captivates]
- Couple up for Valentine’s Day or Double up for Valentine’s Day (Two for one deals)
- Charm your Valentine (Credit: Agento UK jeweler in an email promoting charms)
- [Gifts, outfits, accessories, dresses, shoes, etc] that are [Fresh and flirty, sexy, perfect for date night, perfect for staying home, hot, irresistible, sweet]
- Make their hearts go wild
- Knock their socks off
Treat yourself, singles or anti-Valentine’s Day subject lines
- More self-love -The greatest gift yourself (Credit: Peace Collective)
- Treat yourself
- All the single ladies (or gentlemen)
- For all our Palentine’s friends
- Shop your heart out
- One for you, one for your (Galentine, Valentine, friend)
- Didn’t get what you wanted? A little self-love never hurt anyone.
- Skip dropping hints. Get the gift you want with [discount] off now
Customer affection and appreciation subject lines
- Thank you for sharing the love
- Be our Valentine
- We appreciate you
- Your special
- With love
- To our amazing community this Valentine’s Day
- Showing you some love
- We ❤️️ heart our customers
Out of time and don’t forget Valentine subject lines
- Did you forget?
- Don’t arrive empty handed
- Our Valentine’s Day treat for you (Gift, treat, offer…}
- Order now and get it in Valen-Time
- Valen-time is almost running out
- Oops, you did it again. There’s still time to order your Valentine’s Day gift.
- Dodge the doghouse with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift
- It’s not too late to shower them with affection
- There’s still time to show you care
Now, about those emojis. If you’re using an app to select your emojis, you may be missing out on the perfect match for your message.
Check out Unicode.org’s Full Emoji List (v15.0) to explore new options. Be sure to test your emails before you send to make sure the emojis you love will show up in subscribers’ messages.
One last Valentine’s Day email optimization tip
Wow! That was a hearty helping of advice. Get it? “Heart-y.” Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t quit my day job. Since it’s my job to help you get the most out of every email marketing campaign, let me offer you one more tip.
Setting up automated campaigns that reach your subscribers at their moment of need (or intent to act) can significantly boost your conversion rates. Our article on email automation explains how to set up these triggered campaigns and which campaigns your brand can’t do without.
And last but not least, a special Valentine’s Day shoutout to Milled.com for collating all of these beautiful and heart-warming email examples. ♥