In this article:
- Hold a Valentine’s Day Giveaway
- Create a Special Drink or Dish
- Design a Gift Guide With Promo Codes
- Create an Experiential Campaign
- Share a Live Broadcast on Social
- Celebrate your Loyal Customers
- Promote Staying in With Home Delivery
- Cover All Bases With Gift Cards
- Partner Up With a Charity
- Create Romantic Gift Packages
- Stick to the Cliches
- Create a Groupon Campaign this Valentine’s Day
Now that Christmas is over and your small business has had a chance to breathe from the manic holiday season, it’s time to start planning your marketing strategy for the next big holiday – Valentine’s Day.
In 2021, many customers had to opt for virtual experiences and at-home gifts. But, even amid COVID-19 restrictions, consumers of romance were still expected to spend $21.8 billion on the holiday in 2021 – around $165 per person. 1 As restrictions ease, we will likely see this figure surpassed as sales reach the heights of previous years (2020’s figure was $27.4 billion). 2
This provides a huge opportunity for small businesses, who are more than likely feeling the strain after a period of uncertainty. Whether you’re a natural fit for this holiday (restaurants, spas, florists) or not so much (law firms, consultants, cleaning services), you can still use Valentine’s Day promotional messages to tap into the love that swirls around us throughout February.
Here are 11 fun and effective Valentine’s day marketing ideas to melt hearts and open wallets.
1. Hold a Valentine’s Day Giveaway
As we’re scrolling on our phones more than ever, the key to your consumers’ hearts this Valentine’s Day could be through an online giveaway. If marketed right, a giveaway on your socials could be just the ticket to catch peoples’ attention and build more brand loyalty.
If you work in the beauty industry, you could try and help your customers spoil each other by offering free treatments. Or, for food and drink retailers, perhaps your establishment can give away free dinners or drinks reservations?
When creating your valentine’s giveaway ideas, think about adding:
- Heart emojis – to fit the lover’s theme.
- Giveaway information – showing exactly what’s on offer and how to win.
- Well-placed CTAs – make it as easy as possible to act, whether that be signing up to your email marketing, liking your social page, or sharing a Valentine’s post.
If your business is open during the holiday season, you could also consider handing out a free gift with every purchase.
2. Create a Special Drink or Dish
For restaurant and bar owners, why not create a special drink or dish for Valentine’s Day (or the entire month of February)? You could even turn standard dishes on your menu into love-themed ones (heartbeet soup, perfect pear pudding) or create a special prix fixe menu.
If your restaurant is still under restrictions or running at half capacity, you could instead make home cooking the focus of your Valentine’s Day promotion ideas. Gather all the ingredients and instructions for a three-course meal, then package them in a hamper-style delivery to re-create date night at home.
Meanwhile, if you’re running a bar, DIY cocktail kits can also be a fun activity for couples to try – so set aside some budget to bring your bar to them.
3. Design a Gift Guide With Promo Codes
As with any holiday, it’s likely consumers will be feeling overwhelmed by the vast options available for their Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Instead of competing against major brands for your individual offerings, compile your best gift suggestions in a printed or digital gift guide. Try introducing promo codes for discounts inside your guide to immediately grab your readers’ attention. After all, who doesn’t love treating their partner and saving money at the same time?
To really get creative and cut costs, you could partner with other businesses to create a gift guide that promotes all the gifting options available in your city. You can use this idea even if you don’t offer any Valentine’s-related products or services by explaining how your non-traditional gifts are still great options for the special day.
4. Create an Experiential Campaign
As we move from spending our days indoors to getting outside again, many couples will be looking for a different kind of experience.
In 2021, a survey by Statista showed that 15% of consumers would consider an experience as their ideal Valentine’s Day gift. 3 And, in 2018, approximately $5.1 billion was spent on experience gifts alone for Valentine’s Day. 4
By partnering with other local businesses offering different services, you can create unforgettable experience days for couples. For example:
- Your beauty salon could provide a couple’s spa day, with a selection of treatments.
- A nearby restaurant could offer dinner and drinks in that same package.
- Work out a discounted price to sell the all-round package for.
For couples who are still feeling anxious about the pandemic, you can also offer these experiences as gift cards, which can be redeemed at a later date.
5. Share a Live Broadcast on Social
Video has become one of the best ways to reach customers on social media. Similar to the gift guide above, you could shoot a video that highlights your top gifting options — spa packages, restaurant gift cards, romantic products — and share it on your social channels. You could even host a Facebook Live broadcast where you take questions from your customers and respond with product/service info and gift recommendations in real time.
Cooking and cocktail making classes have proven to be popular engaging couple’s activities for years now. If you’ve already embraced tech during COVID, or even if you are yet to step into the digital world, moving these online could be a simple but effective Valentine’s Day marketing idea.
This will enable you to share Valentine’s Day recipes with attendees and capture their details, so you can follow up with them in the future. It’s a fun way to promote your small business, especially if you can’t welcome as many guests through your doors as you’d like this year.
6. Celebrate Your Loyal Customers
All businesses love their customers (well, most of their customers). Show them how much they mean to you by offering a special, limited-time Valentine promotion for current patrons only. It could be a buy-one-get-one offer, a discount on their next service or purchase, or a free gift the next time they come in.
It’s a great way to build brand loyalty and show your appreciation for all their support during the precariousness of the pandemic.
7. Promote Staying in With Home Delivery
Sometimes couples just want a takeout, a movie, and a relaxed night at home. After the apprehension of 2021, that could be the case for most couples across the US.
Small businesses should be promoting gifts that are eligible for takeout, collection, or home delivery. Think about:
- Offering special delivery discounts
- Expanding your delivery area
- Providing a curbside pickup service
Then start promoting them by giving customers all the information they need about delivery costs, preparation times, and zip codes you deliver to.
8. Cover All Bases With Gift Cards
Social distancing restrictions may mean that restaurants, hairdressers, spas, and other service industries may be unable to accept the volume of customers as before.
Gift cards are a great way to get customers through your doors throughout the year and they come with limitless marketing opportunities. Make the giver look like a hero with messaging encouraging their significant other to pamper themselves with a spa treatment or salon package. Or focus on giving the receiver an easier life with gift cards for home cleaning, takeout meals, or babysitting.
For a little something extra, you could always pair your gift cards with a sentimental item such as flowers, candy, or a stuffed animal.
9. Partner up With a Charity
February is Women’s Health Awareness Month, so, if your main target market is women, consider holding a connected event. For example, you could collaborate with a yoga instructor, mind-body expert, personal trainer, or local chef on a health-focused event that draws in customers for both of you.
You could also work with the American Heart Association or Go Red for Women to host a fundraiser or Valentine’s Day promotion in which you donate a percentage of your sales to the organization.
This is a great way to give back this Valentine’s Day and cut through the noise as a small business looking to make a difference, not just a few bucks.
10. Create Romantic Gift Packages
Don’t forget about the procrastinators when you’re putting together your Valentine’s Day promotion ideas. Partners everywhere will be frantically scrolling through their social feeds to find last-minute gift ideas for their loved one in the run up to the big day.
Make it easy for these last-minute gifters by putting together gift baskets of your best-selling products. Make sure you schedule an email campaign to go out to your customer list the day before Valentine’s Day, just in case anyone needs a reminder.
11. Stick to the Cliches
Just because many couples may be considering a different kind of Valentine’s Day this year, it doesn’t mean you should neglect people looking for a romantic meal out – if you can offer this safely.
If you’re a restaurant, café, or bar, you may have installed outdoor seating to accommodate restrictions on indoor service. Add a photo of your seating area to social channels, alongside reservation details, to make it as easy as possible for diners to get an outdoor table.
It’ll reassure customers that they’ll be safe when dining out – and help promote any Valentine’s Day specials and offers you’re running.
Alternatively, for those with the retail space, make the most out of the colors of the season. Put any pink or red products front-and-center in your store window, on display tables and racks, in your emails, and on social media.
12. Create a Groupon Campaign this Valentine’s Day
Millions of loyal customers rely on Groupon for the perfect gifts, dinner reservations and experiential packages that make their date night one to remember. We’d love to help you create Valentine’s Day marketing ideas that’ll assist you in aiming cupid’s arrow at our massive audience of local customers and help grow your business. Learn more on how Groupon works.
By implementing our heartfelt promotional ideas this year, you can ensure your small business stands out from your competitors and that your customers feel the love this Valentine’s Day. Everyone’s a winner.