6 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Email Ideas

Another Valentine’s Day has sped in our direction faster than an arrow propelled by Cupid’s bow. You don’t want to miss making the most of it: Americans will spend close to $20 billion this year on V-Day gifts, candy, flowers and cards.

If you’ve procrastinated about creating and sending your V-Day messages, here’s some good news: most spending takes place in the week leading up to the big day. That means it is still not too late to reach a lot of purchasers. Here are six last-minute ideas that you can put to work today:

1. Showcase your customers

Valentine’s Day is not about you (or it shouldn’t be!). It’s all about showing how much you appreciate that special person in your life, or in the case of email marketers, those many very special people. If you’ve heard about customers who embody your company’s values, Valentine’s Day offers a wonderful opportunity for you let them know how much you appreciate them – and in the process, shine a light on what your company stands for.

Lyft encourages its customers to “pay it forward” by doing something nice for a stranger, and then feature Lyft passengers who went out of their way to offer kind gestures to others. Last year, one of their V-Day stories was of a passenger helping her Lyft driver pick out the perfect engagement ring.

For a last-minute take on this idea, look at your customer feedback over the last year or and pull out anecdotes that you could turn into messages of appreciation for how they put your values to work.

2. Market to other procrastinators

One thing that may make your feel better as you scramble to come up with a Valentine’s Day message is the realization that many potential customers (millions of last-minute purchasers) are probably also in something of a panic. You can leverage the anxiety gripping procrastinating sweethearts in a way that helps them solve their problem and feel much better.

In the example below from Hotwire, the company offers last-minute savings on deals to romantic destinations, but “time is running out” messages can be effective with any product or service.

3. Make a date

You want your subscribers to feel special on this special day, right? What could do that better than asking them out on a special “date?”

Last year Dunkin’ Donuts created a V-Day date “invitation” that not only offered a “free beverage for your Valentine,” but combined clever messaging and personalization to deliver a relevant, on-brand message that promoted in-store purchases, their mobile app, their website and their loyalty program.

4. Celebrate Galentine’s Day instead

There’s no shortage of Valentine’s Day messages in our mailbox lately, but we haven’t yet received a message wishing us a happy Galentine’s Day – which would surely leap out of the inbox.

If you are a fan of the TV show “Parks and Rec” you know that Galentine’s Day is the holiday created by the lead character, Leslie Knope, who said: “Every February 13, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

Galentine’s Day – much like Festivus, another “holiday” that sprang from the mind of a TV writer – has taken on a life of its own since its introduction eight years ago, with many marketers, including Shari’s Berries, leveraging it in recent years. If you are marketing to women, getting on the Galentine’s Day bandwagon might just pay off. But time is running out – remember, it’s the day before Valentine’s Day!

5. Go light on the copy, with an image that says it all

If you are scrambling this close to V-Day for ideas, chances are you don’t have a lot of time to spend creating compelling copy. Here’s a great solution: Go with an image that tells your story for you, like the one below from Marc Jacobs. The photo of the model straightforward, but the juxtaposition of the animated beating heart on the static image is what makes the approach compelling.

6. Relax and let yourself have fun

Chances are pretty good that if you are feeling the heat of a V-Day deadline, your creative juices aren’t flowing as freely as you know they can. So, take a deep breath, relax for a moment and ask yourself, “what’s the most ridiculous concept I can come up with right now?”

Someone at American Eagle must have done that to create the email below – it’s silly, but it’s also irresistible. The bold copy and wild animation serve to introduce the offers that appear when recipients scroll down. Be bold and try to top it!