Need Valuable Valentine’s Content? Think Gift Guides

Thursday, February 11, 2016 Listrak 0 Comments

Marketing Research Intern Layla Thomas has been looking at the marketing emails of leading retailers and recording her observations. The post below is the first in a three-part series on what she's noting about Valentine's day promotions in email. You can reach out and say hi to Layla through LinkedIn.   

A quick review of the Valentine’s Day emails seems to send a clear message: the competition is weak. For many brands, the holiday push is confined to just soaking a featured image in a stew of roses, pink, and hearts.

Compare Costco Wholesale’s January 1, 2015, marketing email to its February 6, for example:

Yet with some brands, primarily in the sweets and jewelry sectors, I’m seeing much higher levels of “holiday spirit”. They all scream the same message: Gift Guides don’t need to stop when December does. One of the biggest trends populating my inbox, in fact, is Valentine’s Day gift guides.

Here’s an example used by Helzberg Diamond. Note how the bright pink hearts in the top right direct you straight to the gift guide. But, before we move to the website, notice the cross-channel engagement option via the hashtag “#weproposeyoupropose” in the hero image. Well done! Click through to the website and several easy-to-navigate links act as your personal shopping assistant to keep the process moving.

Godiva Chocolates, as another example, creates a gift guide that’s more visual than categorical. Love the visual flow created by the highlights, seen here.

If you’re not a retailer who features  traditional Valentine’s Day goods, there’s no reason you can’t cash in on this amorous (and consumerist) whirlwind. Don’t believe me? Check out how Muttropolis uses a little humor and an eye-catching link (that appears tauntingly similar to a video play button) to mix their doggiewear with some Valentine’s shopping.

How does your Valentine’s game plan stack up?