Valentine’s Day Strategy Showcase

Marketing Research Intern Layla Thomas has been looking at the marketing emails of leading retailers and recording her observations. The post below is the final post 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.   

There are countless strategies one can use to entice those reads, clicks and conversions we’re all after. But why choose just one?

Browsing my inbox as Valentine’s Day approaches, I’m seeing some great mixed-approach emails with content and design that work together beautifully. Here are a few of my favorites that feature a mix of holiday spin, catchy headlines and content-driven marketing.

Sweepstakes

Don’t want to give up that 10% with a coupon code that misses the mark? Consider sweepstakes. They’re fantastic for building hype, boosting email acquisition and can be powerful partnership opportunities.

Here’s how Oka-B and The RealReal put this strategy to use. Note how Oka-B also draws some cross-channel engagement with their use of Instagram. 



Gift Guides
You love them in November and December…why not in February? Gift guides, which I also highlighted in a previous post, can reduce the friction (and indecision) that might be paralyzing some of your shoppers over this special holiday. Yes gentleman, I’m looking at you.

LovelySkin solves the problem here.


Cross-Channel Marketing
Social proof makes the difference between a cart abandoned and a purchase completed. Amazon has clearly proven that. For Valentine’s Day, Ashley Stewart tries to drive some informal buzz by pushing their holiday hashtag, “#xoxoASHLEY”.




As a second cross-channel method we love, check out how Kohl’s uses their marketing email as an opportunity to showcase their “Buy Online, Pick Up In Store” offering. 



What sweet Valentine's ideas have you seen in your inbox? 

Valentine’s Day Retail Strategy: Add Animation

Marketing Research Intern Layla Thomas has been looking at the marketing emails of leading retailers and recording her observations. The post below is the second 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.   

I’m not sure if Wallace and Gromit are to blame here, but there’s something really endearing about animation. Emails on the other hand…well, I hope it isn’t mutinous to admit they are not always the most warm and cuddly of creations.

Personally, I think that’s why the hybrid of the two makes for such charming marketing, and I'm seeing several retailers taking advantage by sprinkling some movement into their Valentine's Day emails. 

Want some inspiration? Here are a few Valentine’s Day emails that recently grabbed my attention.


Kate Spade makes sure Valentine’s priorities are right where they should be.



MoMA practices some perfect product placement with a light-up heart cube.   


Tiffany & Co makes a bit of themed animation series to complete the phrase, “Love is ____ .” I’m a fan of the idea, and even more a fan of the adorable animations.



To round things out, Indigo makes it rain hearts in their email-turned-gift-guide that extends the holiday spirit to both children and bookworms with just a few simple movements.



Have you seen any Valentine's Day emails that have moved you? 

      

Need Valuable Valentine’s Content? Think Gift Guides

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?