Your Ultimate 6-Step Valentine's Day Success Strategy
The Black Friday craze is long gone…
And so are the Christmas jingles…
Did you get the sales you wanted? Yes?! Great. There is nothing better than figuring out what works best for your store...and replicate it. Just in time for the special Day of Love.
We’ve teamed up with Chronos Agency, a leading email marketing agency, to help you prepare and launch successful Valentine’s Day campaigns, and finish strong with the help of the powerful SMS<>email duo. All of this in just 6 simple steps, perfectly spread out in time.
But first, let’s take a quick look at what differentiates email and SMS, and how to leverage them, both individually, but as a team, as well.
SMS and Email - a match made in marketing
We’ve all heard the story how email and SMS are constantly “competing”.
But the truth is there is enough room at the eCommerce table for both marketing channels. And brands that aren’t taking advantage of SMS and email together, surely need to think twice.
Your emails and SMS can target different audiences, with different offers and message copy.
Email allows for greater customization of every element - from visuals, font text, size and type, to text copy and length. It lets you give a bit more context to your offer, maybe even attach a file, embed a video or any other form of media you think might help advertise your brand. Emails are great for people who use desktop computers to do their shopping.
SMS is a bit more intimate. This is why customers expect your text messages to be more personalized and non-intrusive. SMS doesn’t let you go too wild with the customization but that’s the beauty of it - you have about 160 characters (the size of 1 standard text message) to say the most important things, and grab your customer’s attention. It is quick, easy, and there is almost no way your SMS will go unnoticed with the whopping 98% open rate. Not to mention with mobile commerce increasingly becoming the preferred way for people to shop, doubling down on a mobile-first channel like SMS is more important than ever.
And in the next 6 steps we will recap how you can use both email and SMS to your advantage and break the stats this Valentine’s Day.
Step 1: The Hype Builder
The purpose of teaser email campaigns is to create anticipation among your audience. You want people to feel curious and excited about what’s coming soon. Like in the email example below.
Make them feel that you are releasing something big and unique, and you are inviting them to be a part of a very special group that will only get very special offers. And will get them much earlier than everybody else. You can even showcase your best-selling products and have them be eager about what’s to come next.
The Hype Builder period works in your favour as Valentine’s Day is a gifting holiday, and this ample time you are providing your customers will give them the chance to take advantage of a pre-sales discount to buy gifts for their loved ones. You can be sure that by the time the actual sales day rolls around, they’ll appreciate you by coming back for more.
At this stage, when you are first announcing your upcoming Valentine’s Day sales, rely mainly on email because of its flexibility. This channel of communication allows for elaborate marketing, more visuals and gives you the freedom to include basically anything within.
Step 2: Priority List Build-Up
The last week of January up until the first days of February is also a good time-frame to boost both your email and SMS subscribers, and build your Priority List of customers who will receive your offers first.
Keep in mind that although you can use both channels to target your audience, that doesn’t mean that if somebody opted in to receive email notifications from you, they necessarily also want you to send them text messages, and vice versa.
Which is why our subscription forms enable you to collect both emails and phone numbers at the same time, helping your brand draw the maximum out of every interaction with a single customer, all the while growing both lists simultaneously and much more effectively.
Carefully crafted pop-ups and keyword campaigns are the great way to do so. Add a little something for your customers and you will see those numbers in your lists growing.
Dual Collection Personalized Pop-ups
With the latest update of our Subscriber Collection tools, brands can now also personalize their on-site subscription tools, such as pop-ups. They are highly responsive and allow you to fully customize your form by uploading images or selecting fonts and colors to best match the style of your brand. Moreover, you can create a variety of pop-ups that will have a captivating headline, appealing offer and a clear CTA, not to mention will appear to customers at the right place & time.
And let’s not forget - with our subscription forms you can collect both emails and phone numbers.
A strategy you can employ with your Valentine’s Day form is have it entice visitors to opt-in and receive an early bird “VIP” discount. Besides to help with conversions, this will also give you an idea who your VIP customers are and a chance to celebrate them by giving them access to earlier, bigger discounts. In turn, this will maximize the spending power of your lists.
Consider using some of our Valentine’s Day pop-up templates, or get inspired to create your own that will best represent your brand. Just remember that the more you invest in providing a personalized, on-brand experience, the higher the chances your efforts will result in sales.
Which brings us to the next way you can build your list: mobile-only pop-ups.
Mobile Pop-ups to Collect SMS Subscribers
Like we already said, mobile commerce is continuously on the rise and it’s important to try and grab your mobile visitors’ attention as well. You know what they say - be where your customers are and don’t just wait around for them to come looking for you because you might be left hanging. Half of today’s consumers prefer the convenience of receiving important updates straight on their phones, that’s why it’s good to leverage that and have them become your SMS subscribers.
Our mobile-only pop-ups make subscribing very easy. To opt in, visitors need only to tap on their phone screen: the perfect experience for people on the go!
Besides being speedy, the mobile pop-up’s strongest suit is that it provides for a seamless transition between where a user starts their experience with you and where they get all the content they subscribed for. They opted in for your service using their phone and will be receiving deals from you on the same device.
Keywords are so versatile - in all ways imaginable, and are super effective when it comes to drawing attention to your upcoming campaigns. Select a word that fits your brand and product, but try to avoid general keywords like YES, OK, GO, SHOP, OFFER, DISCOUNT, CLUB, JOIN.
Keywords can be used in Instagram stories, in TikTok, in your Facebook cover, Pinterest pin, even for offline purposes - like banners, billboards and posters.
But they are exceptionally useful when it comes to converting email subscribers into SMS subscribers, especially if you are just now starting out with SMS and want to begin growing your list.
What better time to do this than right before you send out your first Valentine’s Day promo campaign?
Step 3: Priority Launch
Much like how business class people get to board the plane first, your early birds and loyal customers should be treated with your most exclusive offers. Don’t wait for the Day to come to launch your campaign. Start at least a week before Valentine’s so you give them enough time. After all you want them to receive their presents in time, right?
What does this mean exactly?
Valentine’s Day is when people go out of their way to make sure their loved ones get the most wonderful gifts. Sometimes they need a little bit of help with their decision, though. This is when gift recommendations really come in handy and can separate you from the rest of the stores which perhaps haven’t gone the extra mile to put together a list with Cupid-approved items.
For the priority launch, don’t disappoint them - send an email with all of your love-inspired items that you know will ignite the fire. Complement your email priority launch with a breezy SMS that further emphasizes the exclusivity of the offer - after all, you are inviting only your VIP subscribers, early birds and very loyal customers to the pre-Valentine’s party.
By the way, the Priority launch also gives you the opportunity to run some A/B tests for both your SMS and email campaigns, and make sure you have the strongest message when it comes time for your Main Launch.
Step 4: Main Launch
Fast forward several days: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and it is all hands on deck. It’s your Main Launch - the time has come to target everybody on both your email and SMS list. No exceptions.
We recommend that you pay extra attention especially to your most active customers - or those who purchased from you either on Black Friday or from your Christmas promos.
Even though you're launching a mass campaign, it’s still important to personalize your messages, especially if you skipped on A/B testing your campaigns in the earlier stage. What Chronos Agency has found out is that emails with product recommendations convert more, as they give customers ideas and direction. One tested-and-approved tool they also recommend is a countdown timer. It increases customer engagement, incites FOMO and a sense of urgency.
In terms of SMS, it is very important to tickle your customers’ every sense - their sight, their feel of need, their sense of time, and their desire to score a good deal. And before you ask - yes, all this is achievable via text messages.
A stunning image of the product you are selling, combined with a call-to-action that taps on your customer’s fear of missing out, and a juicy, but time-constrained discount, surely is the winning combination.
Make sure to check out our Valentine’s Day text message templates that will show you just how to appeal to your customers and make them fall in love with your brand.
Step 5: Social Proof
Word-of-mouth is still one the most effective ways of marketing. It’s other name is social proof. Here you integrate the inspiration aspect of shopping with your eCommerce brand to influence your customer’s buying behaviour.
Chronos Agency advises merchants to focus on customer testimonials, videos or the number of highly notable figures who are using your brand, or even showcase awards and press mentions. This is especially successful if your target audience is between 18 and 34 years old, as 84% of this group relies on online reviews when deciding where to buy from.
Sweep away any hesitation your customers may have had in their minds by doing this over the weekend or a day after the Main Launch to push some last-minute buying. Remind them that they only have a limited time-frame and should act quickly.
Keep in mind that the main target audience you want to reach are subscribers who either didn’t see your first email, or those who saw it but didn’t act on it, and give them a nudge to buy now before the eleventh hour.
Remember: you are already ahead of the game if you send your customers an email reminder in between the Main Launch and the Sales Closing. So good job!
SMS works very well to increase sales by reminding customers about your current offers. These are the key tricks to make your SMS reminder even more effective:
Increase sense of urgency: say how many days are left until the end of the promo.
Emphasize timely delivery: this is often the make or break factor, which can drive people to buy online, or find other alternatives.
Add FOMO: elements like low stock levels or time limits promote more sales.
Step 6: Closing Sales
This is the “Now or Never” step, where you really have to emphasize your last-second sales. And the best way to really get under your customer’s skin is to use text-based emails together with SMS.
Text-based emails are straight to the point, and drive people to “act fast, act now”. And so do SMS.
Every other trick in the marketing book is valid here, too: urgency, FOMO, personalization and good (better) discounts. But try and be extra brief this time.
Get the 6-star Love from Your Customers
You don't need to be a believer to make February 14 work for you. Simply believe in your marketing powers!
Incorporating this 6-step comprehensive text and email marketing for your Valentine's Day campaigns will surely win your customers' hearts.
Viktoria is a Content Creator at SMSBump. Besides writing for work and pleasure, she is an avid foodie, a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoys spending time at the beach.