SMS marketing ideas to help you win over the hearts of your shoppers and drive incremental online revenue this Valentine’s Day.

While we traditionally think of flowers, chocolates, and jewelry as Valentine’s Day gifts, nearly every brand can find a reason to celebrate—especially considering 52% of US consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. 

Of those celebrating, 73% feel it’s more important to do so this year given the state of the pandemic, and it’s clear that the virus is impacting how they’ll celebrate. According to NRF, only 24% will plan an evening out, down 10% from 2020. Popular gifts will include candy, flowers, gift cards, and clothing—38% of which will be purchased online. 41% of those celebrating plan to have a special dinner or celebration at home

Here are 14 SMS marketing ideas to help your subscribers celebrate the upcoming holiday (and help your brand drive online revenue).

Tip 1: Launch a custom Valentine’s Day-themed SMS sign-up unit

Take advantage of increased e-commerce traffic to your site and lean into the Valentine’s Day theme by launching a custom SMS sign-up unit. Consider testing an incentive that’s different than what you typically offer to drive even more sign-ups. 

For example, fine jewelry retailer Ross-Simons launched custom Valentine’s Day-themed SMS sign-up creatives on their mobile and desktop websites. Consumers who opt in to both email and text messaging will receive two entries to win a pair of earrings worth $195. The triggered welcome text message Ross-Simons sends to new subscribers thanks them for entering and provides a link to check out their gift guide “for 100s of ways to give LOVE.”

 

Tip 2: Don’t forget about Galentine’s Day

Thanks to beloved fictional character Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation, many women look to the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, as a time to celebrate other equally important relationships in their lives—their friends

Keep in mind that celebrating this once fictional holiday may not be right for all brands; consider who your audience is and if it might resonate with them. If you do plan to celebrate with your subscribers, lean into the playful origin and nature of the holiday by using fun messaging and imagery aligned with the holiday. 

Tip 3: Include Valentine’s Day language and emojis in your texts

This may seem obvious, but you should mention Valentine’s Day in your text message or use words associated with it. Words like love, romance, secret admirer, kiss, Cupid, etc., all help set the tone for Valentine’s Day. Other elements to consider including in your text message to subscribers are heart-felt emojis, images, or GIFs. 💛

Tip 4: Add a special offer

Valentine’s Day is a unique time of the year for giving gifts to those we care about, including ourselves. There’s no better way to show love for your shoppers than sending them an incentive, whether it’s a discount code, sale, free shipping, or a free gift with purchase. Your subscribers will appreciate the sentiment, as well as the incentive. Here are a few options:

  • Promote free gift-wrapping or offer to include a personal message in the package.
  • Offer the option to return gifts at no additional cost.
  • Send a discount code. Extra props if it’s unique to the holiday, such as “BEMINE20” or “HAPPYVDAY.”
  • Give subscribers—especially those last-minute shoppers—free 2-day shipping.
  • Offer a free, small gift with purchase. For example, if you’re a beauty brand, consider offering a free lipstick with a $50+ purchase.

Tip 5: Announce a new product

Not every marketing text message needs to offer a discount or promotion. There are many other non-promotional text messages you can send that will engage subscribers and drive revenue, including product drops or launches, recommendations, and tips & tricks. 

For example, online macarons store Pastreez sent a text to subscribers letting them know that heart-shaped macarons were available, with a reminder to pre-order for Valentine’s day on-time delivery.

Attentive is particularly powerful during holidays, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day. Combining it with an exclusive offer for SMS subscribers, like the 7 macarons free added to $42+ orders, is a win-win.

 – Anthony Rosemond, French Chef and CEO of Pastreez

Tip 6: Help shoppers find the perfect gift

Make it even easier for your subscribers to shop by helping them find the perfect gift. Try creating an online quiz that can be sent to subscribers via text messaging. Just make sure it’s mobile-first since they’ll likely complete the quiz on mobile web.

Alternatively, launch a gift guide on your website catered to different audiences or interests (e.g. “Gifts for Dad” or “Gifts for Self Care”) that will help them quickly find and purchase a gift for their loved one. Use your text messaging channel to promote the gift guide and ensure your subscribers are aware of it.

Tip 7: Promote self-giving, too

Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day in a traditional way. 23% of consumers who are not celebrating but still plan to mark the occasion say that they’ll purchase gifts to treat themselves. So even if not all of your audience will be celebrating this year, still consider sending subscribers a text message to drive website traffic and revenue—whether they’re treating themselves, or others in their lives.

Tip 8: Segment your text messaging sends by audience

Create segments within your SMS channel based on behavioral data—such as engagement and purchase history—so you can send even more relevant messages. For example, try re-engaging inactive subscribers by delivering an offer they can’t resist. 

Alternatively, consider sending a follow-up message 48 hours later—but only to those subscribers who have not yet purchased. Beauty brand Mented Cosmetics has implemented this strategy to increase conversions from subscribers who didn’t take advantage of the first message.

Tip 9: Give loyal subscribers exclusive early access

Celebrate your most loyal subscribers by giving them early access to any sales or bonus offers you may be launching for Valentine’s Day. This strategy will help you connect with your most engaged audience while making them feel the love as valued customers.

Tip 10: Activate triggered SMS, including browse & cart abandonment reminders

Remind SMS subscribers of items they’ve viewed on your website or left in their shopping cart by sending triggered browse and cart abandonment text messages, helping you recover otherwise lost revenue that directly impacts your bottom line. 

To personalize this message even more, include the name of your product or an eye-catching image of the item they viewed or added to their online shopping cart. End with a link that goes directly back to that item or their abandoned cart so they can easily complete their purchase.

Tip 11: Remind shoppers about gift cards

While it’s not uncommon for any holiday to have last-minute shoppers, it’s certainly an ongoing trend for Valentine’s Day, which sees a peak in online shopping on February 12 and 13. For shoppers who’ve missed the shipping deadline or waited a little too long to do their shopping, a gift card is a great alternative to rushing out to buy something last-minute.

Send your subscribers a text message encouraging them to buy a gift card. If you want to raise the bar even higher, combine this tip with #4, and add an incentive for purchasing a certain dollar amount on their gift card (e.g. purchase a gift card for $75, get $10 for free).

Tip 12: BOPIS or curbside pickup

During the November – December holiday season, many brands saw an increase in in-store and curbside pickup. If your brand has a physical store, use text messaging to highlight the omnichannel shopping experience.

For example, Paper Source invited their SMS subscribers to shop exclusive offers online and in-store during Black Friday—ensuring subscribers could shop their preferred way, whether online, in-store, or curbside pickup.

Tip 13: SMS + Email = The Perfect Pair

Be sure to use both SMS and email to reach your audience this Valentine’s Day as both channels have their unique strengths and naturally complement each other. Use text messaging for limited-time offers and succinct information; and use email for longer-form storytelling or content that’s not as time sensitive.

Tip 14: Offer customer support via SMS

Sending customer service messages through text messaging allows you to respond to questions or inquiries directly and immediately, ensuring a better experience for your shopper—which is more important than ever as shoppers are relying primarily on e-commerce.

Attentive integrates with leading customer support platforms—like Kustomer, Gorgias, Freshdesk, and Zendesk—to enable brands to quickly respond to customer inquiries or feedback via text.

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. Use these 14 SMS marketing ideas, and you’ll be sure to win over the hearts (and wallets) of consumers.

What are some of your favorite Valentine’s Day marketing tips? Let us know on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

Need help crafting the perfect text message? Take our short quiz to find your SMS template match :two_hearts:

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