Now that your small business has recovered from the manic Thanksgiving-Christmas-New-Year’s season, it’s time to start planning your marketing for the next big holiday: Valentine’s Day! Whether your business is a natural fit for this holiday (restaurant, bar, bed & breakfast, jeweler, floral designer, chocolatier) or not so much (law firm, dry cleaner, consultant, cleaning service), you can still use Valentine’s Day promotions to tap into the love that swirls around us in mid-February.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Create a Groupon Campaign
Every February, millions of customers flock to Groupon for the perfect gifts, dinner reservations, and date night packages. We’d love to help you create Valentine’s Day promotions to reach our massive audience of local customers and grow your business. Interested? Get started here.
Run a “We Love Our Customers” Promotion
All businesses love their customers (well, most of their customers!). Show them how much they mean to you by offering special, limited-time Valentine’s Day promotions for current customers only. It could be a buy-one-get-one offer, a discount on their next service or purchase, or a free gift the next time they come in.
Promote Gift Cards
Use your Valentine’s Day promotions to position gift cards as a way to make the giver look like a hero or include messaging about how the gift card will make the recipient’s life SO much easier. Under the “hero” category: spas, salons, massage therapy, babysitting. Under the “easier life” category: home cleaning, a personal chef, dry cleaning service, professional organizer.
Design a Gift Guide
Compile your best gift suggestions in a printed or digital gift guide. To really get creative and cut costs, partner with other businesses or your local Chamber of Commerce to create a gift guide that promotes all of the gifting options available in your city. You can use this idea even if you don’t offer any Valentine’s-related products or services by explaining how your non-traditional gifts are actually great options for customers.
Share a Video or Live Broadcast on Social
Video has become one of the best ways to reach customers on social media. Similar to the gift guide above, you could shoot a video that highlights your top gifting options—spa packages, restaurant gift cards, romantic products, etc.—and share it on your social networks. You could even host a Facebook Live broadcast where you take questions from your customers and respond with product/service info and gift recommendations in real time.
Highlight Red or Pink Products
Does your retail outlet sell red and pink products? Put them front-and-center in your store window, on display tables and racks, in your emails, and on social media.
Hold a Contest
This can get really fun! Ask customers to submit their best love story, most romantic date, a photo of the cutest couple, a pet decked out in Valentines Day attire—be as creative as you like and make sure to promote the contest heavily on your social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. The prize could be a $100 gift card, a collection of romantic movies or books, or a date package that includes free dinner and movie tickets for two.
Create a Special Drink or Dish
If you’re a restaurant or bar owner, create a special drink or dish for Valentine’s Day (or the entire month of February). You could even turn standard dishes on your menu into heart-shaped dishes or create a special prix fixe menu to sell on Groupon.
Hand Out a Free Gift with Purchase
During the week leading up to Valentines Day or on the day itself, consider handing out a free gift with purchase. Of course, make sure the free gift is something people will actually want! Wrap it beautifully so it’s especially memorable.
Hold a Last-Minute Sale
Don’t forget about the procrastinators when you’re putting together your Valentine’s Day promotions. Make it easy for these last-minute gifters—and possibly increase your purchase price—by putting together gift baskets of your best-selling products or pairing a gift card with a sentimental item such as flowers, candy, or a stuffed animal. Make sure you schedule an email campaign to go out to your customer list the day before Valentines Day in case anyone needs a reminder.
Have you run any Valentine’s Day promotions that have proven to be especially popular in the past? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!
Monika Jansen is a copywriter and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, website content, and other marketing materials for her clients, who tend to be startups and professional service providers. She is a blogger for GrowSmartBiz and the managing editor of UberStories. You can follow her on Twitter (@monikacjansen) or find her on LinkedIn.
Any views, opinions, advice, or endorsements herein are the author(s)’s and are not necessarily the views of Groupon or its partners.