Email best practices

7 tips to create the best Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns

Cupid comes but once a year, so how will you wish your customers a happy Valentine’s Day? Whether it’s a Valentine’s Day gift guide or a reminder that it’s not too late, we’ll show you how to get readers into your Valentine’s shop.

Three Gods for a Valentine's Day



It always seems like, as soon as Christmas decorations come down in the stores, the aisles are magically flooded with red and pink hearts. Yep, it’s that time of year already: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so your email marketing campaigns better be ready!

While you’re trying to decide if you really need that adorable giant teddy bear (it might be a bit too much?) your customers are figuring out what perfect Valentine’s Day gifts to buy and how to celebrate this love-filled holiday, especially in a year that is marked by the uncertainty imposed by challenging economic times.

For retailers, Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to use email to strengthen the relationship with customers and let them know you have what they’re looking for. So, roll up your sleeves and start building your Valentine’s Day email marketing campaigns now with these tips and examples!

Tip #1: Send the first email campaign before Valentine’s Day

After the New Year, don’t be afraid to send your subscribers a sneak peek of your upcoming Valentine’s Day sale. While they may groan at the realization that the holiday is right around the corner, they’ll appreciate the reminder that they need to start shopping.

Keep your first campaign simple and play with the expectation and excitement that comes with Valentine’s Day. If you start by creating a tempting first email in your festive campaign, your customers might remember your email and show more interest as the day approaches.

Also, you might want to create a custom marketing automation workflow to automatically remind subscribers (especially past purchasers). It makes your life a lot easier and avoids any digital cupids piercing your campaign with a last-minute arrow.

Example: The Valentine’s Day alert

This holiday email is a great example of an initial campaign that reminds subscribers that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and that they need to start shopping.

Philosophy Valentine’s Day email campaign featuring scattered products.

Philosophy’s Valentine’s Day email campaign.

Wording like “just around the corner”, “the countdown to V-Day”, or “shop is open” invoke urgency in the reader to prepare. Notice how Philosophy chooses to not feature products this early on – they know people are unlikely to make a purchase yet and opt for awareness instead.

Tip #2: Segment your Valentine’s Day email marketing based on activity

By now, you’ve heard us say it a million times: Segmentation is a great way to reach your audience on a personal level. For example, you can start your Valentine’s Day campaign with a general email about your upcoming sale to your main list, then send a campaign to the ones that converted, with some upselling or cross-selling opportunities.

Of course, email list segmentation is not the only way of adapting your message to your audience. You can also send personalized content by using Mailjet’s dynamic content blocks to create sections within your email campaigns that are specifically tailored to each user. For example, a travel site could suggest subscribers’ favorite destinations as inspiration for a Valentine’s Day getaway.

Don’t get too personal, though! Your users appreciate smart use of data but showing them examples that are a little *too* close to home can come across as creepy and might make your customers uncomfortable.

Example: The sneak peek

This American Apparel email gives customers an overview of products both for her and for him, thus showing the brand caters to all tastes. This is the perfect way to encourage a Valentine’s Day splurge.

American Apparel’s Valentine’s Day gift guide

American Apparel’s Valentine’s Day email campaign.

Good email design always creates plenty of white space around different color schemes and elements. The items in this campaign are all spaced out and organized neatly, just like something you would see in a shop. There’s variety, yet the email is succinct with a single CTA button (call-to-action) making it easy for the reader to get to the website.

Tip #3: Find the perfect email subject lines with A/B testing

A/B testing emails is a must for marketers. You can run tests to find the perfect Valentine’s Day email templates, fine-tune the messaging and CTAs, or make sure you’re putting your most eye-catching email design out there for all your contacts to see. Sometimes, there’s so much you can test that it might feel a little overwhelming. If you’re short on time, the idea of building and testing two (or more!) different email templates might be something you’re just not able to do.

Subject lines, though, are something you should always be testing – especially on big days like this one. Finding the perfect Valentine’s Day email subject line is not that hard. All you’ll need is some inspiration and an A/B testing tool to test them. Mailjet’s A/B Testing tool, for example, enables you to test up to 10 different versions of your emails simultaneously.

Brainstorm some great ideas for your different campaigns or email newsletters and run A/B tests on every Valentine’s Day email marketing campaign you send out. A/B testing allows you to send different options to a fraction of your contact list to establish which one works best, and then automatically send the winning one to the rest of your list.

Want to learn more about A/B testing subject lines for your Valentine’s Day newsletters? Learn more about finding the perfect subject line on our post: “How to write the perfect email subject line.”

37 Valentine’s Day email subject lines for your industry

Need some inspiration for your Valentine's Day email subject lines? We’ve got you covered. Depending on your brand voice, you can use emojis to attract eyeballs. Here are the best examples for your industry:

Ecommerce & retail

From­ name­


From­ name­


LEG­O® gift­s like­ Cupi­d woul­d choo­se 💘


Funk­o News­

Sta­r Wars­ Vale­ntines


Sub­ject: 20% off + love­ly gift­s ... swoo­n 😍


You­ call­ the shot­s this­ Vale­ntine’s Day 👸🏼­


A Vale­ntine, from­ you to you­

Fiel­d Note­s Bran­d

Fie­ld Note­s: Toda­y is Wedn­esday (and­ Vale­ntine’s Day too)­


Hur­ry! Last­ Chan­ce For Vale­ntine’s Day with­ Expr­ess Ship­ping

Fran­k Body­

💓 Send­ a love­ lett­er on me 💓


Val­entine’s Day Gift­ Guid­e 💌


From­ name­


From­ name­


I love­ you­



Lea­rn to be tend­er with­ your­ emot­ions.

Ritu­al Co

Be ours­? ❤️


Lim­ited-time Offe­r | Save­ Up to $120­ This­ Vale­ntine’s Day­


We love­…


Lov­e your­ site­? Trea­t it to Jetp­ack with­ 60% off!­

Food & drink

From­ name­


From­ name­


No flow­ers, but alll­ll of the choc­olate


Pulp­ & Pres­s

15%­ Off Any 2 Clea­nses Ends­ Soon­, Love­birds! 🥰


Sho­w esse­ntial work­ers some­ love­ this­ Vale­ntine's Day­


Nee­d a last­-minute gift­ for Vale­ntine's?


🎁 ­Procrastinators, this­ V-Da­y gift­ idea­ is for you.­


From­ name­


From­ name­


💕P­lay toge­ther this­ Vale­ntine's Day.­ 💕



Spe­nd Vale­ntine’s Day with­ Our Favo­rite Coup­les

iFLY­ Indo­or Skyd­iving

Lov­e is in the air­

Virg­in Expe­rience Days­

It'­s all abou­t him,­ him,­ him baby­!


Sun­day Pick­s | Vale­ntine’s Plan­s

Gree­n Bay Pack­ers

Sha­re the love­ at Lamb­eau Fiel­d


From­ name­


From­ name­


Swi­tch it up this­ Vale­ntine’s Day­



Hap­py Vale­ntine’s geta­way 💌 14% off­

Thom­as Cook­

The­ perf­ect time­ for roma­nce and rela­xation

Qant­as Freq­uent Flye­r

Val­entine’s Day gift­s for them­, Qant­as Poin­ts for you­


Tre­at your­ vale­ntine to scen­ic view­s and suns­ets ❤️ 🗻

Air Euro­pa

💘 ­Celebrate Vale­ntine’s Day with­ a 25% disc­ount


🎁 ­Daniel, cele­brate Vale­ntine’s Day with­ a disc­ount on a Gift­ Card­


Flo­wers and some­thing else­, perh­aps?


From­ name­


From­ name­

UNIC­EF Aust­ralia

Dan­iel, ther­e’s stil­l time­ to send­ a Vale­ntine’s Day gift­!


Char­ity Wate­r

Wat­er love­s you­


Wit­h love­: 2 mont­hs of CLEA­R

Tip #4: Leverage your order confirmation emails

Valentine’s Day is a great time to go for the upsell. It’s a time when people go all out for their loved ones, so use email to make sure they are aware of all their options, even after they’ve placed an order. For example, if one of your subscribers orders a necklace, follow up with an email to let them know they can purchase matching earrings or a jewelry box to go with it.

Since transactional emails have consistently higher open rates than marketing emails, you can use them to ensure your message gets to the customer. You can also use your transactional emails to give buyers a special offer on their next purchase. That way, your customers will be more enticed to return to your site after the Valentine’s Day excitement has calmed down.

In other words, your order confirmation may be the last email a one-time customer opens from you, so make it count!

Example: You’ll also love…

Crate&Barrel know their order confirmations have high engagement rates, so here they take the opportunity to offer some related products. Customers may have forgotten to buy these items and this email might remind them to buy before they move on to the next thing.

Purchase confirmation from Crate&Barrel with upsell options

Crate&Barrel use their transactional email to upsell.

Transactional emails, especially receipts like this one from Crate&Barrel, must obviously include the order information first and foremost. But that doesn’t mean it should only include order confirmation details. By including additional products at the bottom, the customer gets what they need first, without distracting them, and then a set of personalized recommendations they might be interested in. Notice how Crate&Barrel goes for a modest four lamps – any more products or categories would make this email look like a marketing campaign.

Tip #5: Give your procrastinators an extra nudge on Valentine’s Day

Has someone clicked through to your landing pages several times leading up to the holiday without making a purchase? You might be dealing with a classic holiday procrastinator. These shoppers are professionals at waiting until the last minute to order gifts, then trying to order something in a panic, on super short notice (and they will still expect to get them on time for Valentine’s!). So, to avoid panic and stress for everyone, let them know that all is not lost through your emails and remind them of the items that they viewed on your website.

Try retargeting the group of people on your list that have opened and clicked without making a purchase to remind them when the last day to order for Valentine’s Day delivery will be to create a sense of urgency. If they miss it, follow up with an email about same-day or next-day delivery (if you can offer it) or simply give them the opportunity to purchase a digital gift card. Your customers will appreciate the last-minute options so that they’re not caught empty-handed when the big day arrives.

Example: The reminder email

This email from Birchbox reminds customers that there is limited time left to buy a gift and provides two last-minute gift ideas to encourage potential customers to make an immediate purchase.

Birchbox’s Valentine’s Day email campaign offers two ways to give gifts.

Birchbox’s Valentine’s Day email campaign.

Pink and red are the colors of love, so if your brand guidelines allow, be sure to splash a little or a lot over your emails. Birchbox uses an interesting visual flow to their campaign that leads the reader through steps to explain their product offering. Their messaging “Last chance” is balanced out with “Still time” so their readers are alert but relaxed.

Tip #6: Show your love for your customers with a Valentine’s Day email

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples, it’s also a great chance for you to show your subscribers how much you love them! Send them a personalized deal that will make them feel valued and special. For example, try sending your most loyal customers a small discount that can be used on Valentine’s Day. If they’re a frequent customer, sending them a coupon for your product or service is a friendly way to remind them that you appreciate their business.

Example: The Valentine’s Day GIF(t)

This example shows how you can make your customers feel special and encourage them to click to find out about a special something that you have in store for them.

Heart-shaped chocolate box animated GIF

A valentine’s gift needs to feel special

Free gifts are better than roses for those looking for sweet deals. You can turn the messaging around – instead of talking about their Valentine, make them your Valentine. You can use headings like “Will you be our valentine?” or “Violets are red, roses are blue, we have the best Valentine’s treat for you!”

Tip #7: Don’t forget those who are not in a relationship

Sure, February 14 is supposed to be the occasion for people to celebrate Valentine's Day with their significant other. But what about those of us who are not in a relationship? We don’t want them to feel excluded, do we? Send out an email campaign encouraging your subscribers to indulge and get something for themselves.

The practice of self-love has become a very popular talking point on social media channels like Instagram and TikTok. Exactly how you choose to love yourself can vary, but for those who have gifts as their love language, buying themselves something for Valentine’s Day could just be the pick-me-up they need on an otherwise exclusive holiday.

Example: The treat for singles

In their Valentine’s email campaign, Max&Co included a special message dedicated to singles, inviting them to treat themselves.

Max&Co’s pink campaign featuring models

Max&Co’s Valentine’s Day email campaign

“Treat yourself” or “Fall in love with yourself” are messages that encourage the reader to give themselves the perfect Valentine’s gift. Single shoppers are more likely to ignore or quickly delete Valentine’s emails, so optimize the subject line and header text to redefine Valentine’s Day.

Summing up

We hope you’re not feeling too sappy after our love-filled email examples. Don’t miss your chance to form a love connection with your contacts this Valentine’s Day – you might even enjoy a boost in your sales!

Remember these tips:

  • Send a first email campaign before Valentine’s Day.

  • Segment your email marketing for Valentine’s Day based on activity.

  • Find the perfect email subject lines with A/B testing.

  • Leverage your order confirmations.

  • Give your procrastinators an extra nudge on Valentine’s Day.

  • Show your love for your customers with a Valentine’s Day email.

  • Don’t forget those who are not in a relationship.

Want to send amazing Valentine’s Day emails that really drive results? Sinch Mailjet has all the tools you need to create impactful and performant marketing campaigns – check them out!

Send stunning Valentine’s Day email campaigns with Mailjet

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