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Valentine's Day Email Marketing: Key Mechanics

Email marketing
February 8, 2024
10 mins

While St. Valentine's Day is about pleasing couples in love, today’s mainstream shopping preferences and habits have shifted. On the eve, the trend for consumerism has expanded: people are buying gifts for their loved ones - family, friends, colleagues, classmates, teachers, and even pets. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), in 2023 overall spending surged by 36% and reached USD 7.1 b.

St. Valentine's Spending Stats

Increased spending on St. Valentine's Day in 2023 was caused by several reasons. According to Bankrate, 64% of American economists deemed that the US would enter a recession. Indeed, despite the economic uncertainty, the rise in inflation over the past year proved that consumers spent more money on small pleasures.

What Will St. Valentine's Day Be Like In 2024?

Spending Patterns and Gift Categories

According to Euromonitor, 74% of consumers are concerned about rising costs. Therefore, 44% plan to save more actively, while 52% are going to cut on petty expenses.

Consumer Sales on St. Valentine's Day

The choice of gifts on St. Valentine's Day is conventional: candies - more than 57% of respondents, while greeting cards make the second most popular option. 32% of respondents are interested in unusual gifts like a special night out, going to a theater, or buying movie tickets. These preferences are noteworthy in planning your Valentines Day email campaigns.

Popular St. Valentine's Gifts

Statista reports St. Valentine's Day email marketing trends:

29% are going to arrange a date

14% - would buy wine

8% - perfume

7% - underwear or pajamas

5% - a romantic holiday

4% - cosmetics

1% would present a pet.

Major Beneficiaries & Gift Selling Places

Seemingly, an overwhelming majority will present something to their loved ones on St. Valentine's Day. However, this year is somehow special while there's a sensitive 6% demographic:

Gift Getters on St. Vaentine's Day

Inflation has not dampened consumers' appetite for this year’s celebrations. Until last year, above 35% of customers opted for online platforms to buy gifts. Physical stores also attract special attention during sales and important holidays such as St. Valentine's Day. Some 34% prefer shopping malls, 31% prefer discount stores, and 18% prefer specialized stores, respectively.

St. Valentine's Day Shopping Points

Given last year's shopping experience on St. Valentine's Day, we are anticipating a slight slump in online gift purchases by some 2-3%. Given the rising popularity of purchasing trends like Buy Now Pay Later, online shopping remains crucial for ensuring continuous omnichannel interaction with consumers.

Gamification Is Probably The Best Tool For St. Valentine's Day

Are Single-User Email Campaigns Effective on February 14?

While reaching a wider audience, create special campaigns for people without a romantic partner. 45% of respondents claimed they would not participate in Valentine's Day celebrations at all. Nonetheless, 29% are still going to celebrate in some way.This is to say that St. Valentine's Day is not merely aimed at lovers. Promodo’s featured cases like Stylus prove the effectiveness of gamification for a wider audience on February 14.

The use of AMP technology* entails a more personalized approach aimed at wider audiences beyond the whole romance of the event. In particular campaigns  "Come on, Let’s Feed the Cat!" or "Help the Gnome Find the Way!”. These are examples of neutral activations: you are single or not. Thus, gamification does not put pressure on the user. It is about a specific character or situation related to the holiday.

*AMP technology makes it possible to create interactive email campaigns.

Featured AMP Email Campaigns: A Couple’s Game

Objective: Quick collection of the base, and engagement of subscribers.

Mechanics: A user fills in information about himself/herself and their partner. After that, he/she enters his/her email and the other person's email (the user receives an email with the other person's answers and a promo code for a discount once at least one answer matches).

Email Marketing on St. Valentine's Day

Depending on who the user was planning to spend February 14 with, і.e. alone, with friends/partners, or parents, etc, we collected individual data through user emails.

Collect a Bouquet

Objective: Quick collection of the database, and subscriber engagement.

Mechanics: A user needs to find flowers. To do this, he gets 3 attempts every day for 2 weeks. Depending on how many bouquets they managed to find, a user can open one of the chests or continue collecting bouquets. After opening the chest, a user receives a gift. The value of the gift is determined by the "level" of the chest.

Email Campaings

Example Personalized Email Campaigns (

The first line of the survey asks: "Whom are you going to spend February 14 with?" The answer entails several options:

🎁 With my partner

🎁 With friends

🎁 I'm fine on my own.

Cooperating with the client, we analyzed user needs and interests by involving various categories and formats. Having explored possible matches with previous user orders, we determined that the particular audience that is going to attend the event with friends may be also interested in conditional stand-ups, though less concerned about musicals or other shows. Thus, we systematically selected categories based on this context. Svitlana Fursa, Head of Retention Marketing at Promodo.

St. Valentine's Day: Messages And Design In Email Campaigns 2024

Everything is quite predictable on St. Valentine's Day, - a complete redesign of emails and messages - pink color and hearts. So, be sure to expand your Valentine email ideas.

Self-care and self-love are of utmost actuality today. Brands are prioritizing empathy. It isn’t to say that regardless of whether someone has a partner or not, you should treat yourself well on holidays, invite yourself on dates, and present yourself with flowers and jewelry. With that, do not forget about your loved ones. After all, care and attention are the most important things today. So, along with gifts, discounts, and benefits, put more emotions in your holiday letters. Kateryna Ochychenko, Copywriter at Promodo.

It is important to understand that Ukrainians are rather vulnerable now, so be sure to avoid "edgy topics.” For instance, such are "hard" topics referring to family unity while many couples are separated from one another.

While crafting your Valentine email template, always account for the ongoing situation countrywide and analyze your target audience.

So, you’d rather not use photos of happy couples or families. Replace them with something more neutral instead:

🎁 Textual accents

🎁 Neutral background images

🎁 Products or gifts on the main banner.

Also, make sure not to downplay backgrounds in your emails. While backgrounds best emphasize the mood instilled in your emails, beware of overusing messages with active background images.

The messages like "On Valentine's Day, a woman/man should..." exemplify unsuccessful communication while sexism and misogyny are what brands often get burned by and lose customers eventually. Also, we would not suggest using humiliating and worn-out messages like: "He presents you an iPhone, and you present him yourself."

Use emojis carefully. You should limit yourself to two or three in your message, preferably neutral ones: ❤️🫶💕💗💌💘🎁

Pay attention to the brand's tone of voice (ToV) and put the best-fit message in your St. Valentine's Day communication

🎁 Not to offend anyone

🎁 Convey the main content of your letter

🎁 Care about your reader

🎁 Solve your retention marketing tasks.

Overall, users have become more content-demandful. They want personalized messages, a sense of uniqueness, and unique solutions. So we are constantly exploring new design and copywriting approaches. As for design, although we are trying to move away from hearts and the "pink boom," I can't say that it will adversely affect email views. Still, it's very easy to get lost in the competition. Sometimes such decisions are required by the client's brand book. Be guided by the general design concept that you have used before and adapt it to the chosen style. Sometimes such decisions are required by the client's brand book. Be guided by the general design concept that you have used before and adapt it to the chosen style. Sometimes such decisions are required by the client's brand book. Be guided by the general design concept that you have used before and adapt it to the chosen style. Olha Stronska, Team Lead Retention Marketing Department at Promodo.

Style Email Headers & Footers

The approach will help to emphasize the subject line. When designing your emails, the copywriter's guidelines will tell you where to go next. In our team, copywriters and designers always work together, which allows us to come up with an interesting message and opt for the best-fit visual solutions.

What Affects Email Open Rate On February 14?

As for Valentine day email subject lines, use ❤️ emoji in the subject line regardless of how trite it may seem. Highlight discounts and links in the body of your email.

Emails sent two or three days before St. Valentine's Day enjoy higher open rates (OR) and conversions than those sent on February 14.

An email is 26% more likely to be opened if the subject line is personalized. Add a recipient’s name to the subject line and customize it in line with their behavior.

The emails of the most active users we explored over the past 1.5 months showed a 52% open rate (OR) which is above the average of 35-40%.

By all means, gamification is a universal tool that will suit almost any business. Promodo experts are well aware of how to do it correctly and implement it in your niche!

Written by
Maria Kashina

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Written by
Svitlana Fursa

Head of Retention Marketing

I've been working in email marketing since 2016. I passed the way from a junior specialist with the thoughts "email is spam in the mailbox?" to the real jedi of retention marketing. I worked with the largest Ukrainian eCommerce projects. I'm keen of the latest technologies and non-standard technical implementations.

Written by
Kate Ochychenko

Copywriter at Promodo

Written by
Olha Stronska

Design and Copywriting Team Lead at Retention Marketing Department

I have more than 10 years of experience in design, and for the last 5 years I have been a Team Lead of a team of designers and copywriters in the Retention marketing department. My goal is high-quality and engaging content. My team builds creative emails, develops gamification on websites (mechanics, design, and copywriting), creates creative texts for all Retention channels, and develops design and copywriting for html and GDN banners.I'm able to recognize the needs of clients and their projects by looking at brand communication with users, and I teach my team to do the same.The main goal of my team is to create effective content for business development.

February 8, 2024
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