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5 fun and creative Valentine’s Day SMS Marketing Ideas

Love is – or will soon be – in the air with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. Considered the most romantic day of the year, it’s a fantastic opportunity for retailers to ramp up sales again after a quiet January.

Text messaging is a great way to engage customers with your brand given its 98% open rate and with 90% of messages opened in 90 seconds. But, be mindful! Consumers will be swarmed with romantic marketing and campaigns from all sides. How will your brand stick out?

We’ve got some bright, fun ideas on how to do so when you send texts! First, we’ll briefly take you through the history of Valentine’s day, as well as the market opportunity and some marketing considerations before diving into our fun, and easy to implement ideas for your SMS marketing campaign.


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A short history of Valentine’s Day

Surprisingly, the origins of the day are still murky to most historians. Some contend that it originated from a priest (aptly named Valentine) who defied Roman emperor Claudius II by marrying lovers in secret. Others believe Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter where he professed his ardor with a note: ‘From your Valentine.’

Valentine’s Day was not heavily associated with romance until the Middle Ages when written love notes rose in popularity. In fact, during the 1800s, it was common for lovers and friends to exchange poems, notes and tokens as a sign of affection. This was soon replaced in the 1900s, thanks to evolution in printing technology, that created the traditional Valentine’s Day cards we still see today including Esther Howland’s famous ‘scrap-made’ cards

Be my Valentine: a massive market opportunity 

With the modern reinvention of Valentine’s as a day for lovers to celebrate each other, the commercial opportunity for the retail sector grows more and more enormous each year. Here are some facts: 

  • In 2020, Valentine’s Day sales jumped a whopping $6.7B (32%) to $27.4B in the US. Compare this to 2019 – 2020 increase, which was only $1.1B. 
  • Most popular gift is a romantic evening or an experience . 
  • Unsurprisingly, most Valentine’s gifts are spent on romantic partners and family members, but consumers are looking for other unique ways to celebrate loved ones on Valentine’s Day such as buying gifts for pets or work colleagues. 
  • Last year, consumers aimed to spend almost $200 to celebrate the holiday. That’s 21% more than the previous year! 
  • Men consistently spend more ($291.15) than double on women ($106.22). 
  • The most popular categories are: 
    • Jewelry ($5.8B) 
    • Evening out ($4.3B) 
    • Flowers ($2.3B)  
    • Gift cards ($2B) 
    • Greeting cards ($1.3B)  
  • More and more gift recipients want experiences (spa trips, events) at 41% but only 28% of gift givers are planning to gift experiences. 
  • Bulk of Valentine’s sales come from department stores or online store purchases 
  • Who’s buying? 
    • 46% of +65-year-olds 
    • 51% of 55 – 64-year-olds 
    • 62% of 35 – 44-year-olds (they also spend the most topping $300) 
    • 60% of 25 – 23-year-olds 
    • 58% of 18 – 24-year-olds  
  • As we’re seeing with other holidays, consumers are using their mobiles more than ever (which is why SMS is optimal) to shop and buy for Valentine’s Day.  
    • 50% used their phone to buy a gift 
    • +30% used their phone to research, price compare and find out more information retailers and redeem coupons 

4 Valentine’s Day SMS marketing considerations

Before we jump into our 5 creative SMS marketing ideas to entice consumers to shop with you, let’s dive into 4 marketing considerations: 

1. Understand the emotions and behavior

Besides birthdays and anniversaries, Valentine’s represents a special day to celebrate your fealty and love (romantic or otherwise) for the special people in your life. We do it so that our partners, lovers, friends and family members remember why we chose them, while helping us maintain the relationship. 

When planning your campaign, language and offer; remember that it’s about the emotion of the day – not the facts – that will help drive consumers through to purchase.  

2. Plan your Valentine’s day campaign timeline

According to Google trends, Valentine’s Day searches start as early as the day after Christmas! In addition, Valentine’s Day searches build and spike between Feb 11 – 13th, likely due to last-minute lovers scrambling to find the best deals possible. 

When planning out your campaign timeline, dive straight in from late December with the aim of ramping up activity towards the end of January. Ensure your campaign also has a strong last-minute push (and easy links or guides to your best offers) up until the 14th

3. Delight with added value, personalization and choice

Your products and services are never just enough these days! Add extra value with special gift wrapping, personalization such as the inclusion of a hand-written gift card (with a message of their choice) and give control to consumers on how, where and when they receive their purchases.  

RELATED: Click and Collect is a great option if you want to give customers greater choice over their purchase experience. Learn more about how SMS-based Click and Collect can help you in our in-depth retail guide. 

4. Expand your customer base

Many consumers boycott Valentine’s Day because they feel left out or because it can trigger feelings about what they may personally lack.  

While it’s good to segment your audiences and personalize offers for relevance, consider how you can also include as many audiences as possible. From the data above, many consumers are excited to share the love for their loved ones, not just romantic partners.  

How can you alter your offering or include new ones to help new customers feel they can take part too? 

5 fun and creative Valentine’s Day SMS marketing campaign ideas

While many SMS use cases such as appointment reminders, promotional offers and the like will still be useful in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, it’s time to get creative! Here’s 5 truly fun and unique text message marketing ideas to make your SMS Valentine’s mobile phone campaigns soar! Ready? 

1. 2-for-1 romantic deals

Play on the usual offer of 2-for-1 by offering flash sales, gifts and experiences at the cost of one for two or more to share. Here are some SMS messages marketing templates for you to use or tweak as you like: 

TEMPLATE: VDAY OFFER: Treat your bae and join in on the fun! Purchase a [COMPANY] couple’s massage for the price of one: [URL] Limited time offer, ends [DATE] mTxt STOP to opt-out

TEMPLATE: Get out to the country with your loved ones come Valentine’s! Stay at [COMPANY] for 2 nights in a premium suite at half price. Book now: [URL] Txt STOP to opt out 

TEMPLATE: Purchase any 2 items from our Valentine’s collection and get the 2nd for free! Use code: [CODE] Txt STOP to opt out 

2. Go Galentines

Women enjoy celebrating other women, and Galentine’s is a great way to encourage this. Born from pop culture, Galentine’s rose as an alternative day to Valentine’s for single women to celebrate each other. 

Work out what a distinct offer from your current products and services. Rework it to exclude romantic overtures and language and infuse with affirmations about sisterhood and platonic love. Then start segmenting your database to build a Galentine’s text list! 

RELATED: Learn how to upload, manage and further segment your customer database in the MessageMedia web portal. It’s totally easy, and will help you in future as you build your lists, and understand your customer better! 

Personalize your marketing text offers with Galentine’s gift guides, Galentine’s specific discounts or in other creative ways to make it impossible not to click and buy. As Galentine’s falls on the 13th February, you could create an event or experience and send out exclusive invitations via SMS to your VIP female clientele. 

3. Bad Valentine’s Day gifts

What’s the worst possible fear for most consumers come Valentine’s Day? Besides showing up with no gift, imagine giving a loved one a gift that they hate! Use this fear (and our proclivity to wait to the last minute) to encourage customers to act fast, or find the right present early with the inclusion of hilariously bad gifts in SMS campaign. 

TEMPLATE: Don’t buy the last bunch of roses from the supermarket! Order her bouquet early from our Special Ones collection: [URL] Txt STOP to opt-out 

TEMPLATE: Turn your homemade creation into an experience you both can enjoy! Buy a gift card to any one of our 40 craft classes right now: [URL] Txt STOP to opt-out 

TEMPLATE: Don’t get scammed come Valentine’s Day! Buy in trusted sellers at Tulle, we verify all designer purchases before they get to you. Check us out: [URL] Txt STOP to opt-out 

RELATED: Send pictures using our Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). Learn everything you need to know about MMS here

4. Self-love romance

One of the most difficult, and often neglected relationships in our lives is the relationship we have with ourselves. While Valentines’ can be a day of loving others, it can also be a time to evaluate and reflect upon how we feel about ourselves. After a tough 2020, help consumers pick up their self-esteem by inviting them to share personal affirmations, motivational images and songs, selfies or personal successes in order to help themselves and others better during a day that can often cause the opposite. 

RELATED: Get a dedicated virtual phone number in order to allow customers to send in images themselves! There are a whole host of other benefits so learn about them now. 

Put up signs in your shop or launch your campaign via other channels such as social media and invite customers to start sending in affirmations or images to your special ‘text-in’ number (dedicated number). You could also ask customers to subscribe via text for your ‘Valentine’s Self-love’ list so they can enjoy what others are sharing. 

Share the best of, create guides and playlists or make it a competition by rewarding select entrants who’ve shared their positive feelings and thoughts. Not only will this help you grow your customer base, but you’re psychologically associating your brand positively in customer’s minds. You can encourage customers to stay signed on for special deals and alerts for the rest of the year! 

5. Love/Lust/Like gift guides

Finally, create specialized gift guides for all the different ‘loves’ consumers have in our lives. Covering romantic partners, to family members to your ‘work’ husband; these guides are simple short cuts for those who don’t want to do the research or are looking for a quick last-minute value deal or buy. 

TEMPLATE:Want to make things extra steamy in the bedroom this Valentine’s? Choose from our lush Lust gift guide and get 20% off right now: [URL] Txt STOP to opt out 

TEMPLATE:Show mom how much you appreciate her on Valentine’s! Make a purchase from our Love gift collection, perfect for family, friends and partners: [URL] Free delivery till [DATE] Txt STOP to opt-out

TEMPLATE: Sending Valentine’s at work? Choose from the best of our Like list. All buys are under $10, express delivery guaranteed in 2 days. Check it out: [URL] STOP to opt-out


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Final thoughts, further reading

Now that you’ve got 5 juicy SMS marketing campaigns for Valentine’s, it’s time to start planning and implementing! As we discussed earlier, you’ll want to get on this sooner rather than later – straight after Christmas day in fact! 

If none of these ideas suit your plans exactly, take them and tweak! Or tell us, what is your crazy fun Valentine’s SMS campaign idea? Submit it to us, and we might feature you and your business in our best of Valentine’s Day campaigns. 

Start getting ready for the best sales dates in the year with our guides to: 

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