The holidays are a great time for small businesses to offer specials and explore unique marketing promotions. Valentine’s Day is especially fun. It’s also a good opportunity to capture new business. According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day spending was estimated at $19.7 billion in 2016.
Even if your business isn’t in the floral or confections industries, you can incorporate Valentine’s Day into your marketing. Here are five ideas to get you started.
Even if your business isn’t associated with romance, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to couple discounts around the number “2.” Promote a limited-time “2-for-1 Valentine’s Day Deal” to move stock sitting in your supply room or on inventory shelves. Or offer a “20-percent-off “discount for services booked during Valentine’s Day week. Whichever sweet deal you decide on, this is one way to capitalize on the Valentine’s Day theme in a business that isn’t usually associated with romance.
Valentine’s Day Gift Basket
Gifts go hand-in-hand with this holiday, so why not award a Valentine’s Day gift basket as a prize? For one month prior to Valentine’s Day, offer in-store customers a chance to win the basket. Display it in-store. Fill it with romantic items, such as heart-shaped chocolates, a bottle of wine, two wine glasses, assorted fruit, and/or flowers.
On your gift basket entries, include a line to collect email addresses to add to your email marketing list. You may even want to send out a thank-you email including a 10 percent discount for the recipient’s next in-store or online purchase.
Share The Love
A great way to reward your existing customers and gain new ones is to take part in a paired marketing promotion. Valentine’s Day is a particularly great time to “share the love.”
Make arrangements with another business owner to offer an in-store or online Valentine’s week coupon. It could be a discount or free gift from a neighboring small business, or another online business that has a similar target market to yours. At the same time, that other business will offer their own customers a coupon for a discount or free gift from your business. This is a winning marketing strategy for you and the other business. It’s also a nice Valentine’s Day gift for both sets of customers.
Social Media Sweethearts
Everyone loves a good love story! If your business has an active social media presence and you’re looking to build your following, invite followers to share their “love” stories on your social media pages. They could post romantic messages or their own romantic story along with a special hashtag. Try to incorporate your business’s name or a catchy Valentine-related phrase into the tag. Words to use may include: sweet, sweetheart, love, romance, cupid, Valentine, and heart. This helps build your online community, and shows that you value your followers as individuals as well as customers.
Love Our Charity
Valentine’s Day celebrates all kinds of love, not just the romantic kind. Host a fundraising event in-store, online or via social media to raise money for the charity your business loves. Invite your customers to contribute with the message “Love Our Charity.” This is also a good opportunity to get free local media coverage from your area radio stations, print newspapers, and TV stations.
Marketing for a small business doesn’t necessarily require a big budget. With a little creativity and holiday-linked campaigns and promotions tailored to your clientele and industry, businesses of all types can grab attention and cash in on Valentine’s Day spending.