In two weeks and a couple of days, love will emerge with a barrage of chocolate hearts, kisses and flowers; the colors red and pink will abound in the rush to find that perfect gift (for that perfect someone) with the aim of sweeping your the object of your affection off their feet. I still remember cutting out Valentines cards for everyone in my grade school class and the excitement I felt that night when I went to sleep—knowing that everyone else was doing the same thing as we geared up for the in-class card exchange the next day.
Today I came across an article that had some great ecommerce marketing tips for Valentines Day. “Even if your e-commerce business isn’t in the business of selling chocolate or jewelry or flowers, if you aren’t capitalizing on Valentine’s Day, you could find your heart broken and your site abandoned.”
May February 14th be a day when we are all reminded that love comes in many forms and that the creativity and ability to connect with one another allows us all to share with the ones we love!
Enjoy the tips below or check out the article here!
Show Your Customers You Love Them via YouTube
Proof that you don’t have to be in a traditional Valentine’s Day business to feel the love is ThinkGeek. Last year, ThinkGeek, which sells “stuff for smart masses,” created a quirky video to promote its 8-Bit Dynamic Life Shirt, one of the sites many offbeat Valentine’s Day offerings, and posted it on YouTube.
That video “was watched more than 250,000 times and also helped us achieve a record-breaking Valentine’s Day season,” said Caroline Offutt, vice president and general manager of ThinkGeek.
And this year ThinkGeek plans to use even more social media sites and tools to get the word out about its Valentine’s Day products.
“Social media techniques provide online retailers new, effective avenues for promoting their products,” said Offutt. “And this year, we’ve grown our blog and Twitter feed significantly, giving us new ways to promote our Valentine’s Day products in a fun, geeky sort of way.”
And speaking of using social media to promote your site/Valentine’s Day wares, CCBerries, which sells gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries, created a Facebook application and a CCBerries fan page on Facebook. The result? They allow Facebook members to send either electronic versions of CCBerries’ delicious chocolate-covered strawberries to their friends or tag product pictures with their friends’ names (which results in having their CCBerries pictures show up in their friends’ Facebook profile).
In addition, CCBerries staff has been spending a lot of time in Yahoo Answers, answering questions about chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate in general, reported Skip Manley, the owner of CCBerries/CCBerries.com.
And the entire CCBerries home page has been given over to promoting Valentine’s Day, with important delivery and product information writ large near the top of the page and large, well-photographed pictures of the company’s Valentine’s Day offerings just below.
Use E-mail, Cross-Marketing and Special Promotions
Another site that specializes in chocolate, as in gift baskets and chocolate tours, Chicago Chocolate Tours, is also pulling out all the stops for Valentine’s Day, one of its biggest times of the year.
“I am [currently] promoting some special Valentine’s Day tours, such as a ‘Champagne and Chocolate’ girls’ night out on Friday, February 13, which is Valentine’s Day Eve,” said Valerie Beck, the president and founder of Chicago Chocolate Tours. To promote the tour, and the site, for Valentine’s Day Beck is doing multiple things:
• The event is listed on the Chicago Chocolate Tours Web site, in the Events section.
• The event was highlighted in the January Chicago Chocolate Tours e-newsletter and will also be in the February edition.
• Beck is co-marketing the tour (and her site) with a number of sites, including the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association’s site, http://www.themagnificentmile.com, and trying to get listed in/links on popular local “what-to-do-in-Chicago” sites, such as http://www.metromix.com, http://www.centerstage.net and www.timeoutchicago.com.
• And Beck’s tour guides are promoting the event on their Facebook pages.
Yvette Craddock, the founder and style director of ShopStyleFolio.com, a new e-commerce site “dedicated to bold, modern and luxurious women’s jewelry that is really wearable art,” has also taken a multi-pronged approach to marketing her site and wares around Valentine’s Day.
She recently sent out the first of several e-newsletters to promote and sell her beautiful handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry, with the subject line “Dripping in Drusy for Valentine’s Day — Exclusively on ShopStyleFolio.com” and the headline “Give Your Sugar Some Sugar,” explaining why the necklace featured in the e-mail is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
Craddock has also come up with several innovative online services to help women and the men who love them get exactly what they want for the big day, including “Cupid’s Custom Confectionary Service,” a free design service (deadline February 2); the “‘Honey I Want’ Service,” which is basically a wish list; and the “‘Purge to Splurge’ Program,” which rewards shoppers who send in their unloved jewelry with up to 25 percent off their ShopStyleFolio.com purchase.
Create a Special Valentine’s Day Product or Service
Another great way to get some Valentine’s Day love is to create a special Valentine’s Day product or service, or more than one — and promote them on your site as well as on complementary sites, via e-mail, and social media sites.
That’s what RealMemories.com, an online custom frame shop, is doing. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the company created a special heart-shaped mat, which it is featuring on its home page and promoting via e-mail (along with other Valentine’s Day products).
Similarly, custom card and movie site Thank you. I love you. created special Valentine’s Day customizable cards and movies, which it is featuring on its home page and are the subject of its new Valentine’s Day email campaign.
Don’t Forget That Aspiring Cupids Love Coupons
And there are always those Valentine’s Day e-coupons, which many e-tailers are using to reward existing customers or attract new customers to their sites. Purveyor of custom underwear for women, men, children, babies and even dogs, Blume Girl, recently did a special Valentine’s Day email blast featuring a discount code, “CUPID,” which it hopes will lure customers to the site, which currently features a festive Valentine’s Day banner.
And Remember, Valentine’s Day Isn’t Just for Lovers—or Retailers
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur (TPE), which runs a blog for and about entrepreneurs, providing them with tips, help and inspiration for their businesses, came up with a special Valentine’s Day promotion to drive traffic to the site and spread the entrepreneurial love.
On Valentine’s Day, the site is going to ask readers to send in their tips for “The Best Way to Show Your Customers that You Love Them.” Then the TPE team will pick the best submissions, post them on the blog, and ask readers to vote on which one was their favorite. The person who submitted the winning entry will be sent a box of chocolates and 10 copies of the book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, to be given to the customers they love the most.
Jennifer Lonoff Schiff loves writing about e-commerce and SMBs and runs a blog for and about small and mid-sized business owners.