Only one in five brands launched a Valentine’s Day marketing campaign in 2023

The National Retail Federation has forecasted that consumer expenditure on Valentine's Day is due to reach $14.2 billion this year.

However, a study conducted by ecommerce marketing firm Omnisend revealed that merely one in five (22%) of ecommerce businesses carried out a Valentine's Day campaign in 2023, suggesting the possibility of these companies opting out of such initiatives this year too. Moreover, only 10% of these businesses communicated with their customers on Valentine's Day.

“This trend of companies deciding to skip Valentine’s Day is not new. In fact, our data shows that as far back as in 2020 only 18% of businesses had messaging around Valentine’s Day,” says Greg Zakowicz, senior ecommerce marketing expert at Omnisend.

“However, this is a huge loss, especially for online businesses. Valentine’s Day is a great occasion to offer some personalized deals to your customers, and improve loyalty, along with making some sales.”

The research analysed four billion messages (emails, SMS, and push notifications) sent in February 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 by ecommerce brands.

What is the best time to send a Valentine’s Day campaign?

The research found that people tend to buy Valentine's Day gifts approximately a week in advance. In 2023, February 8th was the day when most Valentine’s Day orders were placed.

However, businesses that decide to increase their sales by sending their campaigns in advance should not forget to send a second email on Valentine’s Day itself.

“Understandably, companies that value Valentine’s Day want to start their communication with customers earlier and increase chances of making sales,” says Greg Zakowicz. “However, by stopping their campaigns too early they miss a chance to target last-minute buyers or those who appreciate the self-gifting.”

How to make your Valentine’s Day campaign more effective

“My main recommendation for any business which still plans to launch a Valentine’s Day campaign this year would be to start early and avoid being bland,” says Greg Zakowicz, senior ecommerce marketing expert at Omnisend, and provides some useful tips:

Stay on brand: Valentine's Day promotions often follow a similar trend, with businesses trying to shoehorn references to love and flirtation into their messaging - even if it feels forced. Instead, knowing that people also buy Valentine’s gifts for non-romantic reasons, you can be more authentic.

Don’t forget the singles: Knowing that more people are buying non-romantic gifts opens up lots of new possibilities for how you promote your products, including a deliberate mention that your buyers can treat their pets, friends, or even themselves.

Personalise the deal: The more you know about your customers, the bigger the chances that you will be able to offer them something they are looking for. By using online marketing platforms like Omnisend, ecommerce businesses can easily segment their customers and offer the most special deals to their most loyal customers.