12-18-valday

Make Valentine’s Day a Big Day For Your Business

Cash in on this retailer’s holiday.

That noble red and pink holiday, Valentine’s Day, is right around the corner.  If ever a day of the year was a blessing for commerce, it was this one.  US National Retail Federation research tells us that the average person shelled out $131 in 2013, adding up to $18.6 Billion. That’s a lot of billions.  Here are some things to consider for Valentine’s Day to maximize the benefits for your small business.

Think Couples

We always have to think, first and foremost, about our customers and their needs.  A truism is that people do things as couples and sometimes buy products that act as pairs for Valentine’s Day.  If you have a brick-and-mortar business, particularly one that sells an experience, a restaurant, a video store, bike tours, etc., just go the route of the couple’s package at a discount.

Other businesses, check to see which of your products you can pair together.  Now, if you’re a florist or a chocolate monger, Valentine’s Day is only too easy for you.  So we’ll assume you have products like wine, fruit, lingerie, even data plans for phones, etc., try to bundle them together in just-for-Valentine’s packages, or set up a buy X get Y free special.  Products that are just products 364 days of the year can be part of a romance package on February 14.

Branch Out

We’re all looking for a way to contribute, right?  Your business may seem to have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, romance, chocolate, dining, or amorous activities.  I’m not recommending that you come up with some torturous connection such as trying to make socket wrenches seem romantic.  But there are many facets to any holiday, as there is to any enterprise.  Playing a supporting role can be beneficial.

You can offer discounts on delivery of whatever you sell, perhaps discounted cab rides for couples, etc.  Also, you can use Valentine’s Day—again, without making a connection that isn’t really there—just to grab people’s attention, thus doing a little marketing, getting your name visible.  IKEA of Australia ran a special for free cribs on babies born exactly nine months after Valentine’s Day.  Now, this was placed on a “worst” list, but I see some sly wisdom in it.  Something along these lines, done in a way that highlights humor, makes you memorable and calls attention to your product lines.

E-mail Marketing

There’s no time when people will be more accepting of marketing messages than when they’re actively looking for gift ideas or ways to live up to obligations of some sort.  It’s time to either build up your e-mail list or use what you’ve built and send e-mails themed around Valentine’s Day.

Once you’ve decided on your Valentine’s Day campaign, using the suggestions above, start sending out e-mails periodically.  One first project is to remind your list of the impending holiday.  This needn’t include any real “sell” or much information about the particulars of your campaign.  It can serve as a friendly reminder and pique curiosity, preparing readers for upcoming e-mails.

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for small businesses, one to treat as something to handle with some care, with assertiveness but not too much aggressiveness.  With some thought, consideration, and planning, you can make the holiday a big success.