Who cares about Valentine’s Day? 

I’ve been with my now-husband for 5 years, and I’m pretty sure the last time we celebrated Valentine’s Day was … 5 years ago. Most years, we forget to make restaurant reservations before it’s too late. 

This year, with our one-year-old, a glass of wine once our son goes to bed sounds like the perfect Valentine’s date. For us, the conventional Valentine’s Day is dead, and we aren’t the only ones. 

In a blog post titled “Is Love Still in the Air?” the National Retail Federation claims that “consumers’ attitudes toward Valentine’s Day are changing.”

The NRF research’s listed these findings:

  • Some people ignore the day entirely, thinking it’s been crassly commercialized.
  • Younger people celebrate it differently, with many interested in gifting “experiences” rather than the usual flowers or chocolate. 
  • Those who are more traditional Valentine’s Day celebrants are spending more money.

Why should these changing views matter to you? I’m guessing you’re reading this post because you work in a B2C industry and are looking for email strategy ideas. Based on what I’ve shared above, even if your product isn’t a “conventional” Valentine’s Day gift you can still successfully highlight it as this holiday evolves.


Unconventional Valentine’s Day Examples

Brands are already applying NRF’s research findings to their Valentine’s Day emails. We hand-picked a few from our curated Valentine’s Day email examples to show how you can repurpose them to meet the needs of your brand.

Women’s clothing retailer Brass played to those who are fed up with this “heteronormative holiday.” Their tongue-in-cheek approach came with an offer for free shipping and a chance to win a $500 wardrobe (which is a pretty sweet surprise from a company that purports to detest Valentine’s Day): Brass 2019 02 14 1600 thursday Our V Day Gift to You  306x1024

Airbnb cleverly used Valentine’s Day to promote their Airbnb Experiences product as an alternative to the traditional route of flowers and dinner. This is a smart tactic for marketing to a younger audience who want experiences versus traditional gifts:Airbnb 2019 02 08 0542 friday Make V Day an Airbnb Experience 223x1024

Retailer Coach created a clever last-minute email campaign urging people who still celebrate the conventional Valentine’s Day to upgrade from “supermarket chocolate” to a high-end handbag:

Coach Valentines Day email 191x300

The traditional Valentine’s Day might be dead, but the unconventional changes to the holiday allow more brands to play in the Valentine’s Day space than ever before. For additional Valentine’s Day examples plus sample calendars, promotion analytics and content tips, check out our Valentine’s Day Email Strategy page.