How to supercharge Valentine’s Day marketing with first party data

How to supercharge Valentine’s Day marketing with first party data

To help your business capitalise on this event and grab a slice of the $1b pie, we have dived into the analytics around Valentine’s Day and picked out the key trends you should focus your marketing efforts on.

Australians spend $90 on average on a Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other adding up to $1b of spend on Valentine’s Day nationally. According to a survey by Brewquets, more customers ‘do something special’ than buy a gift. Favourite gifts are flowers, cards, chocolate and alcohol along with romantic getaways, experiences and homemade gifts.

Retention vs Acquisition

If you are solely focused on the top of the funnel and acquiring new customers then you are missing a major opportunity. With third party data on its way out making the most of your first party data is crucial to grow business revenue. Retention marketing costs at least 60% less than acquisition and has a higher ROI so make sure you include it in your plan

Keep reading for our top 4 tips on how to build a marketing strategy for Valentine’s Day using first party data

  • When

  • Who

  • What

  • How

WHEN do customers start shopping for Valentine’s Day?

We looked at Google Trends to understand when customers start researching and shopping for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day searches build throughout January, spiking from February 11 to February 13.


  • Mid-late January is a good time to start targeting warm and cold leads. If your product needs to be shipped or is handmade then make sure you let your customers know what the cut off date is

  • Acquisition: Use social media to attract cold leads and re-target website visitors. You can also target potential customers who search for your competitor. A broad search term like Valentine’s Day will have a lower ROI so be specific, use ‘Valentine’s Day candles for her’ to grab your customers attention at the right stage of decision making. Acquisition will be expensive as there are many businesses competing for online eyeballs

  • Retention: How well do you know your existing customers? Rather than sending a generic email to all your customers, you will get much better results if you tailor the message by segment. Start segmenting your customer base by previous purchases, age, gender and location as a start. Build up to the sale with advice, tips and gentle reminders. Discounts are a great way to encourage repeat purchases!

WHO is buying?

Research suggests that men, younger millennials (those ages 23 to 29) and Gen Xers lead spending. Seventy-nine percent of people celebrating this year are between the ages of 18 and 34, with 47% between 25 and 34. In addition, more millennials say they plan to give their significant others a trip, a vacation, a staycation, or tickets to a concert, show, or amusement park. This points to a shift in values for younger generations where they’re now prioritising experiences and activities over material things.


  • Choose the right demographics for your marketing campaigns – men, gen-x and millennials are the biggest spenders!

Don’t underestimate the last minute shopper!

While some customers start planning early, you can expect to see online orders pick up in early February. There will always be those who leave it to the last minute! For these lazy lovebirds, experiences and gift cards are popular along with flowers and chocolates purchased locally. Customer surveys also indicate that most shopping happens 1-2 weeks prior but almost a third of the shoppers leave it to the last minute!


  • Make sure your online store is ready and you have a Valentine’s Day section by early February

  • Offer gift cards or vouchers for those last minute shoppers

  • Time your marketing campaigns to peak shopping periods

  • Build up to the event with advice, tips, reminders and finally discounts

Self-gifting is growing

In the US, self splurging on Valentine’s Day has more than doubled over the past three years. How about a ‘Treat Yourself’ campaign to encourage singles to splurge on an indulgent treat for themselves!


  • When exploring a new marketing strategy such as self gifting, test and learn is the key

Pet’s celebrate too

The season of love also extends to our four legged friends! Pet’s Valentines Day purchases can account for up to 20% of spend! If you offer pet products in your business, Valentine’s Day could be an untapped channel to boost sales


  • Create a page on your website with your top products or even launch a range of pet treats with Valentine’s Day themes! Heart shaped dog cookies anyone?

WHAT are customers buying for Valentine’s day

Research and surveys suggest that flowers, cards, chocolate and alcohol along with romantic getaways, experiences and homemade gifts are popular Valentine’s Day gifts

However, your store and market is unique, so take a look at your sales and customer data to understand what YOUR customers are buying for Valentine’s Day

  • What are the most purchased products in February?

  • Do gift cards get very popular around Valentine’s Day?

  • Over the last few years how has the product mix changed? Perhaps most customers are choosing custom gifts rather than standard ones? Maybe the price per order has increased?

  • Are there opportunities for customers who purchase during other key events like Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc to also purchase during Valentine’s Day?

HOW to optimise Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns

Your data will show you how to craft the best strategy for your business and your market. Keeping this in mind, here are some tips for your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign

  • Find unique and meaningful ways to connect both with your customers and for your customers with their loved ones (or pets!)

  • Customise the content and offerings on your website. If it suits your market let the romance take over your home page!

  • Use data to craft your strategy. Techniques like free shipping or discounts work well if the target spend is slightly higher than the average order value.

  • Know your customer both new and existing and tailor your offers to each customer segment

  • Use your first party data effectively: Segment, target and re-target across email and social media

Utilising your First Party Data can help drive +25% more sales and lower marketing costs by 60%. And since it is data you already own and collect, it doesn’t cost you anything to use it in your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.

About The Author

Megna Murali

Megna is a retail and customer analytics specialist who has worked for and with major retail, banking and transport brands. Megna's core strength is in helping businesses optimise their first party data to increase revenue, improve marketing ROI and build loyalty. Megna works primarily with business owners and marketing agencies in ecommerce and retail through her niche analytics firm Arche Analytics. Arche Analytics' key strengths are the application of machine learning and advanced analytics to improve customer acquisition, reduce churn and increase marketing ROI

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This