Love Ain't Cheap: Email & V-Day

Two-week countdown to Valentine’s Day, projected to exceed $19 billion in consumer spending in the U.S. This is the fourth biggest retail event of the year in the U.S. boasting an average order value of $174 ($190.53 for men and $ 96.58 for women). 

Men will shop in department stores and online while women will head to discount stores first, then talk about it on social networks.  It gets even more interesting as you break down three key generations who each view the holiday quite differently.

Want to target Millennials?  Use the Bold, Sarcasm font.   Millennials over 18 feel Valentine’s Day is overrated.  This generation, who were raised to bring Valentines for all their classmates, may seem lukewarm on the holiday but still spend very similarly to their older counterparts, according to a study done last year by research company Pulse.  



Humor and creativity are the keys to this audience.  Over 25% of Millennial men are worried what others will think of their gift and unlike older generations tend to find the need to brag about what they did, according to a study last year from Arc, the brand activation agency within the Leo Burnett Group, from which many of these insights come.
Generation Xers give the most gifts and are most likely to post a pubic greetings on social media.  Women want an evening out and while women love to give candy to men, what we really want are electronics.  Over 1 billion cards will be sent around the world for the holiday, and this generation is a big driver of  this volume.

Boomer spend gravitate to convenience as a common theme.   The sentiment of this group is best described as  “I want something selfish that I’d never  have considered buying for myself.”   

If you can target the right generation with your product or service, you still have the monumental task of getting attention, when traffic and advertising stimuli will be flooded with red for the holiday.

The key to targeting the younger generation is to make it part of a story -- and ultimately, their story. Keys to Gen X and Boomers are  to enable network connectivity and be convenient when it’s time.    

What does this mean for email marketers that  often get relegated to postal service? (get the mail out) You can influence the tone and timing, all huge parts of the value chain.

This is one of the few times a year you can be part of the experience, not just capitalizing on the promotion.  Be persistent, but do it with intent.  You aren’t hanging a banner hoping people will see it, you are communicating -- and you now have two weeks to do it.

A few things to think about this year as your build/execute your campaigns:

-- Own when they buy, with retargeting, browse and cart abandonment.

-- Don’t forget devices. There’s a time to inform, a time to promote and a time to share. Sometimes you can do it all in the same day, cross-device.

-- From now til 2/13, it’s about the idea, 2/14 is about the experience, and 2/15 and beyond is about sharing and bonding with friends and family. Prepare for the themes.

-- This isn’t about his/her, it’s about helping consumers have an experience where your brand is involved.   Have some fun with tone, conversation and focus on rooted meanings (single, married, older, younger, male, female) that drive these cohorts.  This is the time to use segmentation correctly.

-- Program it now!   Sequence, program, yet be versatile to change. This is the first major retail event of the year. With Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and back-to-school coming, find a pattern to the cyclical promotional cadence and use this time to condition your customers.

1 comment about "Love Ain't Cheap: Email & V-Day".
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  1. Loren McDonald from IBM Marketing Cloud, February 1, 2016 at 1:25 p.m.

    Great post David, love the research and specifics on how to turn Valentine's Day from just a February version of Cyber Monday into an engaging customer experience!

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