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This is how to anticipate on Valentine’s Day

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, the international day for celebrating love. Many people use this day to surprise their loved one, or someone they are secretly in love with. As we can observe every year, there are many advertisers that (want to) anticipate on this day. But how can you best go about this? Expand Online went in search of the best practices for Valentine’s day campaigns.

  • Get an early start

One of the most important tips for creating a successful Valentine’s Day campaign is to get an early start with the preparations. Many advertisers seem not to be aware that Valentine’s day is coming up until the thirteenth of February. This is really too late for a good campaign. It so happens that Valentine’s Day is on the minds of your customers as early as the beginning of February. If you want to be sure that your Valentine’s Day gift is delivered to your home on time, then you must be able to choose your gift on time. And so it is essential to work out the campaign in advance and to have everything ready on time. This is how you get the most out of your investment.

  • Have a look at the statistics for the past year

With just a bit of skill, you can easily find out in AdWords and Google Analytics which products were successful in February of last year, how the visitors concerned found your website and which devices they used. You should also consider in this respect the amount of time between the initial visit and the actual purchase. The more time between the two, the more important it is to ensure that you are top of mind in your customer.

  • Not your field of business?

You do not sell red roses, cards or chocolate? No worries. Show your customers that you love them! A little bit of creativity is often enough for a fun result. For example, give the customer an extra discount on this day on his or her next purchase in the webshop, or grant the customer a purchase that is free of shipping costs, wrap your product in a special gift packaging, include hand-written cards or put your “red” products in the spotlight. Impulse buyers are often looking for a good deal. Which is why you should put these in the spotlight.

  • Don’t forget the bachelors.

Everyone seems to think of couples when they think of Valentine’s Day, but there are also singles looking for love. On a global scale, “Singles day” is the most successful online shopping day of the year. This day of celebration, which has its origin in China, yielded Alibaba a total of 6 billion in 2015 within a 24-hour period. This is considerably more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Instead of buying a gift for someone else, hordes of people buy a nice gift for themselves. Seeing that the Netherlands has 2.5 million singles, this too offers opportunities for Dutch marketers. 

  • Create special landing pages

The advertisement has been seen and an initial interest has been aroused. It is now crucial to take strong action. Make sure that your visitors are led to the right page. This page must be in line with your target group and the message in the advertisement. You can create a new page to that end, or adjust an existing page. Have doubts about the lay-out? Make two versions so that you know what works best next time.

  • Go multi-channel

It is important to choose the right channels in order to achieve the greatest effect. With a communication on the website, a special Valentine’s Day email and a post on social media, you will reach the people who actively follow your brand, but probably few new clients.

In order to grow, it is important to expand your reach with, for example, a search network campaign, sponsored updates or a display campaign. By promoting your campaign through multiple channels (multi-channel), you enhance the campaign, and so users will begin to recognise your brand and products.

  • Use re-targeting

Your Valentine’s Day campaign will increase the traffic to your website. Make sure that you do not lose these visitors. You can achieve this by re-targeting this group. Show them banners with new campaigns after their visit, for example, or dynamic banners with the products that they looked at.

  • Valentine’s Day: The day itself

Time to lean back and enjoy your Sunday. Think up a fun post in advance to post on social media and have it go live automatically. Give others (colleagues, staff, friends) a preview. You can prevent evoking negative reactions in this way. Need inspiration? Check out these examples by McDonalds and the Hema:

  • The week of February 15th

Time to evaluate the results and to determine what went well and what did not. These learnings are crucial in doing things (even) better next time. Ask yourself questions like: Which advertisements attracted visitors? Which product categories sold well? You can use these insights next year when you organise a new campaign!

  • Again, get an early start

Have you acquired a taste for it? Then consider other (inter) national holidays! Below we have listed a number of important (commercial) holidays. Put them on the marketing calendar and be sure not to forget the various steps of these best practices!


Holidays 2018:

27-28 March          Easter

27 April                       King’s Birthday

5 May                          Liberation Day & Ascension Day

8 May                          Mother’s Day

6 June                      Ramadan

15-16 June              Whitsun

19 June                     Father’s Day

6 July                           Sugar festival

11 September         Feast of the Sacrifice

21 September         King’s Speech

4 October                 Animals’ Day

31 October                 Halloween

11 November            Martinmas

5 December             St Nicholas

25-26 December   Christmas

31 December           New Year’s Eve