Other Print SMART Small Business Tips

Roses are Red

Market Your Business for Valentine’s Day

As I was getting ready to write this post I scrolled through a couple of orders from last February. I figured I’d get some inspiration from the Valentine’s Day cards I saw.

But you know what? There were precious few. And I’m stunned. Where are all the romantics?

But seriously, I realize that unless you’re a polygamist or a Lothario you probably aren’t going to design and order 25 Greeting Cards saying “You’re the Only One.” Unless, of course, you’re a designer planning to resell them, one at a time.

I was actually looking for Valentine’s Day cards for business. Although time is running out, it’s still not too late to put together a themed mailing to market your business.

Here are ten ideas to use in a Valentine’s Day direct mail program to promote your business. To illustrate some of these ideas I’ve used postcard templates from our design library.

1. Use a Postcard to advertise a Valentine’s Day (or week) sale.

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2. Partner with a local photographer to come to your business and set up a background or use a photogenic garden area. Invite your customers—couples or individuals—to come and have their picture taken.

3. If you sell flowers, candy or jewelry a Valentine’s Day promotion is a no-brainer. But even if not, you can probably think of a tie-in with your product or service.

4. Show “We love our customers” by throwing an appreciation party. Decorate your offices with balloons, candy and flowers, or rent an outside facility. Either way, you’ll build customer loyalty.

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5. Hold a drawing for a romantic dinner for two. Drive traffic to your business by requiring the customer to return the Announcement in person.

6. If you sell a product that goes along with the day, offer free gift-wrapping with a purchase. If your product isn’t related, offer a gift-wrapping service to get people to come in. This can be particularly effective if you target men, who aren’t known for their preparedness.

Screen shot 2012-01-24 at 3.18.21 PM
7. Grade school children need valentines to hand out to their classmates and teacher. Create bundles of creative, colorful cards that they can fill out and sign, and add a handful of candies so busy parents can just grab and go. Place your logo or store name unobtrusively on the back of the cards.

8. If your business involves food create a valentine-themed version. Take a picture of your culinary delight, put the picture on a Rack Card (which is really just a long postcard), and send it to your customer list. There’s nothing like a heart-shaped meatloaf to inspire romantic urges!

9. Let your customers submit love poems, songs, decorated cakes—whatever—and award a prize, which can be a gift certificate for your product or service. If you decide to run a contest be sure to check the rules for your state.

10. Don’t forget the lonely hearts. If your business caters to the unattached an Invitation to a mixer will be remembered and appreciated.

With only a few days to go you’ll have to work fast. To save time, use Mailing Services to send postcards directly to your customers so you can focus on the Valentine’s Day details.

One more thing; a personal picky proofreader’s pet peeve. A valentine is a card or message, and is not capitalized (unless for effect or part of a Title Case headline). Multiple cards are valentines–no apostrophe. Valentine’s Day is capitalized and spelled with an apostrophe.

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

–BR

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