4 Valentine’s Day Emails I Loved Spending Time With

Well, another Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, which means lots of V-Day email in my inbox. They’ve been rolling in for weeks, actually, with a big uptick in the last several days.

Well, another Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, which means lots of V-Day email in my inbox.

They’ve been rolling in for weeks, actually, with a big uptick in the last several days.

There’s email from all kinds of marketers and quite a few nonprofits as well. It seems like everything can be sold using a Valentine’s theme. Travel, lingerie, shoes, coffee, sports apparel. supermarkets, and of course, jewelry. Lots and lots of jewelry.

Some of these efforts are barely distinguishable from those sent for other holidays and campaigns. Just swap out the graphics and images. And use fifty shades of red. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But here are a few that are different. They grabbed me and held on tight.

Illy caffè

My girlfriend and I drink a fair amount of coffee, and our biggest requirement is that it has to be strong.

Illy Email ValentineWhat I Loved: The latte heart design is one I’ve never been able to master, so this image immediately caught my attention. I swiped down on the email after I saw there was special pricing. I looked at the items being promoted, like a gift set of K-cups we could probably use.

Diamond Nexus

This company manufactures, not mines, fine jewelry. I’ve always liked them for that ethical and ecological choice.

Diamond Nexus Email ValentineWhat I Loved: The design is pretty simple, as most of their emails are, emphasizing the merchandise. The “Red Friday” headline (from last week) on a pink background adds a lot, but what really worked for me was the substantial discount. I had to tap on the button in the middle to look around some more.

Loot Crate

These people offer a subscription box for all kinds of gamer and geek stuff, like clothes and collectibles. They cover much of the same ground as other retailers, but curate it in an interesting way.

Loot Crate Email ValentineWhat I Loved: Tuesday’s email from the company asks “Ready to commit?” in the subject line. That’s good. Six of their collections can be clicked through via images inside hearts. Also nice. Then there’s this short strip. It cleverly ends with the box being held overhead straight out of Lloyd Dobler’s iconic pose in Say Anything. It’s one of our favorite movies.

Modern Cat

I haven’t subscribed to this magazine in a while, but still occasionally check out some of its online content.

Modern Cat Valentine EmailWhat I Loved: Here, its weekly newsletter keeps its brand out there by offering cute and snarky free Valentine’s Day e-cards (shown above). And if my sweetie wants one, I can order a gift subscription for her.

The bottom line is that a little bit of creativity, and a lot of staying true to your brand, goes a long way.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (It’s in Your Inbox)

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day! Known in some circles as “Singles Awareness Day Part 2,” “50% Off Candy Day” and the “National Flag of Canada Day.”

Happy Day After Valentine’s Day! Known in some circles as “Singles Awareness Day Part 2,” “50% Off Candy Day” and the “National Flag of Canada Day.”

Whatever Feb. 15 means to you, one thing is certain: Even the staunchest V-Day nonbeliever on Earth would know what yesterday was just from a quick peek in any email inbox. It’s like every shade of pink and all iterations of “feel the love” and “we heart ______” were having a massive mixer in there.

To be honest, I’m into it. I like pink, I like hearts, and my cat is the only valentine I need to enjoy the holiday. So please, join me on this frolic through some of the standout Valentine’s-themed promos that shot their arrow through the heart of my inbox.

  • Bath & Body Works
  • Line: Ready for this? You’ve truly hit it big with an EXTRA $10 off!

bbworksThis was a fairly long HTML, I think you get the idea from this top section alone. The more classic Valentine’s Day imagery works for what B&B Works is all about, and those blossoms (sweet pea I think?) fit the theme while invoking some of the store’s most popular aromas. The subject line is good — it went outside the holiday language and straight up told you the deal you’d find within: Heart!

  • Apple
  • Subj. Line: Apple gifts say it best.

appl1On the other end of the spectrum, check out Apple’s simple, subtle nod to the season of romance. The message is simple: Nothing says romance like the cool, metallic touch of a rose gold iPhone. All kidding aside, the short copy with a focus on staying in touch and sharing puts just the right spin on things.

  • Hallmark Cards
  • Subj. Line: Valentine’s Day is just 5 days away. Don’t forget the people you love.


05-FEAT-A-8903vAThe cynics will tell you: Valentine’s Day was invented by Hallmark to sell cards. Whether or not you agree, it wouldn’t be right to do a Vday Marketing Roundup without them. And if this email is anything to go by, they rightfully earned their claim to the holiday. That subject line is just the right blend of “gentle reminder” and “subtle guilt-trip,” and the creative gets right to the point by reminding you when the big day is. The animation gives a nice glimpse of your options without being overbearing, and we have a bright, direct CTA. Hallmark can have my X’s and O’s for this one.

  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Subj. Line: Save a Rose, Send Some Prose

WWFCardsValentine’s Day isn’t just for retail! Check out how the WWF took the opportunity to create these adorable e-cards, available for you to send after making any size donation to the fund. Love this idea — after all, you could donate the same amount you’d spend on a card anyway, and have it go to a great cause. That’s my idea of spreading the love! Bonus points for the awesome subject line.

  • Justice
  • Subj. Line: We ❤ you! Join us this weekend!

justiceSo we’re back to retail, but still on animals. I just thought this design was so cute, absolutely eye-catching. It’s a little more of a unique spin than much of the Valentine’s Day imagery I’ve seen. I do have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of this font. It’s a fitting style, but not the most readable; I kept thinking it said “We’ve got the pun” (which I’d be all for, to be honest). Two paws up for the romantic pup, though.

  • Lush
  • Subj. Line: For that special Valentine…


I always like Lush’s emails. Here’s another company that tends to not slam you over the head with whatever the theme or message might be. The colors are muted, copy is short and punchy, and it was nearly impossible not to click “read article” about anything that claims to be “better than chocolate.”

  • Sally’s Beauty Supply
  • Subj. Line: Love Is In The Air: Take $5 Off $25

sallySo many beauty product companies in this post. Can’t say I blame them for using this approach though, it’s so easy to make the connection between beauty products and Valentine’s Day, both in concept and in design. I mean, look how nice it looks to have that arrangement of pink/red/purple products behind the heart. This design also went with the classic dotted-line as a border for the heart, which totally screams “elementary school valentine”, I love that. Plus: another example of an upfront subject line, what you read is what you get.

  • Zoya
  • Subj. Line: Valentine’s Day Bogo ❤

zoyaOK, I saved this one for last because I love it, I honestly love it. (Yes that was meant to be read in Olivia Newton John’s voice.) LOOK AT THIS DESIGN, JUST LOOK AT IT!!! It’s nail polish, but like, in a HEART-SHAPED POOL. I wish I had a technical explanation for what’s so great about this. I don’t, really, it’s just so aesthetically pleasing and strangely satisfying to me. Two Valentine’s Day colors, because it’s Buy-One-Get-One, AND they’re making a heart, because Valentine’s Day … who knew nail polish could be so nuanced? Also, it’s a good sale. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some nail polish to buy…

I hope you all had a great month, and a great Feb. 14, whatever the day represents for you! If you need to get any discount candy off your hands, you know where to find me.

XOXO 4ever,