Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all the posts from our UK team here. Or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is coming.

You can almost smell the Chanel. That means it’s time for your small business to think of ways to piggyback on the occasion.

You already have a direct route into your target audience’s world — the email inbox. Your mission is to figure out how you can help your subscribers create a suitably earth-shattering Valentine’s Day for their objet d’amour. No pressure.

Here are six ideas.

Send a voucher

Roses are red, violets are blue. And if you’re a florist or flower shop, it’s good news for you.

Of course it’s not just florists getting ready to hear the cash register ring at this time of year. If you sell anything that can be given as a Valentine’s gift — perfume, chocolates, jewellery — it’s time to amp up your marketing strategy.

You can extend your bumper sales period with discount vouchers for your subscribers in the week or so before Valentine’s Day. Or you could run a post-Valentine’s campaign for single customers in need of a pick-me-up. Either way, discount vouchers are a fast, easy and effective way to use email marketing. Bloomin’ marvellous.

Provide the backdrop for the perfect date

A candlelit dinner is just the ticket for many doe-eyed duos. Or how about a helicopter ride at sunset? Or perhaps an evening wine tasting event? If your business provides a service that could set the scene for Valentine’s couples, you need to make sure people know about it. And that’s where email marketing comes in.

Design an email with details of your promotion. That could be a Valentine’s themed menu. Free champagne at your restaurant. Money off helicopter rides. You name it.

The point is to theme your offer around Valentine’s and create something different from your regular service offering. You’re basically doing Cupid’s job for him. So make it extra special.

You can tell a man by his shoes…

There are lots of products and services that — at first glance — don’t seem to relate to Valentine’s Day. But with a bit of lateral thinking you can link anything to the day of love.

Example? You might think there’s nothing romantic about shoes. But The Proclaimers and Bryan Adams would surely disagree. So whether you are helping your subscribers walk 500 miles to their special someone, or they are gaily promising “I’m gonna run to you”, a voucher for a new pair of brogues is going to make the journey a lot easier. Besides, don’t they say you can tell a man by his shoes?

More abstract? Okay, so you run SaaS time management software. How do you tie that in to Valentine’s Day? Well, everybody knows a good date requires shrewd planning. Send out an email with your top Valentine’s planning tips, tricks and hacks. You can make it as funny or tongue-in-cheek as you like. The point is that you are doing something different.

And that’s half the battle of keeping your subscribers engaged.

Competition time

People say they don’t like playing games when it comes to love. But those people haven’t seen your competition to win a romantic break for two. Consider running a contest, and promoting it to your email list and social media following, to spark interest and engagement.

Speaking of getting away from it all…

If your products or services have anything to do with travel or escapism, why not create a short piece of content that you email to your subscribers? Think along the lines of ’10 of Europe’s most romantic hotels’ or ‘The 10 most beautiful walks in England’. You can be as niche or as generalised as you like. But remember, it’s all about helping your subscribers enjoy a memorable Valentine’s celebration.

Anti-Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone. Especially if they are single. That means there’s potentially a lot of mileage in creating an anti-Valentine’s event. There’s lots of fun to be had with your email marketing here, both visually and with your copy. It’s unexpected and will help you stand out in a crowded inbox.

Over to you…!

Creating a Valentine’s marketing campaign is a good way to help boost engagement with your audience. It shows you are current. It shows you are imaginative. And it shows you are thinking about the needs, fears, ambitions, and desires of your target audience. Put your prospect’s needs before your own and you are sure to reap rewards.

Want to show your audience some love on social media as well? Try out these 7 ideas!