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Regardless of whether you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, as marketers we need to leave our personal choices behind and take advantage of key opportunities to promote our brand.

With email having a proven record of ROI, it’s worth checking out what the competition is doing to steal the tips that work best for your company.

In this year’s email inspiration for Valentine’s Day we have: Fortnum & Mason, Ask Italian, Joules, New Look, and Zizzi.

Don’t just sell, teach

It’s no secret to marketers that sharing your knowledge with your audience will gain affinity and this could translate to sales. Whether that’s the latest fashion trends for a clothes brand, or sharing recipes and inviting subscribers to cooking events like Fortnum & Mason did, giving something to your subscribers rather than just selling products will help you increase email engagement.

Valentine's Day Fortnum and Mason email

Use alternative colors in your design

Just because Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, it doesn’t mean our inboxes need to turn red and pink for a couple of weeks. Restaurant chain Ask Italian stood out by using a combination of colors in its brand range along with a Gatsby-style choice of design elements and fonts.

Ask Italian Valentine's Day email

British brand Joules also used a different approach to email creative compared to other brands which paired brilliantly with its brand heritage inspired by the British outdoor country lifestyle.

Joules Valentine's Day

Tip to improve: Balance the text and images better so that subscribers still get the message with images turned off.

Be inclusive

Not everyone has a romantic partner in their life, but a lot of people recently have taken into the trend of celebrating with their other loved ones, like a best friend or even their mum! If it fits with your brand to be a little less traditional, take a leaf from New Look’s book and suggest different ways to spend Valentine’s Day and how your brand fits in it.

Tip to improve: Bring your main call-to-action closer to the top (‘Shop Valentines Gifts’), as subscribers might not scroll down that far into your email.

New Look Valentine's Day

Take advantage of consumer behavior

If you’re lucky enough to be one of those brands that can tap into an already-existing consumer behavior, don’t be afraid to jump on the bandwagon. Zizzi does this well: it knows that consumers love taking pictures of their food and sharing it on social channels so it designed a competition around it.

Tip to improve: Avoid using text links as much as possible as they are not easy to click on from a touchscreen device.

Valentine's Day Zizzi email

Which email is your favorite? Feel free to let us know and share other great examples for Valentine’s Day.