By John Landsman, Director of Strategy and Analytics

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With Valentine’s Day still a week away, we took a peek at this year’s Valentine’s Day emails for what we could learn from what’s been mailed thus far, and how it’s doing.

Key takeaways:

  • The number of mailed campaigns to date appears only slightly larger than the comparable period in 2015.
  • However, more Valentine’s Day mailings than last year were deployed beginning earlier in January.
  • We see the usual gift-related messaging related to flowers and candy, but also mailings driven by retailers who are using Valentine’s Day as just another promotional event.  Dining and travel-related Valentine messages are also common.
  • Many gift-driven subject lines are oriented around gift “suggestions’ or the more formally-titled “Gift Guides.”
  • There is considerable emphasis on gifts for ‘him,’ or other family members.
  • Read rates are not (yet) overly robust:  we see less than half of mailed campaigns showing more than 10% read rates.  Only about 10% produce more than 20% read rates.  The 3% of messages with read rates of 30% or higher are mostly deployed to relatively small mailing quantities, suggesting use by whatever means of targeting to high-potential customer segments.  All of these engagement levels will likely improve as we get closer to the event itself.

Eight examples of high-performing Valentine’s Day emails:

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