Wednesday, February 8, 2017
by Amy Shilstone

Call me unromantic...

...but every year that passes I see Valentine’s Day, the day that celebrates love and romance, get more and more commercialised. Advertisements are everywhere and each year, the teddy bears lining shop windows get larger, the chocolates get sicklier, and the cards get even cheesier. I get emails left, right and centre asking me whether I’ve got a gift yet for that ‘special someone’ and offering me advice on what aftershave to buy, or what to cook for my ‘loved one’.

These days, Valentine’s Day feels more like a demonstration of love, or a definition of what ‘romance’ should be and to me suggests that love, or being loving, just isn’t important the rest of the year. It’s no longer about showing that one person how much you appreciate them and the things they do, but instead people now buy cards and gifts for their mums, dads, sisters and best friends too. In fact, I’ve even seen a website advertising ‘Palentine’s’ gifts. Palentine’s?! I love my friends dearly, but c’mon!

Just in the time it took to write this, I have received two emails. The first offering me a whopping 25% off all photo gifts and Valentine’s Day cards (they spelt Valentine’s incorrectly though, doh), and the second with the subject title ‘Love quotes? Check out the trending Pins in quotes this week’ – needless to say, I deleted this email straight away! Love quotes? Pass me the bucket.

Working in marketing, I get it. I totally understand that we need to drill into these ‘holidays’ in order to create captivating campaigns, and that’s exactly what we do here at Denfield. For example – for the launch of 15 plate we did a ‘Love 15…’ campaign for one of our clients. ‘Love 15… a brand new Ford’, that kind of thing. It was absolutely brilliant (even if I do say so myself), but we really dulled down the cheese and soppiness and instead focused on the fact that we have an amazing product that can sell itself without the need to incorporate messages of adoration.

Marketing. Emails. Communication. We need to get it right, and we need to get it right first time. With marketing, there is no room for error and there’s no ‘second chance’. If we mess up a campaign, email or press ad, that’s it – it’s out in the big wide world for all to see (and mock). A successful email campaign starts with a subject line that grabs the attention of your subscribers (i.e. not ‘Love quotes?’). Good subject lines are often personal or descriptive, and give the recipient a reason to check out your content, yet they need to be short and snappy. That’s also why they are so easy to get wrong. We have to carefully think about what messages we’re sending as if a subject title makes customers cringe, they won’t open it! Simple.

To round off this unromantic article, according to the Greeting Card Association, the UK public spent more on greeting cards in 2015 than ever before, taking the market value up to £1.7 billion! Of that, a massive 85% of all cards are bought by women! So, to all men out shopping on their lunch breaks this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to pick up a card with those flowers (*ahem*... my favourites are pink cabbage roses).