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Valentine's Day Boosts Small Businesses

  |  January 30, 2006   |  Comments

Mom-and-pop shops utilize e-mail and online marketing campaigns to boost Valentine's Day sales.

Small-business owners expect to see strong online sales this Valentine's day, according to a survey conducted by Constant Contact.

Fifty-five percent of small-business owners plan for strong sales leading up to February 14, and 71 percent anticipate healthy online sales. Businesses are implementing online sales and marketing plans to ensure success.

"[Many] are offline businesses who have learned to use online marketing as a key to their marketing mix," Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman told ClickZ Stats.

Promotional offers will be implemented by 70 percent of small businesses. Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents expect customer purchases to average as much as $50.

Marketing Plans for Valentine's Day
Marketing Method Percent
E-mail marketing 76
Online marketing 49
Direct mail 25
Flyers 25
Advertising (TV, radio, newspaper) 10
Source: Constant Contact, 2006

Online ranks top in methods to reach consumers. Small businesses plan to use email marketing (76 percent); online marketing (49 percent); direct mail (25 percent); flyers (25 percent); and advertising on TV and radio and in newspapers (196 percent). Regardless of the method, timing is key to a successful campaign.

"We really suggest that people back up to 10 days to two weeks for their first mention of their Valentine's offerings, then a second [mention] about three to five days later," said Goodman. "You want to make sure people have time to respond."

Average Customer Valentine's Gift Purchase
Amount Spent Percent
Less than $25 32
Between $25 and $50 35
Between $50 and $75 14
Between $75 and $100 9
More than $100 10
Note: Individual purchase typically spent on Valentine's day gifts.
Source: Constant Contact, 2006

The industry breakdown of companies surveyed in terms of anticipated holiday sales includes hospitality -- restaurants, travel, and lodging (76 percent); retail specialty shops, clothing stores, and florists (63 percent); and customer services, including jewelers, spas, beauty salons, fitness, and photography (48 percent).

The "2006 Small Business Valentine's Day Outlook" survey was conducted through targeted online distribution of Constant Contact customers. Findings are derived from 400 respondents. The survey was conducted from December 29, 2005, to January 10, 2006.

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Enid Burns

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