loveheartsValentine’s Day – just saying the words is enough to make any marketer’s heart beat that little bit faster. For many of us, it’s the first big sales event of the year, and in my mind, I’ve always considered it to be the last opportunity of the previous year’s holiday marketing season.

Long before you even think about sending any romantic messages (or last-minute Valentine’s Day campaigns), the savvy email marketer will have:

  1. Uploaded any new email addresses collected over the holidays into their email marketing software.
  2. Segmented their lists based on previous engagements. Check out this blog post for 14 list segmentation suggestions.
  3. Hit their new subscribers with a non-critical campaign (i.e., something that won’t cause financial ripples if everything doesn’t go according to plan).

The third step of this process is particularly important if you are new to email marketing or perhaps have added a significant number of new subscribers to your lists over the holiday period from sources like your ecommerce cart.

A sudden spike in subscribers may set off alarm bells with your email marketing service provider, and in some cases, it may insist on running test sends or staggering the release of campaigns to ensure the legitimacy of any new names added.

For legitimate senders, this will only become a problem if you have left everything to the last minute and insist on hitting a large, untested list with a send.

If Valentine’s Day means big business for your organization, now is the time you’ll want to be ironing out any problems with your list. Think of it like an athlete warming up prior to a big event.

Valentine’s Day is a once-a-year opportunity, but the buildup to the big day takes a little thought and consideration. Will your subscribers still love you by Valentine’s Day? Put the effort in now and show them you care.

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Photo: Jackie