You might be thinking two things to yourself when you read the title. One, “I don’t sell flowers or hallmark cards – why should I have a Valentine’s Day game plan for my PPC account?” Or two, “It’s definitely too late to create a PPC campaign for the holiday coming up. It’s next week for crying out loud!” Well, think again!

According to Google, this year’s projected Valentine’s Day sales are expected to hit $18.6 billion with about 40% of smartphone owners doing shopping research online and 46% of tablet users joining the party. From my years of independent field research, I have concluded that there are two types of shoppers out there: Slackers (of which are mostly males) and planners.

Valentine's Day PPC Plan

As an advertiser, you have 18.6 billion reasons to put some effort into setting up a funnel to snatch some holiday loot (thank you slackers!). So if you’re fretting about it being too late to advertise for Valentine’s Day, to you I say, nay! You couldn’t be reading this at a better time.

Why not rescue these frantic and desperate people guys that are hopelessly begging to look like rock stars of love instead of chumps? Let’s get creative and help out these poor bastards. It’s GO time, so let’s get crackin’, we don’t have much time! Here’s the game plan to capture last-minute intent this gift-giving holiday:

Ad Text

Valentine’s Day is the time of year where ladies expect their partners to step up their game and put some effort in igniting romance in the relationship. As an advertiser, put some sizzling pasión in your ad text. Focus on how your business will light up a fire on the special day. Here are some keywords the adventurous can try working into your ad text:

  • Sexy
  • Red Hot
  • Sultry
  • Lingerie

If you’re a fan of the basics, you can incorporate these classics:

  • Flowers
  • Chocolates
  • Travel / short trips
  • Last minute deal
  • Dating

Seasonal PPC Ad

Offer Text and Calls to Action:

Here are some example Valentine’s Day offers and calls to action you can experiment with to strike the curiosity of the procrastinator looking for a gift to impress.

  • Bonus Gift Inside All New Orders.
  • We Got You Covered. Ships Same Day.
  • Find your love.
  • Join the fun.
  • Surprise her / him.


Use dynamic keyword insertion to make your headlines pop with relevancy.

If you haven’t tried crafting ads incorporating Valentine’s Day elements, test them. It’s the only way to find out what works.

Landing Pages

Let’s not forget the slacker persona we’re going after:

Valentine's Day Slacker

Odds are, guys are making most of those last-minute purchases so make sure your landing page copy speaks to Slacker Sam. Give him confidence that you’ll solve his procrastinator dilemma and in a timely way. Elaborate how you’ll help him look like a thoughtful lover that’s been searching for just the right way to say, “I love you.” Win his confidence and give him reasons to buy from you.

As a side note, Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year. This is especially a huge opportunity for advertisers in travel-related industries where guys will be inclined to take their special someone on a last-minute getaway. If your product or service can play off of those industry verticals, work in those angles!

Ad Extensions

Don’t expect Slacker Sam to put in any extra effort. Create sitelinks that trap his attention and drive him to a Valentine’s Day specific landing page that we discussed above. Experiment with limited time offers, bonus gifts, or an intriguing promo like, “Stupid Last Minute Deal.”

Mobile Device Targeting

Enhanced campaigns won’t be available for another few weeks, so take advantage of your mobile audience that will frantically do last-minute research. Draw in shoppers with radius or geo-targeted ads and give them a compelling reason to click on your ad.

Keyword Bidding

Bid competitively on the day before and the day of Valentine’s Day to capture as much slacker intent as possible. Raise bids in markets where demand is high to capture some traffic. An easy way to do this is to run automated rules to bid up certain keywords as you get closer to the big day. If a specific geo-target is valuable to your business, bid competitively.


Set up a remarketing campaign to pull in users that were on your site and didn’t pull the trigger on your site. Reel them back in with an enticing offer, a witty display ad or a clever message like, “My heart is broken without you. Come back with this 10% off (insert promo code).”

Update Your Calendar

After the holiday madness is over, pause your campaign for next year and learn from what worked and what didn’t. If you haven’t done so already, update your calendar with all the major holidays where heavy spending is expected which can help you with future planning of your marketing efforts along with helpful explanations with regard to weird data swings in your reports due to these macro events.

Valentine’s Day is probably the second largest gift-giving day in the states behind Christmas. How do you prepare your PPC campaigns for success on Cupid’s holiday?