designing ebooks and other fun things

valentine

I love you. Please don’t be my Valentine.

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If you are reading this post.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you receive and treasure all the random issues of Shine magazine.

If we ever met, tweeted or chatted. If there was a comment, a sparkle, a connection. A pleasant or intriguing memory.

Or if we never met, but you have been stopping by here often.

And even if this is your first visit and you kind of like it here.

I want you to know that I love you for that. But I won’t be sending flowers.

Or chocolates, or cookies, or gifts, or special offers.

It’s not that kind of love. And if there is anything I can’t stand, it’s crude, forced, let’s-hit-this-message-on-the-head-until-it-fits-with-the-theme communication.

My own mailbox is overflowing with those today. I bet yours is too.

I look at them and wonder what in the world love and hearts have got to do with stock photos, seminars and car insurance (especially since I renewed mine on the 11th). Besides 14% discounts and the most unlikely people dressing up as Cupid, that is.

I was kind of tempted to send off a little something today. Because, you know, it’s a holiday. And a fun one, at that. But it just felt false. Forced. Irrelevant. Because I am pretty sure you are looking forward to spending time with someone special. Or partying until you drop. Or whatever it is you do to celebrate, which I am sure does not include catching up on your email subscriptions.

So I hope you will forgive me for not adding my own love note to your overflowing mailbox. (Actually, I secretly hope you will love me even more for that.)

But more than that, I hope that you will stop and think about your own promotional messages.

Did you send any of those out for Valentine’s Day? Were they actually relevant, or did you send them because everybody else is doing it? (I will never, ever understand why “everybody else is doing it” became such a popular marketing strategy, when it should be quite the opposite.)

If this offer wasn’t really relevant to your business (and by relevant I mean restaurants and flower shops, just so we’re clear), could you have actually done better by picking a different day — March 30th, August 8th, any day at all — to proclaim your love for your customers and offer them something special?

I bet you could. In fact, I am certain that most of us would love to feel loved and appreciated on any of the 365 days of the year.

So pick a day — any day — and make that a day you show your customers how much they mean to you.

That’s so much more special and memorable than trying to fit in with the whole Cupid theme.

(And yes, that is exactly what I plan to do. Soon. No worries, if you subscribe to Shine, you won’t miss it.)

And if you happen to be the person who sent me that car insurance discount, I’d really like to know:

Will you still love me in January?

4 Comments on this Post.

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I love the rant, and I’m in your corner! I send Christmas letters in January or February, I have a birthday disability which renders it impossible to send love on someone’s actual birthday, and I’ve never been a huge Valentine’s Day lover, because it seemed so forced and phony.

    On the other hand, I love sending friends random cards of thanks, love and encouragement when they least expect it and likely most need it.

    Chocolate, flowers and cards miss the point of the true spirit of Valentine’s, just like having an overinflated focus on the importance of a wedding doesn’t reflect the true spirit and value of a marriage.

    • Thanks Anne,
      You are absolutely right, of course. Most of the holidays, the way they are celebrated nowadays, completely miss the point of their intended meaning. (Christmas is another excellent example.)
      I enjoy (most of) them anyway, and try to somehow make them special. I love the potential of memorable days born of seemingly tiny details.
      But I love the spontaneous special occasions even more. Your random cards fall into that category.

      In both cases, it’s the non-forced, authentic attention to details, attention to the person that really matters, in my opinion.
      There is quite a bit more we could both rant about on the topic, isn’t there? :)

      • Love a good rant! to blow off steam, but generally its just better to focus on the positive!

        • My rants tend to give me lots of material for the positive posts, so it’s an exercise of sorts. :)

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