Blog Happy Birthday, [NAME]! - The Importance of Birthday Email Campaigns

When your birthday rolls around, presents are no longer the only thing to look forward to. Well not for me anyway. Working within the email marketing industry, I’m always eager to see what will arrive in my inbox in the weeks leading up to the big day – (I realize that may make me sound sad).

But the truth is, recognizing your customer’s birthday and incorporating this into your email communication is a vital part of a customer lifecycle and retention strategy. Not only do birthday emails have a 481% higher transaction rate than promotional emails (1) but they also help to reinforce consumer relationships, leading to increased brand loyalty.

This year did not disappoint in terms of birthday email volume – of course, I am signed up to a lot of mailing lists! Here is just a small selection:

Have my cake and eat it:

National Express delight with this visually appealing birthday cake email, along with 25% off. Mmm… Tasty!


Birthday Wish List:

Pandora takes a different approach, with a simplistic email encouraging customers to share their wish list ahead of their special day. I can’t say I took them up on their offer, but a nice thought none the less.



Birthday Preppin'

Missguided stay true to their brand and tone of voice with their cool millennial-feel creative and copy.  Their gift to me? A 10% discount.


Straight to the point

Not only did Topshop see Missguided’s offer, they raised it. Their email design may not have been as snazzy, but with 20% off it still stands out.


UGC Themed

The Student Room also took a different approach, with a user-generated content (UGC) style collage creating the main email body. A great concept and this definitely stood out to me, however I would have loved if the images were more personalized to me. (You can learn more about easily implementing UGC into your marketing emails here.)


Wonderful birthday

Chanel… a simple (yet impressive) design with a clear message.  Love, love, love!


Fabulous treats

JustFab go for a decorative balloon design, but with no ‘gift’ to speak of. However, one of the few brands that added an emoji to the subject line – something I am a big advocate of!

With the ROI of email being above all other marketing channels, and birthday emails increasing this even more, how do you ensure you get it absolutely right to ensure the best results?

Firstly, (and, unsurprisingly) you need to ensure this customer data exists within your database. If you don’t already have it, there are various methods as to how you can collect it. The quickest and easiest way being during the opt-in process, either upfront or on the confirmation page. However, if you’re worried the extra-added data fields may veer customers away from completing sign-up, you could collect the data via progressive profiling. Try to make this email creative and fun in order to accelerate your CTRs – let your customers know that by giving you their data, they can expect to receive something in return! Another way in which you could collect the data is via a social sign-in on your page. As long as customers have their birthdays listed on their social channels such as Facebook, this information can be pulled in for you, although third party implementation may be required.


So, once you have the data how do you implement your birthday campaign?

Smart Personalization from The Message Cloud enables you to put great birthday-led campaigns in place. Simply create segments around the birthday data, and apply personalization features to create individual and unique emails which will stand out in the inbox.

A great example of a brand doing this through The Message Cloud is the UK’s largest high street toy retailer, The Entertainer. Since using the platform, they launched their ‘Birthday Club’, which allows customers to give the age and gender of all children they buy presents for, meaning the company can now send messages with personalized birthday present recommendations.

Whether you send your customers a can’t-resist coupon, a freebie or just a simple ‘Happy Birthday’ message, make sure you DO send it. Small gestures go a long way in terms of strengthening consumer relationships. What’s more, it’s my birthday… and I’ll buy if I want to!


Sources: (1) Experian

Topic email marketing
email campaign