Hark Thandi
Hark Thandi 3 December 2015
Categories Email & eCRM

Seven Tips For The Best Birthday Emails

Birthday emails are an easy way to win points with your subscribers - if you get them right.

When it comes to building customer loyalty, the birthday email is a no-brainer. Right?

With just two pieces of data to glean and get right for a basic campaign – name and date of birth – it’s surely one of the easiest ways to surprise and delight your subscriber base. As long as it’s ‘surprise and delight’ you want to achieve.

Before you begin rolling out the rewards, ask yourself what’s more important to your strategy: maximising voucher redemptions or making customers feel good, even if just for a moment?

While a compelling freebie or discount will always go down well, the value of your birthday email isn’t just determined by what you’re offering, but also by how you gift-wrap it and by the customer’s pre-conceptions of your brand. On one hand, you could have the ultimate personalised reward. On the other, an empty-hearted gesture.

So, here are our seven tips for getting many happy returns from your birthday emails.

1. It isn’t just the thought that counts

Give your guests a treat that’s relevant to your offering, compelling and of decent value, i.e. something they wouldn’t ordinarily receive from your usual campaigns – it could be a special discount or a free drink.

2. Don’t give with one hand then take away with another

Make your gift worthwhile. If there are too many strings attached, your birthday email could go straight into the bin. Something for nothing will always be looked upon less cynically. But if you’re offering a high-value gift that’s conditional – for instance, a free bottle of bubbly with a meal – keep the terms simple and give your recipients plenty of time to use it; we suggest four weeks (two weeks each before and after the big day).

3. Make it easy to act on

Keep your content simple, concise and single-minded, with a clear user journey to the recipient’s reward. Resist the temptation to shoehorn in sales messages, as they may undermine your gesture.

4. Make them feel special from the start

Getting the subject line right can make or break a birthday email. Involve your recipient in the copy and tell them what’s in it for them. Either be descriptive or create intrigue, e.g. ‘A birthday treat just for you’, but don’t beat around the bush or get too clever.

5. Personalisation

A nameless email will render the whole thing useless – you may as well give the customer a blank birthday card. At the very least, personalise the salutation.

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Simple, yet effective – a personalised image plus an offer tailored to the recipient’s gender made our Nicholson’s birthday campaign a real winner.

6. When the thought really does count

If you want to make your customers feel extra special, personalise your email further by making use of whatever data you can. It needn’t be as complex as individual customer preferences. Manchester City FC’s birthday email is brilliantly personal, with customised club facts relating to the recipient’s birth year. In pure feel-good factor, this tops the discount gift being offered alongside it.

7. Don’t hold back

Birthdays are a time for celebration, and the perfect opportunity to push the envelope on personality and originality. Invest in a special template design, craft great content that feels convincing, but not sentimental, and try something different – like a personalised GIF or a short birthday greetings video.


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