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5 Festive Tips to Celebrate Your Customers’ Birthdays

Be succinct, show urgency but keep it funny, and of course, personalize it as much as possible. Our third article on your way to become a marketing email authority will teach you how to surprise your customers on their special day        

After perfecting the welcome email stream that builds rock-solid relationships with clients, it’s time to talk about the easiest possible way to further connect with your customers– the birthday emails. This is when friends and family shower them with attention and there is no reason you shouldn’t join the party. Any excuse to talk to a user on a personal level shouldn’t go unnoticed, so take advantage of the birthday triggered email.

While the user is happy for greetings (who doesn’t want a nice shout-out?), they are expecting a present, so don’t forget to include a decent offer. I’m often shocked to see marketers forget a big call-to-action. Your offer is the main point of the email so make sure it’s super clear. While it is now commonplace to include a fun animated gif to celebrate their birthday, don’t let that distract from your objective. Keep the main offer and CTA “above the fold” so the user doesn’t have to scroll down to see what they’ll receive. Quick pro-tip: use alt-tags to highlight the offer in case images aren’t automatically downloaded (and to comply with ADA standards).

Let’s drill down to more profound tips for delivering a successful birthday email:

Succinct copy – Embrace the short and sweet but seize the chance to have fun and really push your brand identity. This email is all about celebration, so go crazy. Add a recommended products or bestsellers section right before the footer. While the main message is a birthday wish, quickly show them products most likely to pique their interest with “hand-picked” suggestions.

Keep it personal – Make sure the message is personal. The point is to wish them a happy birthday. In real life, this is the equivalent of looking a person in the eyes when you give them a birthday wish. Go back to the basics and use their name. This old trick never gets old – Happy Birthday [%FirstName%]. Customers will notice the small touches.

Use gamification – This is a birthday, so why not throw in some party games? Reveal and other kinetic elements that display the offer get the users into the spirit. Reveal is a component that layers an animation on top of the offer to give a sneak peek into their gift. Include copy such as, “Click here to see your special offer,” so that when they click on the animation, the offer appears.

Create urgency – While offers are a great start, create a sense of urgency to make sure users take advantage. Note: countdown timers are the most successful under 48 hours, but feel free to give the user another day or so if they need to go into the store. Another idea to express urgency and allow for more time is through a decreasing offer. After the first two days, a lower offer appears to keep the excitement momentum. A little FOMO can really help here.

Have fun with it – There is no reason to stop the fun at just one birthday email. Take the opportunity to make a stream for your users. Use the month for birthday celebrations. Perhaps include special offers or available products during the birthday month. Create a pre-birthday campaign or schedule a post for those who didn’t redeem the offer, “it’s not too late…”

This isn’t the only place we can use these suggestions. Step up your general email game and replicate these concepts for other events like the brand’s birthday, looping the users into your party.

There is only one part left to the birthday email, an important one. Do you even have the user’s birthday information? Create a campaign during the welcome series dedicated to better understanding your user. Up the ante and make it clear. If they share their information, you will give them a present now and on their birthday (Instant gratification always works best). There is no reason you can’t target users who didn’t include their personal details right away. But make it light with a “It could be your birthday today, so here is a present…” message. Use the concepts described above to make this email as exciting as the birthday email itself.

You now have their birthday information and you created a kick-butt campaign. One of the reasons I love these types of triggered emails is that they usually only require light maintenance, and done right, you can update them every 1.5 years. Write a calendar reminder to reexamine your efforts after a year to make sure it’s fresh and on-brand.

There are many other great ideas out there. I would love to hear how you improved your birthday campaigns in the comments below. Now…time to celebrate.

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Shefa Weinstein

Shefa Weinstein learned to code in high school as a bored teenager. She went on to found her own Web development company and then a startup company. After spending time as VP Product in the high-tech scene, she became GM at DynamicMail, which was acquired by Optimove. Shefa now leads the DynamicMail team as well as starting a new email marketing agency within Optimove.