Email Marketing

Birthday Email Marketing, or How to Congratulate Your Subscribers

5 minutes

Birthday Email Marketing, or How to Congratulate Your Subscribers

Everyone loves birthdays. This is a day to celebrate, feel special, and enjoy your birthday gifts. Companies use birthday emails to connect with their audience, say a few kind words, as well as remind about their services and products.

In this entry, we’ve gathered a bunch of tips about how to use your email marketing routine to throw a birthday party in your subscribers’ inboxes.

What is a birthday email?

A birthday email is a type of message triggered by the date a user mentioned as their birthday. These messages are automatically sent to the subscribers on their birthday or some time before the event.

Salesforce reports that 73% of marketers rate birthday emails as effective or very effective. On top of that, birthday emails prove to be a real sweet spot for achieving email marketing success. Yes Marketing Email Trigger Report, for example, reveals that birthday emails get almost twice as many opens and unique clicks compared to business as usual (BAU) campaigns.

Birthday email campaigns vs. BAU campaigns

birthday email compared to bau
Source: The Ultimate Trigger Report from Yes Marketing

Apart from being an email marketing life-saver, sending a happy birthday email helps to

  • increase revenue. According to Experian, birthday emails have a 342% higher revenue compared to regular promotional campaigns.
  • improve a brand’s reputation. Sending an email on the user’s special day allows you to reach your audience with relevant information and nurture the company-customer bond.
  • reactivate inactive subscribers. Since birthday emails are highly personalized, even unengaged users will be pleased to get an email tailored to their personal data.

But before you start googling cute and witty birthday wishes or crafting a birthday email for your audience, you have to gather users’ dates of birth. Have a look at the most common ways to do that.

How to collect user data for birthday emails

With a subscription form

Ask users to specify their date of birth at the registration stage. Remember to keep the subscription form easy and short. This way you’ll keep your potential subscribers from leaving the sign-up process due to too much information to fill in.

The Dog Bakery, a famous store that makes and sells dog treats and birthday cakes, follows this rule and suggests that users should indicate the pet’s birth date while signing up for emails with special offers.

birth request in subscription form
A subscription form with a date of birth request from The Dog Bakery

With a regular email

Prepare a separate email to encourage subscribers to share personal data as the primary call to action. True Citrus, for example, used such a message in their email marketing strategy.

birth request in email
Email asking to specify the date of birth from True Citrus

Upon clicking the CTA, a subscriber travels to the preference center where they can fill in the necessary information — first name, shipping address, and birthday, of course.

email preference center
True Citrus preference center

So with your subscribers’ dates of birth at your fingertips, you might wonder how to use this information for your birthday email marketing. Check out the ideas we’ve gathered for you to create a cool birthday email for a customer’s special day.

Birthday email ideas

Create a birthday email subject line

A subject line can make a user either open your email or scroll past it. So don’t hesitate to use the subject line to inform a subscriber that your email is about their birthday. Indicate the subscriber’s name, your special offer, or use Unicode symbols to draw attention to your email.

birthday email subject lines
Birthday email subject lines

Prepare some treats

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a birthday? Right, presents. So come up with some pleasant offers to treat your subscribers — discounts, bonuses, or free shipping.

Anthropologie, for example, congratulated a user on their birthday with a 15% off their order and a free shipping.

happy birthday email
Birthday email with special offers from Anthropologie

Nintendo, congratulated a someone on their birthday by offering bonus points that a user can spend on games in their online shop.

happy birthday email
Birthday email with bonus points from Nintendo

Launch half birthday email campaigns

Remember, you are not the only company that’s going to reach a subscriber with a happy birthday email on this very special occasion. To avoid having your email get lost among others, create a half birthday campaign, six months prior to the user’s actual birthday.

Boden, for example, sent the birthday email in advance. They congratulated a subscriber on their half birthday, presented a gift voucher, and indicated the date when the offer expires.

happy birthday email
Half birthday email campaign from Boden

Offer freebies

Delight your subscribers with a free gift. You’d be happy to receive a present without having to pay for anything, too, — just coming to the store and grabbing your gift.

Olive Garden, for instance, sent a subscriber a compliment birthday email where they offered a coupon to get a free dessert in one of the company’s restaurants.

birthday email example
Birthday email with a free gift from Olive Garden

Help to get ready for the celebration

Choosing the menu, outfit, and activities are important parts of the birthday planning routine. Suggest the decoration ideas, festive looks, fun activities, or some cool recipes. This is exactly what Betty Crocker did. The company sent a birthday email with kind wishes and a set of best birthday desserts to inspire cool party treats.

birthday email example
Birthday email with recipes from Betty Crocker

Mud Pie sent an email with tips on how to organize the perfect B-day party for kids, suggesting outfit and decoration ideas for the celebration.

birthday email example
Birthday guide from Mud Pie

Think outside of promotion

Surround your subscribers with something rather than discounts, special offers, and free shipping on their birthday. Drop a line with a couple of kind words to show you’re a real person who cares about your subscribers rather than a marketer who tries to sell immediately.

Check out Astley Clarke’s birthday email. In the campaign, the company skipped the sales and sent a subscriber happy birthday wishes instead.

birthday email
Birthday email from Astley Clarke

Send a series of birthday emails

Keep in mind that birthdays can be a hectic time for a user’s inbox as it’s filled with tempting perks from many companies. Split your birthday email campaign into a series to make sure your offers are worth the effort and don’t expire before users get around to opening them.

A birthday email campaign from Clinique, for example, consists of two emails. The company sends the first email with a special perk on their subscribers’ actual birthday.

birthday email series
First message of a birthday email series from Clinique

The second email lands in the inbox three weeks later — a week before the deal finishes. The company invites subscribers to follow the link and check out a guide on the brand’s best sellers.

birthday email series
Second message of a birthday email series from Clinique

Get creative

What if you stepped aside from the users’ birthday? Think of celebrating your company’s birthday together with your subscribers. Anyway, your company was founded once, too. True Citrus, for example, marked their own anniversary with a special one-day sale. In the email, the company provided a promo code which would allow users to get 50% off everything on the website.

anniversary email
Anniversary email from True Citrus

Alternatively, you can use a celebrity’s birthday or any other anniversary date in your birthday email marketing routine and voila — the news hook for your email is ready., for example, glued readers’ eyes to their email using information about a famous artist’s birthday. Their email offers a discount on the works inspired by Picasso available on the website.

happy birthday email
Email dedicated to a famous person birthday from

Feel free to draw inspiration from the above-listed ideas to breathe in some festive vibes into your birthday emails and make your subscribers feel special and appreciated. Go on rocking your birthday email marketing and make sure you use SendPulse for its automation!

Date of publication:

18 Apr. 2019

Anya Brui

Hi, fellow marketer! I'm Anya and I love good design, travels, and rock. I'm here to share my insights with...

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