birthdayAs I’ve mentioned in some of my previous posts, birthday emails are a great way to make your customers feel wanted and valued. They can also be an excellent tool to encourage lapsed customers to shop with you again by offering a freebie or special discount as a birthday gift.

Birthdays are the ideal time to target your customers. People are generally more relaxed on their birthday: it’s the one day of the year where you can celebrate yourself without feeling guilty! People are also more open to spending some money to treat themselves. Therefore, a well-timed and thought out birthday email will put your company at the forefront of your customers’ minds when thinking about celebrating their special day.

Implementing birthday emails within your company is relatively simple. All you need to do is collect your customer’s dates of birth. But, how can you do this? And what should your birthday emails include? Here are some ideas:

Collecting Birth Dates

The easiest way to collect your customers’ dates of birth is by asking on your newsletter sign up page. Take this example from Avon:

Avon Signup

All-in-all, it’s a pretty standard sign up page. However, they have made a point of asking for their customer’s date of birth. They have used drop-down menus to make the process as quick and simple as possible (customers may dismiss sign up pages they view as too complicated or time consuming). Avon have even let the customer know that they are asking for the date of birth in order to send a ‘special birthday bonus’. This both encourages the customer to sign up and reassures them about giving away such personal information.

They are a number of other ways of capturing your customers’ birth dates. If you have a physical shop or restaurant, you can ask your customers to complete a feedback card (which contains a field for their birthday). Also, if you offer a social sign in, you could get their date of birth from their Facebook profile.

No matter how you collect your customers’ birthdays, you need an interesting and compelling email to help them celebrate.

What to Include

What should you include in your birthday emails? Convention states that you should send your customers some kind of special, time-limited offer; something that will help your customers celebrate their special day. For retailers, this is generally a percentage discount, and for restaurants, this is usually a free dish or drink. Just think about the kind of thing that your customers would appreciate and enjoy.

How you present the special offer can be important. You could send your customers an email simply stating what your offer is, just like Blue Nile:

Blue Nile Birthday

However, this is not particularly interesting or enticing. Bear in mind that your customers’ may have received a number of different offers on their birthday. You need to make sure that yours is the one that they take advantage of.

Barburrito have taken some steps to make their birthday email a little more interesting:

 Barburrito Birthday

Along with the bright colours and distinctive graphics (they can’t fail to catch the eye), Barburrito have also tried to inject a bit of humour into the email. What could be better than making a customer smile on their birthday? Also, they have used the email to show the customer exactly what they need to do to redeem the offer: the simpler an offer is to redeem, the more likely a customer is to take advantage of it.

Birthday emails are beneficial to both you and the customer, and they are known to perform very well. By coming up with an offer that your customers would like to receive, and presenting it in an interesting way, you will certainly see results.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at