Everyone knows birthdays are a big deal but did you know they can also be a great time to send out big deals?

Most successful marketers do. In fact, in September 2019 alone, Sparkpost sent out 88,394,863 emails with a subject line containing the word “Birthday.”

That’s a lot of b-day celebrations.

With 51% of marketing leaders choosing to treat their customers to birthday emails and 73% of them rating their birthday campaigns as effective or highly effective, they’re a proven way to connect with your customers and show them some love on the day that’s uniquely theirs.

Birthday emails regularly outperform other promotional emails. Take a look at some of these KPIs; birthday emails have…

  • 481% higher conversion rates
  • 342% higher revenue per message
  • 179% higher unique click rates
  • 89% higher open rates

While holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day have their own appeal for marketers, birthdays are special for two reasons. First, everyone has a birthday, while not everyone celebrates the same holidays. Second, a birthday feels uniquely yours, with good reason.  It makes you feel special and celebrated just for, hey, being you.

So there’s obviously plenty of opportunities to take advantage of birthdays every month. And with performance statistics like those just mentioned, there’s a good chance you already are, if you’re a marketer with a subscriber list. The question is, are you doing it as effectively as you could be?

Let’s take a look at some of the better examples of birthday email marketing we’ve seen, and what they’re doing right to engage their customers.

Every birthday is a gift – so offer them one!

Everyone wants to be celebrated on their birthday. Put a smile on your customer’s faces by spoiling them with an exclusive offer that can help boost your sales too. Sephora is no slouch at email marketing with a personal touch and drops a birthday treat to customers on their special day each year.

When sending out these offers, something to keep in mind is that you should add an expiration date to the offer to create a sense of urgency. Without a clear expiration, it’s far more likely that your customer will save the email to come back to at a later time…and then forget about it altogether.

Timing is another aspect of birthday emails to keep in mind. 55% of these are sent on the actual birthday, while 38% are sent one to three weeks earlier. It can feed into the recipient’s building sense of excitement, and even encourage them to treat themselves for their big day. This way, you’ve got time to send a few reminders, prompting them to take action before the offer expires.

A popular expiration date for birthday offers is 30 days after issuance, such as this sweet birthday promotion by Sweetgreen (and we can’t resist a great veggie-related pun).

What’s the big date?

A major challenge with these emails can be obtaining the customers actual birthday. Customers are less likely to opt-in if they have to provide more information about themselves when signing up for a product or newsletter.

One tactic is to be blunt. Hinting at an exclusive offer or gift may be enough to encourage your customers to share their information, and asking in a cute, fun way makes them feel better about giving their birthday out than filling out a form when opting in.

Seamless did a great job here by being straightforward and having a clear CTA (even including step-by-step illustrated guidance).

Bodyrok has done something fundamentally smart in this next example. Without going into a deeper level of personalization, this email makes sure the birthday offer can apply to everyone. The offer of 25% a retail item is a fantastic way to be inclusive and definitely something to keep in mind if you offer a subscription-based service that may render your birthday offer moot.

Not all successful birthday emails have to include a gift or promotion. Especially for companies who aren’t in retail, it can be impactful to emphasize the relationship you have (and have had) with your customer.

Intuit shows the way with a yearly recap of sorts – it’s a good reminder to check your numbers but sugar-coated (ha!) with an optimistic look forward to the upcoming year.

The main ingredient?

While it might seem like obvious advice, it stands repeating: have fun! Birthdays are a celebration, after all.

In that vein, what better way to celebrate another year of life than by really energizing your emails? GIFs and animation are a favorite of ours, and we’re willing to bet they’ll appeal to your customers. Take a look at these examples by Payoff and Artifact Uprising that sparkle with promise.

~ Erica