It’s a no-brainer — if your email subscribers don’t feel that the content you’re sending them is relevant, they aren’t going to engage with your messages. This is why list segmentation is so important. By breaking up your contact list into groups and sending targeted emails to specific subscribers, you can tailor marketing messages to fit your customers’ needs. While there certainly are myriad ways to divide up your contact list, one of the most effective is by birthday.

A recent Experian study revealed that birthday emails deliver 481 percent higher transaction rates, 179 percent higher click rates, and 342 percent more revenue than other types of promotional emails. They’re also an excellent way to show that you appreciate your customers and want to nurture the relationship you have with them. So if you’re ready to bring the party to your email marketing program, here are a few tips to help you celebrate customer birthdays in style.

Getting started

If you don’t collect birthday details on your email sign up form, send out a birthdate request message to your subscribers, asking them to update their profiles. Emails that offer an incentive for providing the information and hint at future birthday surprises usually work best. Once you’ve taken care of that, you can use targeted segmentation with your VerticalResponse account to identify customers by their birthdays.

How to celebrate customer birthdays

1. Have fun with your email design and messaging

Get the party started right by crafting birthday messages that are light and festive. Keep the tone conversational, and use birthday-themed graphics like confetti, a birthday cake, balloons, or a gift box with a bow to ramp up the celebration. You may also want to brighten up emails by showcasing festive products. The three sequined heels in this DSW email add a little sparkle to their birthday message while enticing customers to shop for the perfect party shoes.

2. Offer discounts and freebies

Presents and birthdays go hand in hand, so give your customers an exclusive birthday discount or free shipping offer as a gift. To set birthday emails apart from ongoing promotions, consider adding a birthday-specific deal like Ulta does — the beauty retailer gives customers a free gift every year on their birthday. Promo codes and freebies are a nice way to reward brand loyalty year-round, but when the special offer is only available once a year then it’s a genuine treat.

3. Personalize subject lines and offers

Instead of a simple “happy birthday,” grab your subscriber’s attention by putting his or her first name in the subject line and in the body of the email. This kind of personalization is more meaningful than a generic greeting. It shows that you’re aware of the subscriber as an individual, and that you value him or her in particular. And what better time to give customers that kind of one-on-one attention than on their special day! What’s more, customization pays off — subject lines with first name personalization increase email open rates by more than 29 percent.

4. Link birthday messaging to your products and services

Even if you aren’t offering a discount or other perks, send a short and playful birthday message that also positions your products or services as the perfect complement to your customers’ celebrations. This tongue-in-cheek email from Chico’s, for example, jokes that jewelry, presumably Chico’s jewelry, should factor into the customer’s birthday plans. The email also encourages customers to shop at the store with a clear call to action — “shop now” and “find a boutique near you” links feature prominently in the message.

With these tips in mind, your birthday emails are bound to take the cake!


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© 2016 – 2018, Amber Humphrey. All rights reserved.

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