Birthday campaigns can be seriously effective for email marketers, but only if they're executed really well. This is why many brands fail to maximise the potential impact of a birthday email marketing campaign. In this blog, I will share ten of my favourite birthday emails. I hope you find it useful and inspirational.
Building out an email marketing strategy for subscriber Birthday's can be challenging. How do you stand out? Is it worth it (it totally is worth it!)? Where do we start? This blog will give you all the inspiration and help you need to create your own automations for happy birthday email marketing.
1. Liverpool FC
This example from Liverpool FC is simple but effective. The personalisation is great, on the back of the shirt and there's a video message from one of the players. Great work Liverpool FC!
This example from Fitbit does a great job of sharing stats for people who are the same age as you. However, I'm not sure anyone wants this on their conscience when celebrating their birthday. So I'm going to say, this email could be better.
The simpler the creative, the better. This birthday email from mudpie is a great example of effective creative. Remember, it's the subscriber's birthday - they won't have long to reas your email, so less is generally more with birthday creative.
Chipotle have done a great job here with the creative and copy. 'Give the gift of guac' is the title of their campaign. This really shows how you can create a great brand experience around birthday email campaigns. How might you be able to do this with yours?
Who doesn't want free wine? This birthday email is sent to subscribers about a week before their birthday. The timing is key - it gives the subscriber time to consider when they can go and might even be the tipping point for them to book their birthday dinner or party at Pizza Express.
This is a really interesting example. It would have been easy for National Geographic to back out of sending a happy birthday email - where's the relevance? But they've done a great job of sharing with subscribers, what happened on their birthday. Great content!
Puma opt for the simple approach with a flat discount using a unique code. I've seen a lot of brands use generic discount codes for birthday emails - be careful with this as they can appear on sites like Honey, very quickly.
8. Pizza Hut
This is an amazing scroller email from Pizza Hut. It goes to show how you can tease with email creative. I would scroll for those free cinnamon sticks any day!
9. Southwest Airlines "choose a birthday song" email
Southwest Airlines are always up to something interesting with their marketing campaigns, and this birthday email is great - they opt against a discount and instead, ask you to choose your happy birthday song from four genres. Click on one and it takes you to a video and song, personalised to you. It's pretty cool!
10. Nike 2021 Birthday Email Campaign
This example for 2021 from Nike.com, is a fabulous example of how you can take birthday email creative to a whole new level - this email animates and builds with the cake appearing across the screen. Although it doesn't follow email design best practice, this is definitely one of those moments where you can throw out the rule book and get really playful. Well done, Nike!
Bonus Example. SUBWAY
I mean, who doesn't like Birthday cookies, huh? And this birthday email from Subway delivers just that. Great creative - simple, effective and bound to get customers stopping by for their free choc-chip treat.
Planning Your Birthday Email Campaigns
I want to let you in on a strategy I've been adopting for quite some time with our retail clients - why wait until the birthday until you send your email when you can be the first to wish the subscriber a happy birthday a few days before? This enables you to create a multi-stage automated workflow with two or three messages. Here's how it could look:
Email 1: We want to be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday! (7 days prior)
Email 2: Happy Birthday (sent on their birthday)
Email 3: Don't forget to treat yourself! (sent 7 days after their birthday if they didn't purchase / convert in the last 14 days).
It's a simple but effective workflow that takes your simple one-off email to a full campaign. You'll stand out from your competitors and the results will speak for themselves.
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