20 Great Birthday Email Marketing Examples

20 Great Birthday Email Marketing Examples

Birthday email marketing 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 twenty of my favourite email marketing birthday campaigns from leading brands. I hope you find it useful and inspirational.

Building out an email marketing strategy for subscriber Birthdays 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.


Why we like it: Bliss has used their own products to incorporate the birthday theme by using one of its moisturisers to look like a birthday cake. This email also makes it easy for subscribers to take action by placing the CTA button just below the discount code. 




Why we like it: Bulk has added an extra birthday touch to its discount code - BDAYTREAT. The discount code is also very simple, and easy to remember. We also like that subscriber's eyes are drawn straight to the CTA button as it stands out against the green background. 

We also love how they sent this out the day before the subscriber's birthday - great idea!




Why we like it: This is a great example of how to surprise your subscribers with a birthday gift. We love that Chipotle has used its own products with a birthday twist in its email campaign to showcase the subscriber's gift that awaits them. Mmmm, guac!



Dunkin' Donuts 

Why we like it: This birthday campaign speaks directly to the recipient, gifting them a free drink for their special day. It has a simple email design that focuses entirely on the recipient's birthday gift. At the bottom of the email are all the details needed to use the discount, making it super clear for the subscriber. I'm not sure many will be printing out the email and cutting out that QR code though!




Why we like it: e.l.f uses a purple background with a black present in the foreground, which immediately grabs the subscriber's attention. e.l.f also addresses the subscriber by their first name to make it feel like the brand has handpicked a gift just for them. The campaign also creates a sense of urgency by saying the offer is only valid until the end of the month. 




Why we like it: Although Facebook cannot offer any discounts or free products, they still do a great job at showing that the company cares about every subscriber by sending them a simple happy birthday message - this is emphasised by using the subscriber's first name. There's no other agenda here - simple and to the point.




Why we like it: Fitbit does an awesome job at staying on-brand with their birthday email by recommending the subscriber has their "cake and move it, too". The email also includes tips on how subscribers can get active on their special day - this is a fun email that doesn't use a discount to lead readers back to the site. 




Why we like it: This email without a doubt, will catch a reader's attention. Harrods uses a visually-appealing image, a clear CTA button, and a transparent timeline of when the discount ends, creating urgency.




Why we like it: This email will capture the subscriber's attention with eye-catching designs. We also like that Nike is celebrating the subscriber's birthday month instead of the day as it gives the customer more time to use their birthday discount. The discount code and CTA clearly stand out in the email by the use of the colour orange and capital letters.   




Why we like it: If this email doesn't catch your eye, we don't know what will! The use of bright, bold colours really aligns with Nintendo as a brand. Nintendo has positioned its CTA button directly below the offer making it easier for subscribers to take immediate action. 



The North Face

Why we like it: North Face has gone that step further when celebrating their subscriber's birthday with an extra special message from a global athlete. This added touch to the email really makes the subscriber feel appreciated and that the brand values them as a customer. 



Pizza Hut 

Why we like it: Pizza Hut has recreated the feeling of opening a gift in this email design. The subscriber is forced to scroll to the bottom of the email to reveal their birthday gift - it builds up anticipation and increases engagement. 



Pretty Little Thing 

Why we like it: PLT has added a little touch of interaction to its birthday email design by adding an envelope towards the bottom of the email which uses the CTA 'tap to open'. We also like that the primary CTA button uses the subscriber's first name as it seems that it is an exclusive offer just for them.  




Why we like it: Puma uses bright contrasting colours and a very large headline which without a doubt will catch a subscriber's eye. We also like that trainers and Puma's logo have been used among the confetti in the background - this helps keep the email very on-brand. Puma has also added an expiration date on the birthday coupon to create urgency. It leaves subscribers in no doubt that if they don't act now, they are going to miss out. 




Why we like it: The colour palette of this email design aligns perfectly with Ray Bans brand colours while keeping in the birthday theme with red confetti. We also like that Ray Ban gives subscribers the choice to use their promo code in-store and online. 




Why we like it: Sephora really shows how much they value their subscribers by giving them a free gift on their birthday without even having to make a purchase. We also like that Sephora gives subscribers the choice to redeem their free gift in-store and online so they can make the choice of how they receive their birthday treat. 



St. Ives 

Why we like it: St. Ives has placed the Happy Birthday copy at the very top of the email, meaning your eyes are naturally drawn towards it upon opening the email. We also like how this email campaign intrigues subscribers by not telling them what their exclusive saving is until they reveal it by clicking on the CTA. 




Why we like it: This birthday email is super simple but so effective. Subway does a great job of reminding its subscribers about their birthday treat and not to miss out on the offer. We also like that the email design is very consistent with Subway's brand colours and uses a very clear CTA. 



TGI Friday's 

Why we like it: TGI's has made it super easy for subscribers to redeem their birthday dessert. The email makes it very clear how subscribers can retrieve their free dessert both through the app and in-store to avoid any confusion. 




Why we like it: Versace has formatted their email campaign like a birthday card. This email design is super personalised and makes it feel like you have received a birthday card from a family member or a friend - it allows subscribers to feel connected to your brand. 



Planning your Birthday email campaigns: A recommended strategy

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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