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. Need Supply "we forgot your birthday again"
This is a great example of thinking outside the box with Birthday emails - a faux "we forgot your birthday again" email, is bound to grab attention and be remembered. A great example of a simple idea through to great execution. Nice.
2. 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 Topshop is the classic retail approach - a good discount, a unique voucher code and one email in the campaign. There's room to improve this campaign further, across multiple messages. Read on until the end to see my top tips on how to create an email marketing birthday series!
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.
Figleaves have opted for a more in-depth email creative for their birthday campaign. 15% is their discount of choice, which is an important factor to consider - don't fall into the trap that most brands do, where your perception of value is just a monetary offer. Value can be created for subscribers in many other forms, but at least test the effectiveness of 10% off, 15% off, 20% off and free delivery - you might be surprised at the results...
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!
8. Joy The Store - date of birth acquisition campaign
Joy have a lovely campaign that's helped them to collate more information on subscribers. This campaign enables them to ask subscribers to complete their preferences, so they get their date of birth, gender, postcode (for store-related campaigns) all in one email. This is a really effective way to get that win-win - the marketer gets the data they really want to, to offer value and relevance, and the subscriber gets value in return.
9. Manchester City FC
Another football example, this time from our friends at Manchester City FC. I like the simplicity of this message as well as the happy birthday from one of their star players.
10. 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!
BONUS EXAMPLE - Nike 2020 email campaign
This example for 2020 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: Lacoste
Lacoste go with a super generous 20% birthday discount if you spend over £100. The creative is simple but effective - to the point and likely to get Lacoste fans back in store and on the site to snap up their birthday bargains.
Your birthday email campaign 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).
Here's a snazzy example of how Neal's Yard Remedies start with email 1:
We love this one - really nice heads up email that sets you apart from the competition, because very few companies are doing this...
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.