Your customers’ inboxes are more crowded than ever. This means marketers need to use every opportunity to maintain a close relationship with their target, drive sales and generate revenue. Birthday emails, or celebration emails more generally, are a great means to grab a subscriber’s attention and make them feel special. This means more brand interactivity, higher engagement rates, and a loyal consumer base.

To help you create the perfect birthday email, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide: from techniques to collect birthday information to inspiring birthday email designs.

Collecting customer’s birthday dates

Before even considering sending a happy birthday email to your subscribers and customers, you should know when their birthdays actually are. When sending personalized emails, it’s crucial to have the necessary data about every member of your email list. We asked 10+ email experts about how to collect data for email personalization, and the consensus is: Ask your customers for their personal details. Plain and simple, yet effective.

Asking your customers for their general information shows that you are a transparent brand that doesn’t use malicious ways to collect data. And that you care about every individual that goes through your website. Not only that, but it also guarantees that you will collect correct data since you are receiving it directly from the people concerned. The trick is to know how to do it.

You can collect your customer’s birthday dates though:

  • Sign up pages
  • Targeted email campaigns

Sign-up pages

In your website’s signup form, you can add an entry about the customer’s birth date. Adding a few simple fields like First Name, Last Name, Email Address, and Date of Birth can be enough for you to add a personalized touch to your email messages and delight readers.

Here’s an example from the H&M e-commerce website. Notice how they made the Date of Birth field a required input without which becoming a member is not possible. This does not only allow them to send birthday emails but also to segment their email lists by age.

sign-up-form-h-m

Emails to collect customers’ birthdays

Collecting personal information can be a bit challenging if you have already started building your email list, without collecting personal information.

Don’t be afraid to ask your subscribers for their birth dates via email. You can encourage them to add their information by enticing them with discounts on their birthday. This not only inspires them to give you their birth date but also keeps them waiting for their birthday email coming from your brand.

Here’s a birthday email example from Famous Footwear where they ask their subscribers to add their birthday details by promising them a cash reward on their actual birthday.

extra-extra-reward-cash-for-your-birthday   Here’s another example from Urban Decay. It’s an email sent to collect correct birthday information from subscribers.

urban-decay-aff-uk-do-you-like-surprises

This colorful pre-birthday email example comes from Frankies Bikinis follows the same approach.

frankies-bikinis-we-still-need-your-birthday   Here are a few Subject lines suggestions for emails asking for personal information:

  • We want to celebrate your birthday too.
  • When’s your birthday?
  • We still need your birthday!

The best time to send Birthday Emails

You can send Happy Birthday emails from the start of your customer’s birthday month. That will give them enough time to redeem their offer. Plus, your brand will be the first to wish them a happy birthday, and that will leave a great impression on your subscriber’s minds.

When you send a birthday email a few weeks before the actual day, you can continue to send reminders now and then (we will touch on this later on). According to a study conducted by Experian, birthday emails usually start rolling out three weeks before the actual birthday, with 55% of emails sent on the actual B-Day:

  • 19% Of emails are sent 3 weeks prior to the birthday.
  • 9% are sent 2 weeks prior to the birthday.
  • 10% are sent 1 week prior to the birthday.

And if you’ve missed your subscribers’ birthdays, not to worry. 7% of birthday emails are sent after the birthday date (5% are sent 1 week after and 2% are sent 2 weeks after the birthday).

Here is an example of a birthday celebration email sent after a customer’s birthday.

hurry-your-birthday-cookie-is-going-to-crumble-soon When it comes to the best sending time, research also showed that the best time to send birthday emails is between 6 AM and noon.

Set Up an Automated Trigger Campaign for Birthday Emails

Email Marketing automation is a life-saver in situations that involve repetitive tasks. Most email service providers allow marketers to easily set up triggered email campaigns.

The advantage of email automation is that you won’t need to check on every contact on a daily basis.

Simply configure a few parameters and the main content of the birthday message. The rest is done by the automation tool.

For example, on the date of one your subscriber’s birthday, your ESP will automatically send a birthday email that is delivered to their inbox. If the subscriber hasn’t opened their email, another email is sent with a different subject line. Just add a catchy email subject line, a personalized message, and a fun email design to capture readers’ attention.

Birthday email marketing campaigns examples

Customers look forward to brands remembering their birthdays to enjoy gifts, discounts, and special treatment.

There are a lot of ways you can delight your subscribers on their special day. If you are wondering what kind of offer you should send your customers on their birthdays, you might find this chart from Experian helpful. Experian-birthday-emails As you can see:

  1. Mystery offers in birthday emails have the highest revenue per email out of all other types of offers.
  2. Free Gift With Purchase (or GWP) comes in second on the list, followed by
  3. discounts or percentage off purchases

You can ask customers to claim their gift from your brand’s nearest outlet (in-store), redeem it from an online store using a coupon code, or opt for a dual-channel that usually concerns personalized offers, unique to the individual customer.

Mystery Offers in Birthday Emails

Here’s an example of a mystery offer in an email. The email doesn’t really reveal anything about the birthday gift. Madewell chose a simple email design composed of a sparkly background image, an imposing email header, and a bold CTA. This minimalistic choice does the trick because it tickles people’s curiosity. Who wouldn’t want to what’s behind the curtain?

Madewell-Mystery-offerThat’s why you need to keep the intrigue going and motivate them as much as you can to click on your call to action button.

In this next email example, the brand went even simpler. The email copy plays the FOMO card: we have a surprise for you but it won’t last.

mystery-email-birthday

You can add phrases like “Just for you” or “Today Only” to create a feeling of urgency, and get your recipient to reveal their offer quickly.

levis-surprise-deal-just-for-you

Don’t be afraid to use bright colors and animated GIFs to grab the attention of your customers and guide their eyes towards your CTA.

animated-gif-birthday-email-surprise

Free Gift with Purchase in Birthday Emails

This birthday email example is great because it increases engagement with the subscriber by getting them to scroll down to reveal the birthday gift. This birthday email recreates the feeling of opening a gift in real life: when the subscriber is scrolling down, his anticipation builds up, anxiously looking forward to revealing the gift.

good-job-being-born-time-to-celebrate

Discounts for Birthday email

Celebration emails can be labeled as promotional emails. Offer the birthday girl or boy a discount offer on their next purchase. This discount email uses limited text with a fun GIF and a popping CTA. birthday-email-outdoor-voices We wanted to feature a birthday email example sent by a mobile app team. This means that no matter what type of product you are selling or what industry you are operating in, you can always send a happy birthday email to your customers, and spoil them with free gifts and discounts. a-gift-for-you-happy-birthday-smiles-davis This next birthday email caught our eye for two main reasons:

  • It was sent after the receiver’s birthday. As you can see, the text above the GIF says “The Celebration isn’t over yet.”
  • In the email, there are both men’s and women’s choices, even the GIF is featuring both a woman and a man modeling A&F outfits. This is a useful and simple hack if you don’t know (or don’t want to use) your subscribers’ genders.

abercrombie-fitch-uk-dont-let-your-15-off-birthday-offer-expire And finally, this is a birthday email from Nike, celebrating a customer’s birthday month. lucky-you-its-your-birthday-month

Free Shipping

People often restrain themselves from buying products because they don’t want to pay shipping costs. However, as a birthday treat, marketers can offer their subscribers the opportunity to purchase their favorite products with zero shipping costs and even take care of the sales tax in that particular area. Such offers entice customers to buy more and even encourage them to make frequent returns to your store. Engagement is key, so offer your clients something they can’t resist and you may be enjoying an ROI worth celebrating. swimsuitsforall-com-2-have-your-cake-and-free-shipping-too-happy-birthday

A Simple Happy Birthday Email

If you can’t afford to offer any discounts or free products, but still want to show your customers that they matter to you, send them a happy birthday message. It’s free but priceless in the eyes of your subscribers. We all used to send happy birthday e-cards back in the day, and it always made us feel special to receive them on our B-days. Here’s an example of a happy birthday message with slight personalization using the first name of the birthday girl. happy-birthday-message This is another simple and elegant email from Facebook. We just love the cute balloons. This celebration email is straight to the point, yet shows that the company behind it cares about every subscriber. Happy-birthday-from-facebook

Post-birthday email reminders

Make sure that your customers remember to redeem their birthday offers by creating a series of automated email reminders. You’re busy all day long, and probably don’t get the time to look through all your emails, especially if they land in the promotions tab. And so are your customers. That’s why you need to think about sending them a reminder email to e

The Best Birthday Email Subject Lines

  • EXTRA! EXTRA! Reward Cash for your birthday🎂
  • A Gift For You: Happy Birthday, [NAME]
  • Do you like surprises?
  • Have Your Cake And Free Shipping, Too 🎂 Happy Birthday!
  • Don’t let your 15% off birthday offer expire
  • Lucky You: It’s Your Birthday Month!
  • Good job being born. Time to celebrate.
  • Happy Birthday From [Brand Name]
  • Big Birthday Savings On NOW!
  • It’s Your Birthday Month!!
  • It’s your birthday! Open for a treat 🎂
  • 🎉ANNOUNCED: birthday details!
  • 🎉It’s almost party time!!
  • 🎉 PARRTTTAYYYY TIME!!!
  • Birthday Sale Continues! 🎉
  • 🎉 Make your birthday one to remember!

Celebrate Your Brand

Sending celebration emails is not limited to your customer’s birthdays. There are a million and one things that you can celebrate with your subscribers, whether it is milestones in your relationship or your company’s birthday. Check out these celebration emails sent by brands, and get an idea of what you can plan to delight your email list. Let’s start with this extra fabulous email from Savage x Fenty. The email subject line was “Rihanna Wants To Celebrate Her Birthday Month With You!” savage-x-fenty-rihanna-wants-to-celebrate-her-birthday-month-with-you These next examples come from Lane 201 Boutique. To celebrate their brand birthday, they sent out a series of emails, starting with this one with the Subject Line: “🎉It’s almost party time!!” lane-201-boutique-announced-birthday The next brand birthday email they sent was the following, announcing the start of their birthday sale with the subject line: “🎉 PARRTTTAYYYY TIME!!!”. lane-201-boutique-parrtttayyyy-time And the final email in the birthday email series was a reminder email, notifying subscribers that the sales are almost over. The subject line used was: “Birthday Sale Continues! 🎉”. lane-201-boutique-birthday-sale-continues

Brand Celebration Email Subject Lines

These are a few subject lines for your brand’s birthday emails:

  • Happy Birthday to us! YOU get the gift!! 🎁
  • It’s our birthday — so EVERYTHING is on sale!!!
  • It’s our birthday! 🎉
  • 🎉 Celebrating Our 5th Birthday ALL WEEK LONG!
  • 24% off to celebrate our 24th Birthday!
  • 25% off storewide! Happy Birthday us!
  • Our Birthday Sale ends tomorrow
  • It’s our 100th birthday!
  • 🌟 Back for our 20th Birthday 🌟 – limited runs!
  • For our birthday, we’re gifting YOU a sale!
  • It’s our Birthday you can shop if you want to…
  • Hurry, Our Birthday is Almost Over… And So Is The Sale!

Bonus Birthday Email!

Before we leave you to create cool and festive birthday emails for your lucky subscribers, we wanted to share with you this awesome birthday email. Even puppies can celebrate birthdays and this pet shop knew exactly how to attract pet owners. barkbox-birthday-barkbox This goes to show you that you can create a birthday (or celebration) email for just about any type of target customer. All you need is a little creativity and an adequate message.

Wrapping Up

It is recommended that marketers include celebration emails in their email campaigns. It’s an excellent way to build a stronger relationship with customers and increase their loyalty towards your brand. Celebration emails are a pleasant surprise in anyone’s inbox, especially when they arrive with benefits like discounts, free shipping, and gift coupons. So, what are you waiting for? Start designing your first birthday email.