Birthday emails

6 smart tips to make your birthday emails work

Whether you like it or not: your birthday occurs every year, adding another figure to your lifeline. But hey, look at the bright side of it: there’s friends and family, cake and presents to celebrate the many happy returns of your day. Plus, it’s a proven fact that birthdays are the easiest trick to take your marketing automation to the next level.

As we already know, smart personalisation can boost the results of your emails. And what’s more personal than remembering your subscribers’ birthday? Our sentiments exactly.

So dig into these tips and create highly engaging emails that will be the icing on the cake of your marketing automation plan.

1. Add some surprise with a gift

We all love presents. So treating your customers to something small on their special day will win you their appreciation. In most cases, a simple coupon code for a reduction or a freebie should do the trick. But if you hand out coupons regularly, make sure this one really stands out.

2. Keep it simple

The best birthday emails are short and simple. Just wish the subscriber a happy birthday and explain what the birthday treat is. By all means skip long copy or extensive promo talk. You want them to convert as quickly as possible. It’s always a good idea to make these three things jump out:

  • Your birthday wishes: make your intentions clear at first sight. After all, you’re sending this email to congratulate your contact on his/her birthday. Put that in the headline, in the main visual or — why not — both.
  • Your gift: make it easy to copy the coupon code. Make the font large enough, so that users who scan the email can’t miss it.
  • Your CTA: make the button stand out. Separate it from the rest of the text and use bright colors to make it stand out, like the gift wrapper on a present would do. And come up with a triggering call to action for your button, like ‘Redeem your 10% discount now’ or ‘Grab your gift’.


3. Make it fun to read

Cake, balloons, confetti, piñatas … if it jumps to mind when you think about a birthday, use it! Birthdays are fun, so knock yourself out: give that email a joyful, festive feel. Keep it breezy and light, it’s a perfect opportunity to showcase the more playful side of your brand.

Did we mention animation? GIF’s are a great way to make people interact with your email. In one of our previous blog posts, we showed you how animated GIFs can bring your mailings to life. So why not experiment with some animation in your birthday mails? Just imagine what confetti storms, exploding pinãtas and girls (or guys) jumping out of cakes can do…


4. Give it a personal touch

This one is obvious, but still it’s so often overlooked. You know it’s your subscriber’s birthday, so the least you can do is use their correct name. To begin with, use their first name to make the subject line stand out in the inbox and add it to the salutation in your body text. Keep in mind that your contact database can be a real treasure chest for birthday mails. If you have the info, don’t be too shy to create messages based on segmentation criteria like gender, age or the loyalty level of your contact.

5. Create a flow

Finding the right time to send an email can be a bit tricky. The same goes for birthday emails. Your message may not be read on the day itself because your contact has better things to de than sift through his/her mailbox. You can anticipate to situations like these by setting up a flow to guide your subscriber in using his present.

Here’s an example of what a birthday flow could like:

  1. Pre-birthday: Send out your email a few days before the actual date. This creates anticipation and excitement. If your contact can’t wait until their birthday to open their present, that’s okay too. Whatever makes them happy, right? Just set up a trigger to send a birthday email on the day itself to contacts who have already redeemed their gift and ask them if they liked it.
  2. Birthday mail: This one is sent on the day itself and wishes your subscriber a happy birthday. Remind them of the coupon and let them know when it expires, to create a sense of urgency.
  3. Post-birthday: This last email should trigger people who forgot about your offer to claim their gift. Make sure it arrives in their mailbox a few days before the offer actually expires.

6. Expand it to anniversaries

People only have one birthday a year. But there’s no reason why you can’t replicate the pattern of email greetings for other festive occasions or anniversaries as well. To remind them how long you have been friends or business contacts. This email from Twitter, for instance, just lets people know how long they’ve been active on the platform.




Birthday emails are a great way to make your brand stand out from the competition and show your subscribers your fun side. With just a bit of work and a few tweaks, they can have a huge impact on your marketing automation. Start small and experiment, you’ll learn more about your subscribers than you’d think. With these fun-filled emails, you’ll always have a reason to celebrate!

Do the Email Marketing ROI-scan