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  • Happy Birthday Emails: Ideas, Best Practices & Examples that Will Blow Your Customers Away

Do you look forward to the first day of your birthday month because you know you’ll get an influx of birthday emails with coupons, best wishes, and freebies?

Birthday email campaigns are a win for customers and for businesses.

For one, happy birthday email marketing campaigns have a 179% higher unique click-through rate than regular promotional email marketing campaigns.

birthday email campaign stats

Data source

And birthday email campaigns also help you nurture customer relationships and build loyalty by making your customers feel valued.

Read on to learn how to boost your brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales with marketing campaigns targeted specifically at your subscribers’ birthdays, complete with:

  • Best practices for happy birthday email marketing campaigns.
  • Birthday email ideas with examples.
  • The tools that will help you navigate your way through your first birthday email campaign.


Best practices for launching birthday email campaigns

Let’s take a look at some of the birthday email marketing best practices you should follow to grow your brand while delighting your customers.

Encourage visitors to share their birthdays

First things first, you’ll need the birth dates of your customers or prospects to run birthday email campaigns. But how can you collect their birthdays?

One way is by creating website pop-ups to encourage visitors to subscribe to your newsletter and include a place for their birth date. Tell them about the benefits they’ll get for signing up, like interesting content, deals, and a birthday surprise.

Another way to collect birth dates is to offer a personalized discount, especially if you send a cart abandonment email campaign.

happy birthday email campaign best practices - collect birth dates


Identify the right birthday offer or promotion

You don’t need to come up with a special deal or promotion that will break the bank. Look at your birthday email marketing campaigns as part of your overall customer retention strategy and a sales and marketing investment.

Your birthday offer could be:

  • A limited-time discount on their next purchase or service
  • A small gift card
  • Free gifts
  • Free shipping

We’ll get into these birthday email ideas in detail a little later.

Personalize your email copy and birthday offer

When you run birthday email campaigns, try to incorporate personalization to improve your customer’s experience. Make sure their name is somewhere in the email, and even call out specific products or services they like if you have that information available as part of your automated workflow.

happy birthday email campaign best practices - personalize your email


Get creative with your birthday email design

Keep your birthday email design simple and impressive. When designing your email, follow these tips:

Here’s how Subway delivered happiness with their choco-chip cookie treat. Their birthday email design is what one would call simple and effective.

happy birthday email campaign best practices - get creative


You can also use pre-designed email templates for your birthday email campaigns. Or leverage an email builder to create your own email design with a drag-and-drop editor and built-in elements.

Write compelling email copy

When sending birthday email campaigns, follow the best email copywriting tips such as keeping the copy short and to the point.

Focus on how you intend to make their birthday special. Use phrases like:

  • Birthday Treat
  • You’re Special
  • Just for you
  • Spend on Yourself

Personalization is also key in this aspect because it helps create a connection between you and the recipient and makes them feel extra special.

Create a birthday-specific email subject line

Not just your email copy, but your email subject line should also have a birthday-related message.

Let the subscriber know that you’ve got something special for them. Wishing them “Happy birthday!” even before they open your email can also help you improve your birthday email open rate.

Here are a few examples of birthday email subject lines:

happy birthday email campaign best practices - subject line ideas


Be mindful of your email signatures

Your birthday email signatures are as important as the rest of the email. Make sure that you make the most out of that space.

Your email signature should include:

  • Business details like your logo and business name.
  • Contact information including your address and phone number.
  • Website URL and other important links.
  • Clickable links to your social media profiles.
  • A compelling CTA.

Here’s a closeup of PUMA’s email signature as an example:

happy birthday email campaign best practices - use your footer wisely


Adding these elements to your email signatures can help you:

  • Build brand awareness.
  • Drive traffic to your website.
  • Drive traffic to your social media profiles and increase your followers.
  • Boost user engagement.

You should learn how to create good email signatures and leverage them to grow your brand’s online presence and engagement value.

Time your birthday emails properly

Most of the brands send birthday emails on the date of birth of their customer. However, some brands prefer to send them one week in advance so that the user gets enough time to take action.

So, when should you send your birthday email? That depends on the kind of email you want to send.

For example, if you run a restaurant and are planning to offer free snacks or drinks to the user on their birthday, it’s better to send the email a couple of days in advance because most people make birthday plans ahead of time.

On the other hand, if you’re offering things like free shipping, a discount coupon, or a service upgrade, you can send your birthday email campaign on the same day as your recipient’s birth date or at the beginning of their birthday month. Such offers will usually come with an expiry date that could be three to four weeks after their birthday.

Send reminders

If you send a time-sensitive gift card on a customer’s birthday, you can also send an email to remind them about redeeming their present.

For example, Chandon sent an email with the subject line, “Birthday Savings End Soon!” to remind the subscriber about their gift.

happy birthday email campaign best practices - send gift reminders


However, don’t overdo it. Sending one reminder after a week of the initial birthday email and another one just two to three days before their coupon or gift card expires is enough.

You can also use this opportunity to increase the sales of a particular product by recommending it to the customer. In fact, some brands also upsell or cross-sell their products through reminder emails.


Birthday email ideas and examples

Since birthdays are synonymous with good wishes and gifting, that’s all you need to make your customers happy on their birthdays.

Let’s take a look at a few ideas and examples to understand how brands are using birthday email campaigns to make profits in the long run:

Create an irresistible discount offer

Give your customers a birthday treat by offering them discounts on their favorite products. Or let them choose the products themselves and offer a discount upon checkout.

Here’s how leading sports fashion brand PUMA makes their customers happy on their birthdays:

birthday email ideas - puma example

If you read the email thoroughly, you’ll realize that PUMA has added a “valid until” date to the discount offer. To enjoy the benefit, the customer will need to buy their products before the coupon expires.

What does that mean? It definitely means more post-birthday email campaign sales for PUMA.

You can also increase your sales by offering a limited-time offer. But how would you know if a sale is an outcome of your birthday campaign? The answer lies in using the best email tracking tools to track email opens, clicks, and user activity, and in some cases, using a special discount code that can be traced back to your birthday email campaign.

Promote a free gift

Everybody loves freebies. Why not give away a free product to your subscribers as their birthday gift?

You don’t need to ship your gift to any particular address. You can ask your customer to visit your store to claim their gift or give them a coupon code that they can use online.

You can pick a product from their “Wishlist” and give it to them for free. Or gift them something as small as:

  • A service upgrade
  • A laptop sleeve
  • A smartphone cover
  • A snack
  • A small accessory to match their recent purchases

Here’s how PizzaExpress offered free birthday drinks to their subscribers and also allowed them to book a table in the restaurant in advance:

birthday email ideas - free gift example


Offer free shipping

Yes, even something as small as gifting a user free shipping on their birthday might work out well for them and your brand.

Many people refrain from placing an order because of high shipping costs, which could potentially lead to cart abandonment.

Why not tell them that the shipping fee is on you? This could work well with registered users who have not made their first purchase yet.

For example, Clinique offered free shipping for a total of 30 days to encourage users to treat themselves on their birthday and take their time to decide what their skincare needs are.

birthday email ideas - free shipping example


Send fun, animated GIFs

Including animated GIFs in your birthday emails can help you boost engagement by adding a festive or celebratory feel to your email copy and make the recipient happier.

Here’s how Hulu used GIFd to entice users. They paired the light-hearted birthday greeting with a free one-month trial offer:

birthday email ideas - gif example with offer

See the GIF in action here


Leverage the right birthday email marketing tools

Running birthday email campaigns manually can be tedious and time-consuming without automation to set up email workflows in advance. Some powerful email marketing tools that can help you run effective birthday campaigns are:

You can also see if your lead management system or CRM includes a way to set up automated workflows that could send birthday emails to your contacts.


Are you ready to increase loyalty and sales with a happy birthday email marketing?

When done right, birthday email campaigns can help you:

Remember, birthday email campaigns can be one of the most effective customer loyalty strategies for your business. Just follow the best practices that I’ve shared above to plan, execute, and track the effectiveness of your birthday email campaigns.


About the author

Téa Liarokapi is a Senior Content Writer for Moosend, an email marketing and marketing automation platform, and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas–and cats–to play with.

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