Happy Birthday, {insert first name}

Birthday emails typically see a better open and interaction rate than standard marketing emails. There are statistics that say the open rate is over 50% and CTR even higher, so it’s time to get a birthday campaign in place.


If you are not a retail marketer you may not see the benefit in collecting date of birth. My hope is that after reading this article you will begin thinking about how you can institute a birthday campaign for your business (be it a B2B or B2C).

How to Collect Birth Date Info

If you haven’t been collecting birth day information historically, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. First you should decide if you need to collect Month, Month/Day or Month/Day/Year. Storing that information in your CRM shouldn’t be a problem but it may be a barrier to your customers supplying you with the information. Your company offering may also dictate which level of detail is necessary for your end goal (I talk goals next).


A simple and effective way of capturing date of birth for new leads is to offer a ‘sign up with [social media]’ button on your online forms for newsletters, blogs or asset downloads. An alternative is to have those fields on your forms for the lead to fill out. In either case, it is good practice to be transparent with the reason why you are asking for a birth date. Here is an example webform from Dairy Queen (yum!):



It is clearly marked that if you provide your birth date you will receive a BOGO coupon on your birthday.

Why Send a Birthday Greeting?

You should establish a goal for your birthday greeting email campaign. Is it to increase revenues? Solidify brand awareness? Generate new leads or revive cold ones? You may find you need multiple birthday campaigns based on the goals you establish.


With automated email programs, linking an email greeting to your contact’s birthday in the CRM, is simple. If you don’t use a CRM… well, that’s a bit more hands on. This task could be very time consuming depending on how many contacts you have to manually manage. (Hmmm, an article on free CRM options may be in order here, stay tuned). So assuming you have marketing automation, there is little to hold you back when it comes to scheduling and tracking birthday emails.


I already mentioned the success of a birthday greeting but if you need more convincing consider these numbers:



And since marketing is an ever evolving project, once you create and establish a birthday campaign you can edit and tweak away as you watch your own statistics on responses come in.

When to Send & How Frequently?

Some companies like to send a greeting right on your birthday, some send it in the days leading up so that you can use the offer on your birthday. The answer to these questions are is going to be your personal choice. I’ll outline a couple of examples and you can see what may work for your campaign.


  1. Send on the 1st of the month for the birthday month on file with an expiration of the last day of the month. If the offer is not used, send a reminder email on the 15th. If the offer is still not used, send a final reminder the day before the last day of the month. That’s a total of three emails sent, maximum.
  2. Send on the contact’s birthday. Just one email, no reminders.

If you are offering a service (haircut, hotel stay, grass mowing) you may want to offer your greeting prior to the birthday, with a gentle reminder as you get close to expiration. If you offer a free gift at time of purchase, or a free meal, one email on their birthday may suffice.

What to Offer?

You can offer a simple “Have a fabulous day,” to a free product and everything in between:


  • No product or service, only a simple greeting (Happy Birthday!)
  • Free item with purchase (free meal with another meal purchase)
  • Free item without purchase (stop in for your free cookie, water bottle, lanyard)
  • Discounted items (15% off your purchase with this email)
  • Personalized experience (think Google’s doodle)
  • Free upgrade or limited boost to membership level (30 days access to paid membership site for free)

Be creative and think if either direct mail or email would be a better route.

Email Design

Have some fun here, after all a birthday is a celebration! Remember to make it personal (use their first name?). Some ideas to include:


  • Famous birthdays during month
  • Funny quote related to business/industry
  • Images of celebration (balloons, cupcakes, streamers).

Don’t forget to make the CTA clear. If they need to print the email to obtain the offer, spell that out. If they need to use a coupon code make sure it’s obvious and easy to use.


If your offer isn’t limited to solely the recipient, then consider offering a ‘refer-a-friend’ link or ‘share offer’ link.

Outside the box

Sometimes it may not be practical to offer up a personal birthday greeting. It may be awkward or too unprofessional for your line of work. It’s time to think outside the box and consider a campaign around:


  • America’s birthday
  • Birthday/anniversary of first date of service
  • Wedding anniversary
  • Date of purchase (think home buying or new car).

Other ideas that aren’t so obvious include a ½ birthday email campaign or a campaign to create a gift/wish list.


A birthday campaign is one of the most successful marketing campaigns a company can institute. If it doesn’t feel like a fit for your business model, try using one of the alternative/related ideas such as wedding anniversary or purchase anniversary. Staying in front of your customers is just as important a year later as it is when you close the deal.


Caffeine has a strong history with crafting marketing automation solutions, providing CRM solutions and integrating webforms into WordPress. Please click here to request a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your ideas!