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It’s my birthday this week, and celebratory emails have been rolling in since the beginning of the month. There’s nothing quite like the feeling when someone remembers an important date and reaches out to congratulate you. It’s a lovely, personal touch that can really strengthen the relationship. However, many of us have difficulty remembering the birthdays and anniversaries of those we love, let alone hundreds or thousands of subscribers. It’d be pretty unrealistic to keep a date book full of scribbled subscriber birthdays. Fortunately, email marketing automation makes it pretty easy to fake.

If you’ve ever felt the thrill of receiving a birthday card, or a friend calling just to congratulate you on an anniversary, it should come as no surprise that birthday emails have some stellar statistics. A 2014 Experian study indicates that birthday emails score a massive 481% more transactions than a standard promotional email, and get 179% more unique clicks. Birthday offers, of course, are the main draw here. It doesn’t have to be massive – a small discount, free shipping, or a gift with purchase will show your clients that you care. You could also recommend free content, or link to a video message.

While you could manually send out a batch of birthday emails each month, a good email marketing platform should allow you to automate this process. (The Suite does this, by the way. It’s called Trigger Rules.)

Obviously, to implement a birthday (or anniversary, renewal, etc.) campaign, the first step is to collect some dates to celebrate. Collect birth date information during the subscription process, or send out a targeted campaign to collect the information specifically. As with any exchange of information, present your subscribers with a strong value proposition.

“Please enter your birth date (we’d love to send you a treat!)”
“Let’s celebrate! When is the big day?”

Once you have this information, set up your celebratory email. You want it to be exciting and personal, but still on-brand. Make sure to use the subscriber’s first name somewhere in the subject line or email content. Here’s a couple of my favourite examples from this year (try not to judge my love of peri-peri):

Subject line: HAPPY BIRTHDAY Maxine – Enjoy a $10 kikki.K Gift Voucher

Subject line: Enjoy a meal on Nando’s! Happy Birthday!

Subject line: Happy Birthday Maxine, here’s something special for you

While I know these were batch emails (since they arrived a couple of weeks before the big day), the subject lines and personalised greetings in each message still made me smile. Each email is perfectly on-brand, and I’ve already redeemed a couple of the offers.

Once you’ve got a beautiful email, you’ll need to set up the automation process. Using Trigger Rules in the Suite, you select your date field, then set a publishing interval based on that date. You might like to send out a batch of birthday emails at the beginning of each month, or on the very morning of an anniversary. If you’re sending out a deal or offer, be sure to take in to consideration the time period for redemption and allow the lucky birthday boys and girls enough time to make the most of it. If this is your first celebratory campaign, you might like to A/B split test a couple of versions of your content, subject line, or offer before deciding on what works best for your target audience.

Automated campaigns like this are somewhat ‘set and forget’, but be sure to check in regularly to ensure that your email is still rendering nicely, and any details or offers are still valid. And don’t forget to track the stats!

Email marketing is not a one size fits all technique. It takes proper planning and review in order to be successful and achieve the desired outcomes for your business.  Swift Digital can help you create the ideal automation strategy to make your next email marketing campaign a success!

To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our Sales Team today on 02 9929 7001.

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