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How to create efficient birthday emails

According to a study conducted by MailerMailer and published by ClickZ, anniversary emails may turn out a conversion rate 60% higher than other emailed messages that carry the same offer. Research suggests that emailed anniversary messages can fall under three categories:

· 40% provide discounts, which means that subscribers should buy something before they can actually enjoy a discount,
· 40% provide something free of charge, and subscribers do not have to buy something,
· 20% never provide anything, apart from their birthday message.

For the first category, we provide the example of an anniversary email campaign that a Romanian brand working in the entertainment industry ran some time back. The client chose to send subscribers two anniversary emails, using a discount voucher as an incentive. Clients could use that voucher to get a discount for something they buy during their birth month. In the second phase, clients who have not yet used the voucher get a reminder email urging them to use that discount voucher and presenting the benefits of the voucher once again.

 

Another example of anniversary email marketing is the gift-free one: it provides a discount or a free incentive. But the sender uses the opportunity to build a relationship between the brand and the consumer. Although it looks simple, even a “Happy birthday!/Happy anniversary” could yield you back some good results, because there’s no other channel whereby companies can communicate warmly and in a personalised manner.

 

 

There’s another option, which is less used by companies running email marketing campaigns. Nevertheless, this option is both efficient and luring: it’s about offering presents without incurring any costs from the part of the company. That’s the case of the congratulating message coming from DC 101, an international radio station, whose subject line was “Happy Birthday from DC 101”.

 

The objectives of this newsletter are the following: a) to attract traffic to the website; b) to increase the time people spend listening to the radio shows. And newsletters motivate people to do both. Mentioning the existence of a free application will help increasing the opening and response rates. The playful reference to the “automatic anniversary message” in the starting paragraph is a good “captatio benevolentia” icebreaker, which matches the overall DC 101 brand:

“You just hate automatic messages, don’t you? Well, we do too, but our boss thought it was a good idea. Fortunately, his birthday is just around the corner.

Anyways, A Happy New Year from the part of all people on the DC 101 crew! Although we’ve remembered when your birthday is, we’ve forgot to buy you a present. Or not? We’ve recently posted thousands of tunes online which you can download free.”

The text is a good example of a message whose voice reflects the image of the company. Although it is not customary for a brand to adopt such a daring copy, there are ways of making it so that the voice can stand out against all emails in the inbox.

The “photo” section of the newsletter is also an exciting one – it features album covers. Instead of providing information just on this service, DC 101 invoked some videos that can be viewed online free, for your viewing pleasure, during a break.

 

The subject of this kind, in which customisation brings in some forced intimacy, in circumstances where the message contains nothing personalised that will not increase the opening rate, as people may sometimes wrongly believe. A recent MailerMailer study validates that statement. Data prove that opening rates are influenced by customisation, but not in the way you may think of:

· Customise the message alone: 12.6%

· No customisation: 11.8%

· Customise both the subject and the message 6.9%

· Customise the subject alone: 6.7%

Another example of anniversary email is the one Coca-Cola sent out. CC found an ingenious way of giving out inexpensive, but highly relevant, gifts – a recipe for an anniversary Coca-Cola cake.

The subject of this email was “Happy Birthday, from Coca-Cola!”. Anticipating the content of the email – the receipt – would have helped. The recipe was free for Coca-Cola anyway and was an ingenious way of using the product. And even if you had no intention to spend your birthday cooking, you can still use that opportunity for your nephew’s birthday.

And not lastly, an anniversary email with an attracting subject, such as “Jeanne, here is the gift for your birthday!”

 

“The free gift” is actually a $3 discount for each purchase from CVS. Even if it does not have the same sex appeal as free entry or discounted shopping, the offer attracts through its simplicity and through the fact that it sets no condition and does not associate incentives to a minimum order. This is just an example of a standard online brand that does not provide traditional gifts, but gives subscribers something useful in exchange, thereby increasing its loyalty and involvement.

Apart from the birthday anniversary, name days are yet another good opportunity to celebrate your subscribers and warm up your relationship with them. For clients such as the one in the example below, of the auto category, saint name days are recorded and invoked by reducing a shopping discount voucher. 

These are just a few examples of elements that can add spice to an anniversary email: a free but ingenious incentive (a brochure that can be downloaded free, a recipe, a video), an amusing copy or a beneficial discount. Whatever your option is, do not hesitate to use the birthdays of your clients, if you have them in the database. Just like you do to catch their attention every time in order to propose offers, you can wish them “A Happy New Year! / Happy Anniversary!”. If you do it less conventionally, you will of course find more reasons to enjoy it...

 

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