Everyone likes to feel special on their birthday, and while a person’s friends and family will play a huge part in rolling out the festivities for the celebrant, retailers can also get in on the fun.
As it turns out, there are excellent reasons to treat your customers or employees with staff rewards on birthdays. A study by Vibes found that 77% of mobile consumers state that receiving surprise points, exclusive messages, and birthday/anniversary content “would have a major impact on their brand loyalty.”
Birthday campaigns also tend to perform better. Research by Experian revealed that compared with promotional emails, birthday messages:
have a 481% higher transaction rate
generate 342% more revenue
have a 179% higher unique click rate
See an 89% higher open rate.
These numbers tell us that birthday email campaigns can be a massive treat for customers and brands. So, it's worth investing the time and effort to make your birthday initiatives shine. Read on for ideas and tips on how to do just that.
Send a special discount.
This one can seem to be a low-hanging fruit of birthday rewards. However, special discounts yield quick results and valuable data when implemented correctly. If you're new to birthday campaigns, consider starting things off with a special deal that shoppers can use on the month of their birthday.
One example of a brand that does this well is Disney, which lets customers take 20% off their purchases on their birthday month.
It's simple, straightforward, and easy to test. Just create unique promo codes for each celebrant, so you can track who's redeeming your offers.
Alternatively, you can give shoppers a freebie on their special day. Some examples of brands that offer birthday freebies include Starbucks and Sephora. The former lets customers get a free drink or food item of their choice on their birthday:
Sephora, on the other hand, lets celebrants choose products from a curated catalog.
Freebies are a great option to encourage your customers to try your products or if you have samples and surplus stock to give away.
Here's the not-so-great reality of loyalty programs: while many consumers sign up for them, not everyone participates in all the programs they join.
A survey by CodeBroker found that almost “two-thirds of respondents actively engage with less than half the loyalty programs to which they are members.” The survey found that only 18% actively engage with all their loyalty programs.
If your program has low engagement rates, consider incorporating birthday rewards to stir things up. When implemented correctly, this tactic can fuel engagement among your members and put your brand back on their radar.
Covetella, Singapore's premier designer dress rental destination, is one example of a brand using birthday rewards in its loyalty program. Participants get 50 extra stars on their birthday, allowing them to rack up additional points, which they can redeem later.
Surprise your customers
Do you want to keep shoppers on their toes, or are you still trying to determine the best reward type? Consider offering a range of rewards and surprises that your customers can enjoy on their birthday month.
That's what the lingerie retailer ThirdLove is doing. Members of their ‘Hooked' loyalty program get an annual gift, which remains a surprise until the customer's birthday. According to the company's website:
We're not the ones to spoil a surprise! While we won't tell you exactly what they are, they'll change regularly and might be a freebie, a discount, or something special just for you.
Tips when implementing birthday rewards
We've discussed the different types of birthday rewards you can offer; now, let's discuss how to take your campaigns to the next level. If you're looking to start or further optimize your birthday rewards initiatives, follow these best practices to ensure that your efforts hit the mark:
Integrate birthday rewards with your loyalty program
While it's certainly possible to offer birthday rewards to non-loyalty program members, your campaigns will perform far better if incorporated into your loyalty program.
Roping in birthday rewards into your loyalty program enables you to build data-rich customer profiles. Having your shoppers' purchase histories, shopping activities, and birthdays in one place gives you a clear view of each customer. That, in turn, can enable you to improve and personalize their shopping experiences even more.
Automate your campaigns
Keeping track of everyone's birthdays and setting up individual messages can be highly tedious, so automating your campaigns is best. This step should be pretty easy if you're using marketing automation software that lets you stay on top of your customer engagement activities.
Marsello, for example, has a ‘Birthday Flow' feature, which automatically triggers an email sequence to engage customers on their birthday month. The email series is also pre-designed and populated with an offer, so manually configuring the campaign is unnecessary.
Test your offers
While we can certainly recommend birthday rewards and ideas, ultimately, the performance of your promotions will depend on your specific store and customer base. You must test and analyze advertisements to see what works best for your business.
As mentioned above, creating unique promo codes makes it easier to monitor the performance of your offers and the customers who redeem their rewards.
You can also use birthday rewards to test different promo types (e.g., free shipping vs. 20% off vs. $5 off). That, in turn, gives you insight into which types of promotions resonate most with your audience.
Send a compelling birthday email.
Your email greeting can make or break your birthday campaign, so make it good.
Our main tip? Keep the message short, sweet, and direct. Shoppers receive numerous messages on their birthdays and likely won't have time to read rambling emails from brands. So, kick things off with a quick greeting, mention your offer, and have a clear call to action (CTA).
Travelocity's birthday email follows all these best practices to the tee. Not only is Travelocity's email clear and concise, but it also contains a great offer and CTA.
Birthdays can be a real treat not just for your customers but for your brand, as well. So, take the time to create campaigns that give your shoppers warm fuzzies on their special day. Need help doing just that? Check out MMarsello'scustomer loyalty features and discover how you can engage each customer on their birthday and beyond.