What’s In A Birthday?

Written by Kim Chapman, Senior Account Executive

Our TWO Sense: What’s In A Birthday?

Event-triggered email campaigns are known to elicit higher response rates than non event-triggerd emails.This of course makes sense because their timing and content is relevant to the consumer. Of all the event-triggered emails, there is one kind that is relevant to almost every single audience: The Birthday Email

Experian documented a controlled analysis that compared thousands of birthday emails to regular emails for the same clients during the same year, and the data is quite telling:

Click thru rates for birthday emails were 300% higher than regular emails, and their transaction rates 250% higher. Any marketer will tell you these are insanely high lifts. In fact, these results are by-and-large higher than the other types of event-triggered emails.

So what makes these emails so effective? I think it has to do with the intrinsic value of a birthday. At a certain point, people may not want to get older, or talk about their age, but most of us still like being recognized or acknowledged. And nothing does this more than someone celebrating your very existence. In most cases, you probably won’t personally know the marketer who is sending you a birthday email, but on some level, this seemingly trite message resonates with you (with everyone.)

Along with resonating power, birthday emails also play into the whole notion of being treated and having the right to treat yourself on your “special day.” I’m sure many of us are more willing to buy things for ourselves on this day then on most other days of the year.

To make a birthday email as relevant as possible, timing is important.

The following chart shows that while emails sent out once or twice per month have the highest open rates, emails sent out once or twice per week have the highest click rates.

Graph 1


Now here’s where things get a little tricky: The transaction rates (below), are highest for daily birthday emails.

Graph 2So while people who receive their birthday email days or weeks before their actual birthday may have more time to see and interact with the offer (thus producing higher open and click rates), receiving a birthday email on the actual day is most relevant, meaning you are more likely to remember the offer, resonate with it and take advantage of it.

Based on the above charts, a good strategy would be to send out an email on a customer’s actual birthday, but then make the offer valid for at least a couple more days so they have time to take advantage of it. (Possibly give a deeper discount on their actual birthday to spur immediate action.)

No matter what the strategy, the great thing about a birthday email (like a birthday) is that it will never go out of style, or cease to generate stellar return on investment.