So, this week was my birthday, and in a birthday note from my daughter, I learned that I am "16 feet tall, weigh 40 pounds and am 65 years old" -- at least in her mind. I love my birthday! My kids give me big hugs and sing, we do a lot of family stuff, I get to have my favorite cake -- and every year I look forward to the emails that I am going to get from the brands I do business with: "10% off your next purchase," "Happy Birthday! Hope it's a great one!" You get the drift.
Some of these emails have offers, some don't -- but given that I get email from hundreds of brands, I love to compare how different marketers approach this monumental moment in my life (after all, I *did* just turn 65, right?!).
Turns out, this year I only got two email birthday wishes from brands, both from local businesses -- my hair salon and my insurance agent. C'mon, guys! Where's all the birthday love? Setting up a birthday message is among the easiest things an email marketer can do, and sometimes it can be pretty darned valuable.
Here are four reasons you should send your subscribers a birthday message:
The customer relationship is important. It's been said before: nurturing your email list is like having a spouse/partner. You need to pay attention, recognize the important moments in his/her life and in the relationship with you. A birthday is an easy and suitable example. If my husband had forgotten my birthday, there would be fire and brimstone for him. While my reaction to brands forgetting isn't so dramatic, I am extremely disappointed that my birthday went unrecognized by the companies I am most loyal to. You should know better, [insert brand name here]!
It's a relevant and timely message. Talk about wanting to start implementing right-time or triggered communications -- this is a relevant, data-driven moment in time that you can leverage to reach your customer in a one-to-one communication. Even if there's no offer, the brand is now top of mind, and the client appreciates the recognition. And who knows, I might have clicked through to your website to buy myself something nice for my birthday. You will never know now, will you, [insert brand name here]?
Incremental revenue, anyone? To the point above, when a recipient feels engaged with a brand on a personal level, she's more inclined to transact. I have worked with clients that saw high six-digit revenue bumps annually driven by their birthday program -- a message that had no offer or call-to-action, but rather a simple recognition of the recipient's birthday and some well wishes. Is it really that difficult to do?
Get some honest feedback. On more than one occasion, I have seen clients get responses to the birthday messages that really demonstrate the gratitude of the recipient: funny messages like, "at least someone remembered my birthday this year, my husband is in some serious trouble," to the very heartfelt moments like, "You can't know how much this means to me. This is the first year I am celebrating my birthday since my wife passed away. It put a smile on my face, thank you." These are very real moments for your customers, and it should inspire you to impact them so profoundly.
So I want to thank Robert Anthony Salon and my Allstate agent. George Baranowski, for my birthday wishes this year. I will be in for a massage very soon -- and yes, I will be renewing my auto insurance, George. To all you others, you sure did miss out. I am always looking for a good reason to shop, and my birthday is as good a reason as any.Too bad. You are going to have to wait another year to find out what could have been.