Put Some Happy In That Inbox!

In case you haven’t noticed, happiness is having a major moment. Cropping up all around us are very happy, catchy tunes, special DIY projects, major research projects and more, all in the name of happy.  The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness has been building since 1776, and it looks like it’s still in full swing.

In my opinion, any theme with this much traction should be taken as a cue for marketers. In fact, happy birthday and anniversary messages are known to drive stronger than average engagement, and are often successfully used as opportunities to build loyalty and drive action. So let’s get this party started and explore how to get happy in the inbox!



As with all things digital, data drives the experience. What data do you have readily available? What data can you quickly access to develop happiness-themed messaging campaigns? The good news is that all you need to send a birthday message is the customer’s birth month. Below are examples of additional data points that can trigger anniversary, holiday and other happy milestone messages that will brighten your customers’ day.

Happy Anniversary

Trigger this message off the sign-up date that a customer joined the email or loyalty program to let them know you remember and appreciate the time they’ve put in as a customer.

Happy Holidays

New holidays seem to be emerging every day, but the classics work, too. Get some Happy Easter, Happy Halloween and Happy July 4th of July messages going. And don’t forget that you can make up your own holidays too. Fresh Pair excels at this with National Underwear Day – yay!

 Happy Birthday

This is the quintessential happy day. It’s surprising that not everyone has a birthday program in their email mix, or isn’t yet leveraging the program to full effect. I always remember the companies that send me something special on my birthday each year. It’s a chance to let your consumers know you are tuned in to key milestones in their lives.  At left is a great example from 24 Hour Fitness.

Or, stop to celebrate your business’ birthday or key company milestones as Glamour magazine did:

Happy Loyalty Level

For loyalty programs, achieving key status tiers can be an opportunity for a message of congratulations and cheer. Tie fun messages and gamification into the process to keep it extra happy.

 Just Because

Every so often, it’s okay to simply say, “We’re happy you’re our customer!” Thank your customers and let them know you appreciate their business. A simple thank you goes a long way, and may be a great pre-holiday reminder that you’re there for them.

The effectiveness of many happy email messages can be boosted with the following enhancements:

--       Personalize and contextualize your messages based on the customer’s state.

--       Use profile, preference, browsing and purchase data to add uniquely relevant dynamic content.

--       Create a series of email messages leading up to a happy milestone, such as a birthday or anniversary month program that includes prompts to engage on social, mobile and other channels. Consider building a full month-long program around the theme to drive greater engagement and loyalty lift.

--      Think about using videos and GIFs to create a festive and celebratory feel. Use movement to drive action in the inbox; make that birthday candle GIF flicker brightly.

--       Give away presents, since free goodies make almost everyone happy. Test gifts and special offers to understand how they impact engagement metrics and ROI.

--      Curate content to deliver something special, such as a curated list of favorites, helpful articles or products aligned with festive celebration themes.

--       Invite consumers to share back via progressive profiling. Use your happy messages to drive data collection to fill in customer profile and preference data gaps, which will allow for more relevance in future messaging.

--       Cross-channel integration can make things happier! Anthropologie sends an annual birthday discount e-card, which the company has recently extended to include an invitation to enjoy in-store sips, snacks and 15% off for the birthday girl and a friend (see below left).

Yes, there are plenty of opportunities to embrace happiness in your email program. Get your team involved to build a fun array of messages that keep the happy momentum going throughout the year, keeping your customers engaged and active. Happiness and smiles are perpetually in style, so find that happy place for your email program. :)

2 comments about "Put Some Happy In That Inbox!".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, April 25, 2014 at 5:34 a.m.
  2. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, April 25, 2014 at 5:39 a.m.

    Straw poll for readers: When you're at a restaurant such as TGI Fridays that plays "happy birthday" to diners on their birthday, do you feel (a) Feel happy and join in, or (b) Feel annoyed or bored and wait it out. Your readers may feel similarly.

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