You’ve seen them in restaurants – a lively group celebrating a birthday with a “surprise” cake. Notice how the recipient’s face lights up?
Everyone likes to feel special. That includes your customers.
As a smart marketer, you know it’s essential to provide a great customer experience. And you do that by personalizing your connection with them.
When you take the time to acknowledge a customer’s special day with a gift or coupon, you make them feel appreciated as more than a credit card number.
And you give them a good reason to return.
Getting to Know You
Personalization is about building a deeper connection with your customer base – and birthday marketing is a perfect first step in that direction.
It’s an approach that’s been successfully used in restaurants for years, and it’s now being adopted by retailers as an effective way to interact with customers and increase engagement.
As it turns out, consumers are generally receptive to the notion of personalization. A recent survey showed close to 70% of participants were open to sharing personal information, such as phone numbers, birthdays, and product preferences.
Here’s the caveat: they’re most likely to be open to it if they perceive they can derive value from sharing their information – for example, in the form of discounts and promotions, better customer service, quicker checkout, etc.
It’s a quid-pro-quo – and everybody wins.
Think Outside the (Birthday) Box
Birthday greetings are a great opportunity for businesses to personalize their marketing approach and broaden their reach to new prospects while acknowledging their repeat customers.
But don’t settle for just another cookie-cutter email. You need to be creative in order to spark customer interest and engagement – and make them feel the message was specially crafted just for them.
Read on for some tips on how to create one-of-a-kind birthday messages that will build customer loyalty and attract new buyers.
- SMS Marketing
SMS marketing software combines the convenience of automation with the ability to personalize messaging. Customers become members of your “birthday club” when they text a keyword or scan a QR Code, and receive a valuable offer on their birthday.
With a 90% Open rate, texts are a highly effective marketing tool.
Transform email messaging from generic to targeted. Use software to create personalized email templates that ask customers to click and visit your landing page to collect a gift or special offer. Customizing your birthday messaging engages recipients, makes them feel valued, and reinforces brand loyalty.
The right software will allow you to automate birthday emails so they’ll be delivered to the right person on the right date – and you won’t have any “oops” moments.
- Social Media
Celebrate your customers on social media. Reach out directly to them using Instagram, Facebook, and other social media. Post a message wishing them a Happy birthday, and include a special offer.
On Facebook, for example, you could specifically target users whose birthday is within one week. A local restaurant owner could offer a free meal with one meal purchase, or a clothing store could offer a discount coupon with a minimum purchase.
It’s a good way to promote your birthday marketing strategy: it piques public interest and encourages more users to get in on special offers.
- Direct Mail
Direct mail is a cost-effective way to target your customers. Digital may be the media darling of the moment, but good old-fashioned direct mail has a higher response rate than email marketing. Personalize your mailers by using the customer’s first name, and offer discounts on products or services they’ve purchased in the past.
And, when you include your logo and company information, you’re making use of a great opportunity to reinforce your brand.
- Use Your Website
This is an obvious place to promote your birthday marketing campaign.
Create unique discount codes like “ADAM35” for Adam’s 35th birthday – and promote these on your landing page sticky menu. This allows you to target birthday celebrants while engaging the interest of non-birthday browsers.
- Make a Charitable Donation
Some customers won’t be able to make use of their birthday discounts. If you know that’s the case, let them know you’ll make a charitable donation in honor of their birthday. That says more than a birthday card ever could.
- Monthly Contest
Anyone with a birthday for that month can be entered in a contest to win. And throw a once-a-month birthday party, so everyone gets a piece of cake.
- Mail a Catalog
Mail out a catalog to customers who are celebrating a birthday. It’ll express your appreciation – and give them ideas for future purchases.
- Make a Video
Create a “Happy Birthday video” using simple software, conscript your staff to take part, then email it or share it on social media with clients celebrating a birthday. If you do not have the bandwidth or the know-how to make such videos, hire a freelancer to do it for you. It does not cost a lot to be honest.
- Put it in the Post
Send customers a personalized postcard or handwritten birthday card. In the digital age, these forms of print communication stand out and provide a genuinely personal touch.
And that’s what it’s all about: making it personal.
When you connect with customers on that level, you provide a unique and more meaningful experience. Yes, it’s a marketing strategy – a very successful one, as it happens. Research shows that birthday campaigns result in far higher transaction and unique click rates, and generate more revenue per email than regular promotional campaigns.
But a birthday campaign is also a goodwill gesture. And that’s what customers respond to.
As a small business owner, you want to engage your customers and give them an incentive to buy from you. You also want to generate positive feelings about yourself and your company.
Recognizing your customers’ personal milestones – like birthdays – is a perfect opportunity to generate those feelings.
If customers are prompted to think of you and your business on that milestone date, chances are they’ll be strongly inclined to use their birthday card money to make a purchase from you.
Wrap that up in a bow.