Birthday Email Marketing Strategies

Connect with your subscribers by reaching out on their special day.

Birthday emails offer the perfect opportunity for brands to connect with subscribers on a personal level. Data from Experian show that birthday emails drive 342% higher revenue compared to traditional promotional emails.

Today we’ll share three birthday email strategies you can use to turn subscribers into brand ambassadors.


Strategy 1: Send Personalized, Discount-Free, Birthday Wishes

When it comes to birthday emails, most brands’ de-facto thinking is to offer a discount. Bonobos uses a short discount-less email that feels personal and gives them a chance to stay top of mind.



Takeaway: Staying clear from discounts gives you the opportunity to send an email that doesn’t feel transactional. Simple copy with relevant imagery is all you need.


Strategy 2: Offer Free Gift for Select Members

Sephora makes it’s subscribers feel special  by offering them a free 15-minute makeover plus a free gift at checkout.


Notice how this email also includes the member’s current rewards points at the bottom.

Despite Sephora’s end goal to drive a sale, their birthday email strategy is friendly and very much in-line with the brand’s personality.

Takeaway: What incentives can you offer that’s not a discount? Also, notice how Sephora allows subscribers to redeem their gift at any point during the month—consider using a similar approach.


Strategy 3: Promote a Birthday-Only Coupon

This is your typical birthday email, which includes a coupon. Foot Locker’s “Happy Birthday” email offers either $10 off a $50 purchase or $25 off a $100 purchase.


This is the most common birthday email approach, and there’s nothing wrong with it. That being said, nobody will remember you for a $10 off coupon. A free makeover (as we saw with Sephora)? That’s more likely.

When thinking about birthday emails, keep these tips in mind:

  • If you don’t know when someone’s birthday is, send them a survey. (You can also collect this information during the signup process.)
  • Depending on your birthday email strategy, consider sending a reminder. Rent the Runway, for example, sends an offer one month before the birthday. They also follow up 5 days before with a “last call” email:


  • Personalize the email with the data you have available: first name, favorite products, nearby location, and so on.
  • Keep the email copy short and punchy with a clear call-to-action.

You can find more birthday email examples here. If you’re interested in seeing the birthday email strategy for your competitors (and companies you admire) join MailCharts to get started.


Join the Email Insider newsletter and receive valuable email tips

Your email will never be shared with anyone. You can unsubscribe at any time.